An exhibit by Portland, Oregon painter Kim Osgood has opened at Joshua Tree Visitor Center. Open from 8 am to 5:30 pm daily, the visitor center is located at 6554 Park Boulevard, in the community of Joshua Tree, California.
Osgood, a 2011 participant in the park's Artist-In-Residence program, used her time in the park to experiment with acrylic paints on panels, although her usual medium is monotype printing. Because that process requires a large printing press, she realized she would have to modify her approach. "My challenge was to work with the supplies that I could fit into a large suitcase," said Osgood. Due to the constraints regarding the collection of plant materials in the park, Osgood also adjusted to circumstances by going into the landscape to observe the plants she was painting directly. She hopes her paintings convey some of the wonder she experienced during her stay in the park.
The park's Artist-In-Residence program, which is operated in partnership with the Joshua Tree National Park Association, encourages artists to explore themes related to Joshua Tree National Park and to create a body of work that inspires interest in the park, builds a better understanding of its natural and cultural resources, and fosters stewardship of the national treasures that comprise the National Park System.
The story of America's national parks has long been told through the sensitive eyes of artists. The watercolors of Thomas Moran played an important role in convincing the U.S. Congress to set aside Yellowstone as the nation's first national park in 1872. National parks are now called "America's best idea." Since that time artists continue to be inspired by national park landscapes and cultural and historic themes to create works that share their unique vision with the American public visiting our national parks.Mark Butler, superintendent of Joshua Tree National Park, said he was very proud of the work done by park and museum staff to ensure that visiting artists have a positive experience during their residency. "We hope to continue the National Park Service's long tradition of inspiring people to view their parks as places where creative expression is valued and aesthetic connections with the landscape are fostered," said Butler.