* art by Vann Nguyen
There are ‘staple weekends’ in the desert that I look forward to every year. As you can imagine, one of them is Coachella Fest weekend(s) …. and the other (a little more under-the-radar) one is the HWY 62 Art Tours weekend(s). Both offer a rich arts & culture experience, however, they couldn’t be any further apart in terms of what you see, hear, learn and walk away with.
The HWY 62 Art Tour is like an old pirate’s treasure map to gold… ‘X’ marks the spot. But, instead of an island to explore, you have the stunning High Desert to navigate through. And although the land is wide, the skies are open, and the views stretch far and wide… there are many things that simply can not been seen from a car ride down Hwy 62.
The HWY 62 Art Tours features over 200 artists who open up the doors to their creative spaces and allow people to explore their fantasy world’s for a weekend. With a map in one hand and the other on the steering wheel (and both eye’s on the road, at all times, of course), you follow the directions to each open art studio. Many of them take you down long dirt roads, twisting and turning you around bushes, cacti, mountain ridges and rocks… until you reach your newfound pot of gold.
Once you arrive at the artist’s studio you meet and greet, and then you get to walk around. You observe their space, see what inspires and influences them. Personally, that just excites me right there! Artist’s work spaces are always pretty cool places. Right?!
When I come across an artist that I connect with it is easy to engage in conversation with them. You can learn all about their past, how they make their pieces and what they are currently working on. Simply put, an art and culture blogger’s dream scenario.
One of the best things about these art tours is that there is no overhead when you purchase a piece. The money goes from your hand, to theirs.
However, everybody has their very own unique experience. You pick your own path for the day, there is nobody there guiding your down streets or telling which way to go. It’s great. It’s also something similar to what they call, “desert wandering.” ;-)
I highly recommend that you pack your car full of friends, water and road snacks and get yourself up to the High Desert this weekend. And for all those who can’t make it this weekend… the Art Tours continue on next weekend as well!!
**Make sure to read all the information below for more details. All information has been extracted from http://www.hwy62arttours.com/.
A Brief History of the Art Tours:
Conceived in 2001 as a festival for all the arts, with 24 participating artists, the Hwy 62 Art Tours now features close to 200, including those working in music, literary, performance and visual arts.
For the tenth anniversary, Art Tours organizers have put together an ambitious program to showcase a variety of the arts in the Morongo Basin.
“Open Studios” are still the main feature. A steadily growing number of artists open their homes and studios to an ever-expanding public. Each reflects the unlikely growth of the arts in this remote desert community.
Along with the growing Art Tours, this past decade has seen the rise of a thriving arts community, where cultural events occur year-round. Hwy 62 Art Tours is the premiere arts event of the year in this unique place, when the local community welcomes the world to have a look.
Joshua Tree + 29 Palms + Wonder Valley’s Open Studios
OPEN STUDIOS – SECOND WEEKEND
OCT 27 – 28, 2011
9-5pm unless other wise noted.
2ND Weekend Oct. 27-28
*BOTH Weekends Open Oct 20-21 + Oct 27-28
*Wally Pacholka - 2nd weekend only
2ND Weekend Oct. 27-28
2ND Weekend Oct. 27-28
*Both Weekends Oct. 20-21 + 27-28
HWY 62 Art Tour’s Site Specific Locations
Desert Christ Park
High Desert Test Site Headquarters
HWY 62 Art Tours Special Events
SUNDAY OCTOBER 21 11-1pm
ZICRON Kids Circus
$5 for kids (15 and under)
$15 for adults
Featuring artwork by Lisa Bruner
Location: 62929 Sunny Sands Drive,
Joshua Tree, CA 92252
The Art Tours Collective Show
Twentynine Palms Art Gallery
74055 Cottonwood Drive,
12:00 – 3:00 pm September 26 – October 28.
Artwork by Art Tours artists will be displayed and made for sale.
The gallery will hold regular hours through October 28.
Gallery hours: Wednesday through Sunday, from 12:00 – 3:00 pm.
During the East end weekend, (Oct. 27-28) the gallery
will be open from 9:00 am-5:00 pm
For More Information:
Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council
61325 29 Palms Hwy # F
Joshua Tree, CA 92252-1912
* * * *
Also, while you’re up there, make sure to stop by the Cactus Mart in Morongo Valley! It’s the happiest place on earth…or at least in the Coachella Valley.
A MUST GO!