There are staple weekends in the desert that we 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 navigate through/around, you have the stunning High Desert.  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 the Hwy.

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 taking your down long desert dirt roads… twisting and turning you around bushes, cacti, mountain ridges and rocks… until you reach your newfound pot of gold. X

Once you arrive at the artist’s studio you meet and greet and get to walk around.  You observe their space, check out their latest works, and ask questions.  There is no overhead when you purchase a piece and you literally get to see where you $$ is going – into the hands of your local artist!

Everybody has their very own unique experience as you pick your own path to which type of artist you are interested in checking out.  I recommend you pack your car full of friends, bring lots of 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 has been extracted from


A Letter from the Arts Council President, Ted Quinn:

Welcome to the 2011 Hwy 62 Art Tours. For the tenth anniversary of the premiere Hi -Desert art event of the year, we’re excited to present over 100 of the areas best and brightest stars, embracing all of the arts.

While we know that it’s nearly impossible to see it all in just two weekends, we know that whichever route you choose, from the open highway to the dusty desert road, you will find inspiration and stimulation at every turn. We would not want you to miss anything that may move you, so be sure to look at what is being offered on both weekends of this years ambitious tour.

The artists who have made this desert their home are as varied as the landscape. Many of us feel not that we have not chosen the desert, but that the desert has called our names.

Each person has his or her own story which brought them here, but whether it’s the silence, the mystery found in the Joshua Tree, the vastness of the night sky, the feeling of connectedness to something greater than ourselves or spiritual solace, this desert draws out the best of each one.

it is not the solitude of isolation we have sought, but the openness, in all of its manifestations.”With the expanse of our minds,” as our colleague, Candacy Taylor says, “Our desert inspires us to make a difference, to make art.”

We hope that you will find the beauty and the richness that is shared by all of us who love this place. The Hwy 62 Art Tours are designed to give you a road map to this place, where the inner life is enhanced by the outer reaches of the human imagination.

-Ted Quinn
President, MBCAC

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.

– via

Morongo Valley + Pioneertown’s Open Studios

OCT 22 – 23, 2011
9-5pm unless other wise noted.


Bill Brewer

Cheryl Jordon

James Hagerty

Kate Madigan,
Laura Eaton

Janet Alexander,
Bobette Milici,
Tony Milici

Landers + Yucca Valley’s Open Art Studios

OCT 22 – 23, 2011
9-5pm unless other wise noted.

Marcia Geiger

Tina Bluefield

Christy Anderson,
Judy Wishart

Rocky Arnold,
Walter Lawson

Bonnie Brady, Susan Brady Gonzalez,
John Greenfield

Daniela Bellissimo,
Allene Payne,Yolanda Marie Poe

Karen Caygill

Michael Fagan

Mae Fox

Suzzann MacLeod

Lenny Mazzo

Nora Lousignont, John Lauretig
Don McPherson

Steven L. Rieman

Esther Shaw

Ray Yeager

Art tours Collective / Nature Museum 

Joshua Tree’s Open Art Studios

OCT 22 – 23, 2011
9-5pm unless other wise noted.


Roger and Louise Bridges

David L. Burnham

Valerie Davis,Terry Rothrock,
Elizabeth Green, Ellie Tyler

Diana Durr, Elise Kost

David McChesney,
Vera Topinka

Barbara Drucker

James Hammons

Wil Hanson

Ellen Hill,Wally Pacholka,
Virginia Akin

Ed Keesling

Tammy Sioux Parkhouse

Michael Smiley

Kim Stringfellow

Mary Kinninger Walker

Judy Wold 

Living School Co-Operative

Feral Studios/Julie Tolentino

Morongo Basin Life Drawing League

HWY 62 Art Tour’s Site Specific Locations

The Integratron

Desert Christ Park

High Desert Test Site Headquarters

Noah Purifoy Foundation

Simi Dabah

World Famous Crochet Museum


Beauty Bubble Museum

The Palms

HWY 62 Art Tour’s Galleries

Art Queen Gallery

Joshua Tree Art Gallery [JTAG]

The Red Arrow Gallery

Woods In the Desert Gallery

Twentynine Palms Art Gallery

Mita Bee Art and Books Gallery

The Glass Out House Gallery

HWY 62 Art Tours Special Events

SATURDAY October 22, 2011 6-9pm
Arial Circus 7pm
Presenting the Aerial Entertainment of Wish and Zircon
Suggested Donation $10.00
After Party 9-2am with live DJ and Laser Light Show
Suggested Donation $10.00

Under the Big Top
62929 Sunny Sands Drive Joshua Tree, CA 92252
MAP # E 2

SATURDAY October 22, 2011 4-6pm

Sponsored by The Red Arrow Gallery and JTAG

Featuring Folk / Rocker Tim Easton + Special Guests

61597 + 61607 B HWY62, Joshua Tree, CA 92252
MAP # E 3 



Deborah Martin’s luminous and provocative style of realism contemplates
the vestiges of American life on the edge in her latest exhibition, “Wonder Valley”.

JTAG PRESENTS: New Work By Featured Artists: David Burnham, Kim Chasen, Karen Florek, Frederick Fulmer, Marcia Geiger, James O’Keefe, Naomi Parker, Drew Reese, Steve Rieman, Suzanne Ross, Tobi Taboada

SATURDAY October 22, 11 am

JUDGEMENT DAY: portraits of queer styles

6470 Veterans Way, Joshua Tree, CA 92252
MAP # E 4

Joshua Tree author Tania Hammidi teamed up with fine art photographers Leon Mostovoy, Love Ablan, and Lola Flash to explore queer and LGBT fashion and clothing styles emphasizing stud, ftm, gender-queer and butch masculinities. JUDGEMENT DAY, a book of photography and essays, is the result.

Tania will be reading from her opening essay. Photographer Leon Mostovoy will discuss his photographic techniques and concepts.

SATURDAY October 22, 3pm
THE LIVING SCHOOL Learning Co-Operative
PRESENTS: “Trust Everyone Under Thirty” 

Special, Outdoor “Under 30” Concert featuring some of the most exciting young musicians in the Morongo Basin. Featuring Lydia Night and Special Guests
61871 Hwy 62 Joshua Tree, CA 92252
MAP 3 E 5
At just 11 years old, Lydia Night has been writing songs and performing them for years. She formed her first band at 6 and they perform regularly at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in her hometown of Santa Monica. Along with her band L.I.L.A.’s shows, Lydia has been performing solo at Pappy & Harriet’s and is a member of the Dead Man’s Bones choir. Lydia’s original composition, “Two Little Love Birds,” closes out the Hwy 62 Love Songs CD.

SUNDAY OCTOBER 23, 2011 7pm 

Featuring Bingo Richey, Tim Easton, Victoria Williams, JP Houston and many more!For 6 years Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneer Town Palace has hosted Sunday Rock and Roll Service.

Every weekend, the club’s favorite local singers and players get together and trade songs.

This event will include several of the local artists featured on this years Hwy 62 Love Songs CD compilation. Produced by musician/dj and Arts Council president, Ted Quinn, the CD will be available, exclusively, on the 2011 Hwy 62 Art Tours website and at various locations along the tour.

For More Information:

Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council
61325 29 Palms Hwy # F
Joshua Tree, CA 92252-1912
(760) 366-2226