LOOKOUT: An outside look at inside art.
Joshua Tree Art Gallery 61607 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree, CA 92252
February Artists: Whitney Gardner, Ted Meyer, and Steven Wybenga
On view: February 5 – March 5, 2021 | Open Hours: 24 Hours a day
As we reflect and shift with the daily changes and effects of COVID-19, the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council is committed to the health and safety of our community. During this time art has the power to connect, uplift and inspire everyone. While residents are staying at home and reevaluating the new normal, the downtown Joshua Tree commercial strip remains active as our neighbors and the farmer’s market remain open.
To continue our mission to inspire and enliven the community through the arts we present LOOKOUT, an exhibition series in the front window of the Joshua Tree Art Gallery. This month artists Whitney Gardner, Ted Meyer, and Steven Wybenga present a variety of figurative paintings that reflect the natural world.
We aim to catch the eye of a passersby and shift their current outlook to one of inspiration and intrigue. Work will rotate every Saturday and will be on view until March 5.
Whitney Gardner, Ted Meyer and Steven Wybenga
Whitney Gardner is an oil painter and printmaker, native to Southern California. With a focus on painting landscapes about the Southwest, she seeks to expand the barriers of western art to the California deserts that she knows so well. Residing in the Mojave desert of 29 Palms for the last decade, a fascination with the rugged scenery has led her into an artful study of this region. From plein air to studio rendered compositions, her paintings are an ode to the remarkable facets of the desert.
Though Whitney studied art in San Francisco and attained a BFA in 2010, she considers herself a self-taught artist. Her work has been published in the nationally circulated magazine, Western Art Collector. In 2019, her painting, “Ocotillo Sky,” received the Best of Show award at the Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition.
Ted Meyer is a nationally recognized artist, curator and patient advocate who helps patients, students and medical professionals see the positive in the worst life can offer. Ted’s 20-year project “Scarred for Life: Mono-prints of Human Scars” chronicles the trauma and courage of people who have lived through accidents and health crises.
Ted seeks to improve patient/physician communications and speaks about living as an artist with illness. Telling stories about his own art and the stories behind his scar art collection, he offers insight into living with pain, illness, and disfigurement. Ted has been featured on NPR and in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, TED and USA Today. His work has been displayed internationally in museums, hospitals, and galleries. As the current Artist in Residence at USC Keck School of Medicine, Ted curates exhibitions of artwork by patients whose subject matter coincides with medical school curriculum. Ted has curated shows by artists challenged by MS, cancer, germ phobias, back pain, and other diseases. In addition, he is a Visiting Scholar at the National Museum of Health and Medicine and was recently invited to take part in the Aspen Seminars at the Aspen Institute.
He has written and illustrated several books. “Shrink Yourself: The Complete do-it-Yourself Book of Freudian Psychoanalysis”, “The Butt Hello – And Other Reasons My Cats Drive Me Crazy”, “Cats Around the World” and “Good Things You Can Learn from A Bad Relationship”, “Scarred for Life”, “Woman Napping with Animals” He is the owner of Art Your World, a full service design studio.
Steven Wybenga and his partner Clay left the congestion of the bay area and moved to the open land and the dark skies of Morongo Valley about 9 years ago. Inspired by the natural beauty of the desert, his paintings are a reaction to and an interpretation of the vast and beautiful but threatened landscape. His process involves using black and white photos he takes of the desert, choosing his palette as part of his artistic vision to create drama, mood and movement in color and form.
The magnificence of the desert cannot be overstated when experiencing its natural beauty. Artists have long documented the stunning desert, drawing attention and awareness to the public of this ever-changing land. However, the desert remains at risk from human exploitation, fire, pollution and climate change. The responsibility to advocate the desert ecosystem rests in our hands.
Artist IG: @st.wybenga