The Smoketree School is indebted to San Diego for the landscape painters who wandered through Ramona and Julian all the way to the desert country. Two current exhibits at the San Diego History Center offer a chance to get acquainted with our shared heritage. In Landscapes Rediscovered: Depression-era San Diego Paintings, work unseen for 70 years is now on display. While in the collection of the San Diego Unified School District, the paintings had been dinged and exposed to the elements. With all their blemishes, works by artists such as Charles Reiffel and Maurice Braun (both painted the desert) are on view.
A twin exhibit, Creating an Artistic Basis: Local Artist Groups from the Early 20th Century” includes 40 pieces by San Diego’s most famous painters. Braun and Reiffel are here, along with Belle Baranceanu, Edith White and more. Several distinct schools are highlighted including the Great Depression and WPA era and the Point Loma Theosophical School—significant to desert art fans because of Theosophy’s influence on artists such as Agnes Pelton.
Landscapes Rediscovered through November 30, 2012
Creating an Artistic Basis through October 31st, 2012
San Diego History Center
In Palm Springs, the venerable Desert Art Center kicks off its season on October 5th, with a Meet the Artists Reception. Founded in 1950, the Center operates as an artists’ co-op and embodies the communal values of the early desert painters.
Desert Art Center Art Opening and Meet the Artists Reception
Friday, October 5, 2012, 6-8 pm
Desert Art Center Gallery
550 N. Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Esteemed local landscape artist Elaine Mathews again leads the Desert Art Center Paint-Outs for 2012-2013. In the spirit of the early Smoketree painters, the paint-outs are egalitarian and non-competitive. You don’t even have to be a painter to join in. Here’s the line-up:
October 4 , Lake Hemet
November 1, Painted Canyon
December 6 , Whitewater Preserve
December 15, Snow Creek
January 3, 2013, Mission Creek
January 26, Coachella Preserve
February 7, Indian Canyons
February 23, Indian Canyons
March 7, Big Morongo
March 16, Joshua Tree
March 30, Sunnylands
April 4, Living Desert
May 2, Bogart Park
The Joshua Tree National Park Association continues to nurture new desert artists with its annual series of classes, including plein air painting with Diane McClary and drawing the desert with Diane Best.
For information and a complete listing see: www.joshuatree.org
If you are heading toward 29 Palms and beyond, be sure to see David Greene’s latest efforts in his campaign to conquer the desert night.
Mojave Noir II
The Glass Outhouse Art Gallery
Through Sept. 30th
From 29 Palms, head east on Hwy. 62. Gallery is approximately 3.5 miles east from Utah Trail light on the right at Thunder Road.
Hours: Tues-Sunday 1-5 pm.
For more on the artist: http://dcgart.weebly.com/