“ Showing how much life is in even a tiny sample size highlights the importance of how much human interaction impacts the Mojave ’ s habitat . ”
act of making a choice can seem formidable . But Shelly ’ s talent for careful and close observation , her unquenchable enthusiasm and her relentless curiosity honed a clear artistic vision . However , the foundation of her enthusiasm and curiosity is an abiding respect for the natural world and samples were collected with great care . “ Because the desert is an incredibly sensitive environment prone to disruption , these samples would amount to what would be expected to collect on tires , shoes , and clothes . Showing how much life is in even a tiny sample size highlights the importance of how much human interaction impacts the Mojave ’ s habitat .”
Nothing could be further from the truth . We need to understand , adapt to , and respect the desert . I hope that my exhibit will reveal much of the hidden life in the desert and highlight the complex nature of it .”
The Exhibit Shelly Smith ’ s exhibit of Cell Portraits will be on display at the Desert Light Gallery through April 30 , 2017 . The gallery is open Thursday - Monday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm .
Art Ownership When you purchase art from a Mojave National Preserve Artists in Residence you are making an investment in our National Park . Net proceeds from art sales support the Desert Light Gallery , the reconstruction of the Kousch Homestead and other vital projects that require funding . If you wish to purchase work from this collection contact the Desert Light Gallery Manager at ( 562 ) 665-7472 or email director @ mojaveair . org
Shelly provides additional insight into this fascinating process , “ Many organisms of that size are only a few microns wide and lack distinct color . I refer to the colors of the observable place as my guide for my color palette . For example , imagine bacteria rendered in the deep reds and rusty oranges of the Mojave ’ s stone formations , backgrounds of quartz sand dunes and deep blue stark night skies , and sage green plant life .”
Shelly ’ s exhibit will include collection site photographs . “ Photographs are a critical part of this step as they link the physically recognizable place with the microscopic life it contains . Pictures help us anchor the presence of these life forms in a human scale .”
“ What I would most like to accomplish with this exhibit is to dispel the myth that the desert is an empty place with no life . If asked to draw a desert , most people would draw the stereotypical icons , a lonely saguaro cactus , a bleached cow skull , with the sun beating down on flat land .
EXHIBIT DATES : March 1 - April 30 , 2017
Hours : Thursday through Monday - 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location : Kelso Visitors Center - From I-15 : Exit Kelbaker Road at Baker , Calif . Continue 35 miles southeast on Kelbaker Road to Kelso , Calif .
- From I-40 : Exit Kelbaker Road ( about 29 miles east of Ludlow Calif ., or 28 miles west of Fenner , Calif .). Continue 22 miles north on Kelbaker Road to Kelso , Calif .
Mar / Apr 2017 | THE DESERT LIGHT 9