Tree Talk: Joshua Trees
Thursday, August 27
10am PT, 11am MT, 1pm ET
The beauty and mystery of trees has long been a subject for artists, and more recently, concern for the survival of forests (the lungs of our planet) has been paramount. Each month, artists working in a diversity of media will share their artworks and ideas about this most essential and extraordinary living being.
Tree Talk is moderated by Sant Khalsa, ecofeminist artist and activist, whose work has focused on critical environmental and societal issues including forests and watersheds for four decades.
Co-sponsored by Joshua Tree Center for Photographic Arts
Members and one guest are free. General Public can attend for a $10. Capacity is 100 participants. All participants MUST REGISTER.
Special Guest Speaker:
Clarke has long been advocating for Joshua trees and the conservation of their habitat in the Mojave Desert. He will share with us the history, science and current struggle to gain protection for the endangered Joshua tree, which is threatened by both climate change and development. Clarke is an experienced and enthusiastic public speaker, writer, editor and environmental activist. He has written numerous articles with an emphasis on environmental politics, science, and natural history. He is the California Desert Associate Director for the National Park Conservation Association, where he works with desert communities to protect national parks, monuments, and other protected places, and the landscapes that surround them. Prior to joining NPCA, Clarke was environment editor at Los Angeles-based KCET, the nation’s largest independent public television station. Before that, he worked as publications director at Earth Island Institute, where he published the award-winning Earth Island Journal. lettersfromthedesert.substack.com and npca.org/people/chris-clarke
For over 20 years Best has captured the unique personalities of Joshua trees with brush drawings, inspired by their beauty and movement. She will be showing some of the hundreds of these works, discussing stylistic changes over the years and why she never tires of them. Best has been working as a professional artist for over four decades. Born in Boston, she headed west to the San Francisco Art Institute, before moving south to Los Angeles and ultimately, the high-desert wilderness. Working as a background painter for animation studios, Best shifted her focus to capture the intense drama of the surrounding desert landscape in paintings, photography, and, more recently, moving images. She now divides her time between Joshua Tree (CA), Santa Fe (NM), and Ouray (CO), while continuing to seek out remote, uninhabited, and overlooked corners of the desert. dbestart.com
Fred Brashear Jr.
Brashear will discuss his ongoing creative research on Joshua trees and project Endemic Treasures, from inception to present day. He will share his Joshua tree papermaking process, photographic documentation of degradation of the Mojave, and the future direction for his art practice. Focusing on environmental degradation, Brashear is a Southern California artist documenting the reduction of Joshua tree woodlands found in the Mojave Desert. Fred photographs the landscape in flux and incorporates reclaimed organic material from a construction site where Joshua trees were removed and deemed as refuse. The process of reclaiming allows for the beauty of the Mojave to be expressed through his artistic creations. He received his MFA in Studio Art at California State University, San Bernardino and is currently an adjunct faculty of photography at California Baptist University, Fullerton College and Riverside Community College respectively. fredbrashear.com
Harrower will share her interdisciplinary and multimedia arts research practice, which focuses on the symbiotic interactions between Joshua trees, their soil fungi, and moth pollinators in Joshua Tree National Park. Specializing in species interactions under climate change, Dr. Juniper Harrower works at the intersection of ecology and art. She uses rigorous science methods and a multimedia art practice to investigate human influence on ecological systems while seeking solutions that protect at-risk species and promote environmental justice. A founding member of the international arts collective The Algae Society Bioart Design Lab, she also founded and directs the environmental arts production company SymbioArtlab which contracts with national parks, universities, and the private sector. Her work is exhibited locally and internationally, and her research and artistic products have received broad exposure in popular media such as National Geographic, the associated press, podcasts, music festivals and conferences. juniperharrower.com
Header images: Juniper Harrower, Low elevation Joshua trees and soil fungi, 2019, multimedia painting; Diane Best, JTree large 2, 2017, acrylic and graphite on rag paper, 38 x 50 inches; Fred Brashear Jr., Endemic Treasure Color #1, 2019, Handmade Joshua tree paper, digital lift transfer image, 24x18 inches.