The first day I arrived at the Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency I was warmly welcomed by my hosts Steve and Ruth Rieman. By the end of the second day I had settled in to my beautiful desert cabin and had met the Joshua Tree community, many artists who call the desert home and the four other artists in the program with me.
This entire network offered a great deal of support and encouragement which helped with the rush to complete a sculpture, video, and photo series in seven weeks. Despite all of this support I was in large part left alone to interact with the glorious stillness of the desert in whatever way I chose. I enjoyed my stay, made wonderful friends of all ages and experiences and had unparalleled artistic focus to complete my work. I have been recommending this program to every artist I know.
Laurel Cohen Filmmaker (2016)
Never have I felt such simultaneous freedom and artistic resource at my fingertips. My time at JTHAR may best be described as my four weeks in a constantly expanding, creative sandbox; anything and everything was on limits, and nothing could stop me.
Mojave Desert Land Trust
MDLT had the opportunity to work with Ruth Rieman, core member of the JTHAR Board of Directors on the Artists for the Monuments project. What a stellar organization. Your support will have lasting positive effects on the importance of protecting our beautiful desert, a place that inspires artists world-wide.
These artists become desert ambassadors through the residency. The heath and vitality of the residency helps insure the health and vitality of our public lands. I just love how art and land come together here! Thank you Frederick Fulmer and Ruth And Steve Rieman and all who work tirelessly to connect the arts and the environment.
Mathew Tom Painter (2015)
“This was the first time in my life I had complete freedom and could be truly alone with my art. I am able to think about my painting in a new way now."
I had attended six other residency programs in London, Manchester, Holland, Korea, New York and Oklahoma before coming to JTHR. I can honestly say in terms of facilities and support, JTHR was the most complete. The studio and home they provide is just out of this world. But the best part is the amazing atmosphere of Joshua Tree and the caring attitude the directors, Fred and Jim, provided. It is truly unique to find this combination of amazing setting, excellent studio and such wonderful support.
At the residency, I was able to explore some new ideas in my artwork, even returning to abstraction. I think this was due to the peaceful setting of the program. It is an incredible feeling to look across the desert when you are painting. I cannot recommend JTHR enough.
Irene Imfeld Photographer (2015)
There were few overcast days during my stay in Joshua Tree. There was a light sprinkle of rain here and there, dramatic skies from the Lake Fire (about 20 miles away), and an endless array of clouds moving in the wind. The wall of natural boulders in my lodgings set the tone: outside under the big sky is where I’d find my new work. Surrounded by empty land outside my door, near the entrance of the National Park, I was perfectly positioned to explore the landscape. Although I was first attracted to the rock formations, I found myself mostly photographing desert plants and abstracting their curious forms.
This was my first artist residency and it revealed to me what I could do with so much uninterrupted time to process and print new imagery. I left with a large and complete new body of work that I could not have done under other circumstances. The great support we artists received made this possible. The comfortable home, the right balance of group activity and privacy, the natural space and light, and the welcoming locals . . . all this has made me reconsider how I work and how I spend my time.
Joshua Tree is a tiny town with an active art scene. Outsider art abounds. The four other artists at the residency, our sponsors, and local artists were friendly and helpful. I can’t think of enough good things to say.
Joe Devera Painter/Sculptor (2015)
I can say with all honesty that my stay at the Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency was one of the most memorable times of my artistic career, thus far. For any individual within the arts seeking time and place to work, I give this residency my highest recommendation. Appropriately, I also feel that a list of thanks is in order:
First, I would like to thank Fred and Jim for granting me the opportunity and resources to work in such a unique and inspiring setting. Without their unwavering support for the arts, none of this would be possible.
Second, I thank Steve and Ruth for not only giving me quarter in perhaps the most spectacular little cabin I've ever seen in my life, but for also allowing me to utilize a portion of their studio (and for not killing me as I turned one of their carports into a temporary lumber yard).
Third, I thank my fellow resident artists, Devin, Allison, Irene and Chloё, whose company I will miss dearly.
Fourth, I thank the Desert -- not so much for its grandiose topography, but for its limitless night sky, which is enough to grant serenity to even the most anxious of insomniacs.
Lastly, I would like to thank that lonesome house atop Winters' road; where being 131 miles away from Los Angeles, 2670 miles away from New York, 5700 miles away from Berlin, 8270 miles away from Mecca (and most importantly, two miles away from any paved service road), unexpectedly became the crux of my venture.
Devin Symons Writer (2015)
You will be changed by your time here, spent in the singular landscape of the desert and the company of such warm and bright and welcoming people. "Joshua Tree is an oasis of arts and culture, and the Residency a vivid distillation of the same." For any kind of artist, the arrangement is ideal: you can be at once alone with your work in an environment of staggering beauty and scale, and close to a community of friendly, art-centered folk with whom you can share that work.
The founders and board members make every effort to provide introductions to that community, and go out of their way to ensure that you make the most of your experience. In terms of accommodations and funding and available resources, you would be hard-pressed to find a more generous residency.
Do not miss this chance to create something meaningful in a place rich with meaning and history. Apply. You will not regret it.
Chloë Iza Manasseh Painter (2015)
During my time in Joshua Tree, I feel that I experienced every attitude the desert had to offer!
Rain, fire, blazing heat and a mixture of wonderful personalities -- Frederick, Jim, Sarah, Ruth and both Steves were incredibly generous with their knowledge of the desert, their time and what they offered on the residency. I stayed at the Bunny house, courtesy of Steve and Sarah, who were both so accommodating to my needs as an artist and a person!
The residency gave me the time and space I needed to develop certain ideas I had/have been working on, and with such a supportive network of both our hosts and my fellow artists, it was easy to take everything in my stride, and enjoy the wilderness that is the Joshua Tree landscape! I feel very lucky to have experienced the residency with Alison, Joe, Devin and Irene and have the privilege to not only make work alongside great artists, but collaborate with them, too.
Alison Stigora, Sculptor (2015)
The Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency far exceeded my expectations. This program has spoiled me for other residencies....
The studio and housing were spacious, well designed, and enabled me to focus and create. The residency provided an excellent balance between focused studio time and opportunities to interact with other resident artists and the community. I was pleasantly surprised by the creative community in Joshua Tree, and was inspired not only by the incredibly stunning desert landscape but also local music and visual art.
Frederick, Jim, and other members of the board were incredibly supportive of my work and provided every opportunity for me to thrive during my time at the residency. I formed strong bonds and was able to experiment and collaborate with my fellow artists - we also plan to continue pursuing future collaborative projects.
While at JTHAR I discovered fresh modes of working and was inspired to begin a new body of work. I did not have an understanding of what it meant to live in the desert prior to this residency.... but this experience has left an indelible mark on my studio practice. In addition to studio work, we made multiple trips to explore Joshua Tree National Park (only 10 minutes away) and other incredible places. The forms, colors and textures of the Mojave still haunt my dreams.
Andrew Milward, Writer (2014)
My experience at the Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency was wonderful, in that it was both incredibly productive and personally meaningful. After a busy semester teaching, in which my writing and reading time were usually the first things sacrificed, the six weeks I spent in a delightful little house called Luna Mesa were an absolute gift.
I was able to complete a draft (and a full revision!) of my next book, Jayhawker, something I've struggled to find the necessary blocks of time to do over the past couple of years in the all-too-busy pace of my life back home in Mississippi. I also read more than 20 books, some of which were for sheer pleasure and some of which were research for future writing projects.
In addition to the time and space to read and write, I also left Joshua Tree feeling impacted, changed even, by my fellow JTHAR artist-comrades and the location. The work of the other artists was inspiring to me, just as was the view of the mountain skyline from my writing desk, and both have stayed in my heart long after I physically left the beautifully mysterious desert highlands.
Jed Ochmanek, Painter (2014)
Joshua Tree is an incredible place, where life must be lived with deliberate resourcefulness and geological time stands in bare contrast to our own fleeting moment. The Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency provides everything a great residency should, while avoiding the pitfalls of overly programmatic structure. One is given ample privacy as well as access to a knowledgeable and generously welcoming community; and the facilities (especially the new studio building I had the privilege of using) are exceptional.
In our accelerated cultural climate, the space for contemplation and focus is essential for those hoping to make a meaningful contribution to the visual arts. Decades ago, Mark Rothko anticipated the impact that the exponential growth of the culture industry would have on artists with these prophetic words:
“When I was a younger man, art was a lonely thing. No galleries, no collectors, no critics, no money. Yet, it was a golden age, for we all had nothing to lose and a vision to gain. Today it is not quite the same. It is a time of tons of verbiage, activity, consumption. Which condition is better for the world at large I shall not venture to discuss. But I do know, that many of those who are driven to this life are desperately searching for those pockets of silence where we can root and grow. We must all hope we find them.”
The Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency is one such place. I give it my highest possible recommendation for anyone looking to immerse themselves in their work in the context of the spare, natural wonder of the Mojave.
Kyle Riedel, Sculptor (2010)
I wanted to thank you for the opportunity to participate in the residency. It was an AMAZING experience for me. I come away with both a quantity and quality of work that I could not have produced otherwise not to mention an invaluable experience. You guys have built a great community and program there in Joshua Tree. It was a gift to stay with and get to know the Rieman's.
Greg Minah, Painter (2008)
In the summer of 2008, I was fortunate enough to spend six weeks in the extreme light, heat and space of Joshua Tree, California, completing an artist’s residency. My time out West profoundly changed the trajectory of my work and my life. It was in Joshua Tree that I first started to explore the process-based possibilities of acrylic paint. In ‘Shifting Ground’ the gradual emergence of my current painting method can be traced back to my efforts in the Mojave Desert – an ongoing practice fueled by physical engagement with the medium and a formalistic approach to painting.