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Artbound

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Desert Escapes
Get ahead of the heat and enjoy SoCal desert destinations, from hikes to outdoor art installations.
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Paul Grimm stands on the side of his painting of Harry Bennett and his horse Sonny.
Article
Artbound

In the Desert, Henry Ford's Strongman Finds His Artist's Heart

From stopping union uprisings for Henry Ford to a desert landscape painter, Harry Bennett wasn’t just a militaristic figure in corporate America but also, strangely, a skilled artist.
The view at the Slot Canyon Overlook.
Article
SoCal Wanderer

Six Easy, Lesser-Known Excursions at Anza-Borrego

There's more to the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park than the wildflower blooms. Avoid the crowds and explore six of Anza-Borrego's lesser-known gems.
Jon Gnagy signs his name on an easel with his back turned to the camera. The profile of his face can be seen and he is wearing a plaid collared shirt.
Article
Artbound

Before Bob Ross: Jon Gnagy Was America's First TV Art Teacher

As America’s first TV artist debuting in 1946, Jon Gnagy was a predecessor to the now-trendy Bob Ross. Hundreds of artists and artists credit him as their inspiration, from New York contemporary artist Allan McCollum to Andy Warhol.
A silver jeep sits on a dirt path with a wide view of Death Valley behind it.
Article
SoCal Wanderer

8 Tips to Exploring SoCal Deserts Without Getting Stuck

Though breathtaking and spectacular, SoCal deserts present a special set of challenges even for the most seasoned traveler. Here are some tips to make sure that your next desert trip is a safe journey.
The landscape at Whitewater Preserve
Article
SoCal Wanderer

Where to Explore the Coachella Valley Outdoors (Before It Gets Too Hot)

Whether you’re an off-roader, a two-legged trekker or even an earthquake tourist, here are five great outdoor destinations in the Coachella Valley — no festival pass needed.
 Agnes Pelton, "Star Gazer," 1929. Oil on canvas. | Collection of Susan and Whitney Ganz
Article
Artbound

The Real World of Transcendentalist Agnes Pelton

Agnes Pelton’s Cat City home is no majestic artist enclave, but unable to drive, she still found her mystic inspirations in her small hometown. Walk in her shoes.
Night's Regent, 2000 | Courtesy of Sharon Ellis
Article
Artbound

No LSD Required: The Electric Landscapes of Sharon Ellis

Sharon Ellis' luminous landscapes draw on nearly the whole history of landscape painting. Think American Luminists, Charles Burchfield and his "animated landscapes" and even Light and Space artists James Turrell and Robert Irwin.
C-3PO and R2-D2 walk toward Jabba's Palace, which was filmed in Death Valley's Twenty Mule Team Canyon for this scene in “Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.” Lucasfilm, LTD.
Article
Artbound

The Technicolor Desert: Cinema and the Mojave

Virtually pressed up against the northern boundaries of Los Angeles, the Mojave Desert can be considered Hollywood’s backyard if not its backlot. See the Mojave take on multiple guises in well-loved movies throughout the decades.
Palm trees in Borrego Palm Canyon
Article
SoCal Wanderer

Where to Find California’s Only Native Palm Trees

Learn where to find some of the most significant desert oases in the world.
Norton Allen map of Corn Springs, between Indio and Blythe. There was no I-10 at the time the map was drawn. | Courtesy of Ethel Allen
Article
Artbound

Beyond Martinis and Modernism: An Elusive Mapmaker Reveals Another Side of the Desert

"Desert Magazine" published from 1937 to 1985, offered readers an appealing world of mirages, ghost towns and lost treasure. Its maps sizzled with life and adventure. They were created lovingly — and it turns out painstakingly — by an elusive mapmaker.
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