People Are Like Plants
On view: September 5 – 30 | Online and by appointment
See the work and learn about the artists:

The Morongo Basin Arts Council is excited to partner with the NEA Big Read to present “People are Like Plants" a group art exhibition that supports the themes of Hope Jahren’s memoir Lab Girl and the shared curiosity, humility and passion that drives both scientists and artists. Her pioneering research focuses on the connections between living and fossilized plants and their ability to help us track changes in our global environment. Jahren explains: “A cactus doesn’t live in the desert because it likes the desert; it lives there because the desert hasn’t killed it yet.” This sentiment particularly resonates with life in the Morongo Basin.

JTAG presents a variety of art work related to science, nature and conservation that reflects the survival instinct and resilience that we see in ourselves and our desert ecology today. Artists include:  Ben Allanoff, Sharon Davis, Marilyn Froggatt, Ben Hamburger, Jef Harmatz, Emilie Harris, L.I. Henley, Kat Johnson, Jessica King, Al Marcano, Kathy Miller, Jon Otterson, Alison Paris, Jared Quentin, Jillian Sandell, Laurie Schafer, Karin Skiba, Barbara Spiller and Lynn Sweet.

Every Saturday throughout the month of September, stop-in to JTAG between 9am-2pm and pick-up your free BIG READ book bundle, including a copy of Lab Girl, the Big Read Cholla Needles Science Issue & Waking Life, a collection of poems by local author Cynthia Anderson.

To learn more about the Big Read visit:

The MBCAC continues our mission to inspire and enliven the community through the arts by presenting a rotating line up of large temporary murals on the exterior wall of the Joshua Tree Art Gallery. For our first round, we feature @otherdesert, who created a poignant three-panel black and white painting empowering the right to vote.  Here are some wise words from the artist: “This may be the most important election of our lifetime!" is often said, and for once, the hyperbole is warranted. To vote is a deeply personal choice and a right for many. To not vote? Is also a right for many, regardless of the reason, and is the core message of this mural: Do with your vote what you will, because nobody should tell you otherwise. However you decide though, your choice still has consequences and power.”

As we reflect and shift with the daily changes and effects of COVID-19, the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council is committed to the health and safety of our community. During this time art has the power to connect, uplift and inspire everyone. While many residents are staying at home and reevaluating the new normal, the downtown Joshua Tree commercial strip remains active. We aim to catch the eye of a passersby and shift their current outlook to one of inspiration and intrigue. Stay positive, stay safe and continue to make and appreciate art.

We are accepting submissions for a new mural to be installed mid-November 2020, mid-February 2021, mid-May 2021 and mid-August 2021. We are happy to continue and adapt this great program started by JTAG founder Frederick Fulmer. Interested in being a future mural artist? Visit our call for work to learn more!

As we reflect and shift with the daily changes and effects of COVID-19, our commitment is to the health and safety of our artists, visitors, and neighbors. JTAG and Gallery 62 will be temporarily closed to the public until further notice. The MBCAC will continue to monitor the situation and will notify you of any updates in our 2020/2010 programming by email, our website, and through social media. Stay positive, stay safe and continue to make and appreciate art.

JTAG – Your Cultural Outpost in the Desert