Oasis Of Murals & Public Art
The Oasis of Murals in Twentynine Palms, California, was started in 1994 by a local Merchants Committee, which became the non-profit Action Council for 29 Palms, Inc., in 1995. By 2014, they had commissioned 26 outdoor murals, illustrating the colorful history of Twentynine Palms and portraying the flora and fauna of the Mojave Desert and neighboring Joshua Tree National Park. The murals helped to spawn a renaissance in the community, creating new art events and art venues, attracting artists, and restoring a sense of community pride. Mural brochures and the Oasis of Murals book are available at the Twentynine Palms Visitor Center & Art Gallery.
Oasis of Murals Brochure (pdf download)
Visit the murals website at: www.action29palmsmurals.com
29 Palms Oasis of Murals
Bill & Francis Keys, Desert Queen Ranch by Dan Sawatzky, 1995.
(Mural and building removed 2011)
Early Oasis of Mara by Ron Croci & Robert Caughlan III, 1995, 29 Palms Liquor, 73777 29 Palms Hwy.
Dr. James B. Luckie, Father of Twentynine Palms, by Don Gray, 1995, Eye Care Clinic, 6175 Adobe Road.
Our Neighbors in Nature by Larry & Nancy Eifert, 1995, Twentynine Palms Visitor Center and Chamber of Commerce at Bucklin Park, 73484 29 Palms Hwy. (Removed in 2006, replaced by Mural #21)
Desert Storm Homecoming & Victory Parade by Chuck Caplinger, 1995, Desert Cycle Works, 6177 Adobe Road.
Jack Cones, Flying Constable by Tim O’Connor, 1996, Cowboy Attic, 6308 Adobe Road.
The Dirty Sock Camp by John Whytock, 1996, 29 Palms Thrift, 73911 29 Palms Hwy.
William & Elizabeth Campbell by Richard Wyatt, 1996, 29 Palms Realty, 74017 29 Palms Hwy.
Johnnie Hastie, 29 Palms Stage by Tim O’Connor, 1997,
Stellar Performance Automotive, 73339 29 Palms Hwy.
Frank & Helen Bagley, The Bagley Store, by Dan & Janis Sawatzky, 1997, Historic Plaza.
Bill & Prudie Underhill, The Desert Trail, by Susan Smith Evans, 1997, The Desert Trail, 6396 Adobe Road.
Desert Gold Mining Days, 3-D mural by Terry Waite & John Whytock, 1998, Joshua Park Mining Town, 6455 Mesquite Avenue.
Flash Flood by Art Mortimer, 1998, 6248 Adobe Road.
Desert Wildlife by Chuck Caplinger, 1999, Smoketree Bldg., 72252 29 Palms Hwy. (Removed in 2007, replaced by Lizard & Roadrunner, seen in the header above)
Desert Wildflowers by Dan Kelly, 2000, Hart’s Furniture, 73617 29 Palms Hwy.
Valentine’s Day by John Pugh, 2000, Cowboy Attic, 6308 Adobe Road, north wall.
The Sun Rises by Richard Wyatt, 2001, Little Church of the Desert, 6079 Adobe Road.
29 Palms Boys Basketball Tournament by Art Mortimer & Mural-In-A-Day team, 2002, Luckie Park, Racquetball Courts at Joe Davis Drive & Luckie Avenue.
Good Times at Smith’s Ranch by Tim O’Connor, 2002, 6298 Adobe Road.
Operation Iraqi Freedom by Don Gray, 2004, 6464 Adobe Road.
Our Neighbors in Nature II by Larry & Nancy Eifert, 2006, Twentynine Palms Visitor Center and Chamber of Commerce at Bucklin Park, 73484 29 Palms Hwy.
Battle of the Bell by Art Mortimer & Mural-In-A-Day team, 2007, Twentynine Palms High School, Mesquite Springs Road at Wildcat Way.
Spirit of Mara, Makoto Hashigami, 2008, 29 Palms Inn, 73950 Inn Avenue off National Park Drive.
29 Palms Skateboard Park by Cristian S. Aluas, 2008, Luckie Park at Joe Davis Drive.
Keys’ Desert Queen Ranch II by Art Mortimer & Mural-In-A-Weekend team, 2013, 6348 Adobe Road.
20th Anniversary of Joshua Tree National Park and California Desert Protection Act by Chuck Caplinger & Art Mortimer, 2014, Old Schoolhouse Museum, 6760 National Park Drive at Cottonwood Drive.
Top bar: Roadrunner (“Dipsosaurus dorsalis”) and Lizard (“Grococcyx californianus”) murals by Chuck Caplinger, 2007, Smoketree Building and Farmers Insurance office, 72252 29 Palms Hwy.
Public Art Installations In 29 Palms
Art has always played a role in 29 Palms history, from the early Native Americans to the desert homesteaders of the 1920s to the artists who settled here and began an art scene in the 1940s and 1950s. The 29 Palms Artists’ Guild was founded in 1951-52 by famous desert landscape artist John Hilton and a group of desert artists. A renaissance in the 1990s saw the birth of Action 29 Palms and the Oasis of Murals, followed by a variety of sculpture installations and public art projects. In 2004, the City of Twentynine Palms established an Art in Public Places program and appointed a Public Arts Advisory Committee (PAAC), which has helped to oversee continuing public art in the community.
Some notable public art installations, in addition to the Oasis of Murals, are listed below. Many steel sculptures were donated by sculptor Simi Dabah of LA, who also has a sculpture property on Sunfair Road in Joshua Tree featuring several hundred of his pieces. Famous metal artist Ricardo Breceda of Borrego Springs was commissioned in 2013 and 2014 to add some of his magnificent big horn sheep and other steel sculptures to National Park Drive.
*Iconic “29!” steel sculpture downtown 29 Palms by Chuck Caplinger and Moe Pegorelli, 2009. (above, top)
*Dan Luckenbill memorial sculpture at 29 Palms Library by Simi Dabah, 2013. (above, bottom)
*Top bar: Steel sculptures on National Park Drive by Ricardo Breceda (left), and Simi Dabah (right).
Other sculptors include artist Steve Rieman of Yucca Valley; the late Terry Waite of 29 Palms; and mural artist Chuck Caplinger of 29 Palms who designed the iconic “29!” metal sculpture downtown.
Other 29 Palms artists who left their mark in public places include artists David Greene and Anne Lear, ceramic artists Janet Braley and Perry Hoffman, and former local residents Jesse Woodard, John Whytock, and Greg Howlind. Other artists include bronze sculptors Kay Henkel & John Branstetter of Palm Desert, Dusty Chambers of Morongo Valley, Randy Addy and Marshall Hale of Pioneertown, and Scott Doten of Joshua Tree.
See our (PDF) 29 Palms Public Art Map and listing of public art locations in 29 Palms. Look up, look down, it’s everywhere! Want to know more about a specific piece or art? Compare the map number to the list of public art projects for artist name and year.
*Gold Prospector and Pack Mules on National Park Drive by Ricardo Breceda, 2014. (above)
*Chain of Life sculpture in the Historic Plaza by Steve Rieman, 2009. (right, bottom)