Current Exhibit

The Desert Light Gallery is pleased to present “Cell Portraits: Mojave National Preserve”, a Mojave National Preserve Artists-in-Residence exhibition from Shelly Smith, Artist-in-Residence Painter.

Water is life, and the desert is defined by both its abundance as well as its absence. The desert is often considered empty, absent of life and blank in its vastness. That is simply not true if you look closer. The very soil of the desert is alive, its cryptobiotic skin protecting the deep veins of water that nourish the landscape.

The work produced in this show is inspired by direct observation of water samples personally collected from various seeps, springs, and oasis areas of the Mojave National Preserve. They reflect the protozoa, diatoms, algae, and other microscopic life that lives in abundance in this often-unforgiving climate. My artwork follows the tradition of scientific illustration and the hobby of microscopy to bring the hidden life of the Mojave into view.

The exhibit opens on March 1 and runs through April 30, 2017 at the Desert Light Gallery, Kelso Depot Visitors Center, Mojave National Preserve. Sales of signed prints are available at the Kelso Depot Book Store and Art Sales Center and the Hole-in-the-Wall Information Center. The Foundation has been designated as an official Friends organization and partners with the National Park Service on art and art education programs.

Exhibit Dates:

March 1 – April 30, 2017

Gallery Details

Thursday through Monday: 10am – 4pm

Kelso Visitors Center
90942 Kelso Cima Rd.
Kelso, CA 92309

From I-15: Exit Kelbaker Road at Baker, Calif. Continue 35 miles southeast on Kelbaker Road to Kelso, Calif.
From I-40: Exit Kelbaker Road (about 29 miles east of Ludlow Calif., or 28 miles west of Fenner, Calif.). Continue 22 miles north on Kelbaker Road to Kelso, Calif.

Kelso Map

(760) 252-6108


Cell Portraits: Mojave National Preserve