On behalf of all of us at the Mojave National Preserve Artists Foundation, a National Park Service Friends Group and Mojave National Preserve, we welcome you to one of the most fascinating lands in the National Park Service. Our foundation is a 501-c3 corporation that dedicates its activities and resources to the arts in Mojave National Preserve and the Artists in Residence program. We invite you to join us by offering your financial support, volunteering for field service, and if you qualify, applying for the Artists in Residence program.

The National Park Service often works with Friends groups to develop public/private funding for special projects. Examples abound, wherein Friends of the Park Service have purchased and donated land to Parks, provided funds for extended education programs, funded land and building restorations, and various groups and individuals have supported the Park with their volunteer time.

The OX Ranch is a Focus Project for our foundation’s fund raising program. Once restored, this homestead will provide a rustic level of comfort for the use of artists who create collectible work that provides funds for other projects, as well as art that all of us can enjoy. Furthermore, it improves our environmental impact in this National Park site by positioning artists closer to their work.

So in advance, let me say thank you for your contributions and volunteering to help us achieve our goals.

Robert T. Killen

Vision and Mission


The Mojave National Preserve Artists Foundation is a Not-for-Profit Corporation dedicated to supporting the Artists in Residence Program (AIR), and the restoration of the OX Ranch, a future home for artists creating work in Mojave National Preserve.

The Foundation provides programs to encourage diverse artistic interpretations from emerging growth and season artists to pursue themes that will establish a continuum of understanding for the public regarding the land, history, atmosphere, and the many visual communities of Mojave National Preserve. Artists chosen for the program use their art as a major interpretive medium of the landscape and a stimulus for the protection of the environment. Historically, the arts have played a very important role in the establishment of our National Parks, and the Mojave National Preserve Artists Foundation vision is to preserve and protect that heritage for future generations of artists and their audiences.


Levels and layers of talent bless all of us, and I believe each of us can make a significant contribution to art that will inspire others to see, feel, and understand the magnificent desert around us.


The Mojave National Preserve Artists Foundation dedicates its management and resources to…

  • Funding and developing the OX Ranch as a principle residence for selected artists while they explore and create.
  • Inspiring and promoting individual artists to explore Mojave National Preserve landscape, history, and visual communities and then to deliver thematic art presentations utilizing all media.
  • Promote understanding of and appreciation for Mojave National Preserve.
  • Source and fund projects for continuous support of residence facilities.
  • Source and fund stipends for selected artists.
  • Source and fund support for the Desert Light Gallery (Kelso Visitors Center) for selected artists and visitor participation.
  • Expose the work of our Artists through web site sales, show distribution to other Parks, and public and private galleries.
  • Develop long-term financial resources for the Artists-in-Residence program.
  • Engage in and support relationships with art grantors and art organizations that focus on the National Park Service Artists-in-Residence programs.
  • Build a strong creative community through example and personal education to create and stimulate visual literacy.

An Official National Park Service Friends Group

The Mojave National Preserve Artists Foundation is an Official Park Service Friends Group.

The National Park Service works with various community groups who assist parks in supporting needed park programs and projects that are beyond the reach of appropriated dollars. In contrast to Cooperating Associations, which use the profits from sales of interpretive items in park bookstores to assist parks with their interpretive, educational, and scientific activities, most Park Friends Groups are established to help support a wider variety of park activities through fundraising, membership programs, and awareness building. Today there are well over one hundred Park Service Friends Groups supporting parks across the country. Most groups are incorporated as 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporations and obtain tax-exempt status at the state and federal level, allowing donors to claim tax deductions for their contributions.

Mojave National Preserve Artists Foundation serves Mojave National Preserve in accordance with its Friends Group contract and charter. The foundation is a tax-exempt donor supported organization and donations are tax deductible in accordance with IRS regulations for 501-C tax-exempt organizations. Elected officers and volunteers serve without compensation except for reimbursement of work related expenses. The Foundation may hire professional staff if the Board determines such action will advance the mission of the Foundation and is fiscally responsible.

The Foundation raises and distributes funds for the Artists-in-Residence Program, funds to restore the OX Ranch, which serves as the principle residence for granted artists, the Desert Light Gallery, and other programs as agreed upon by the Board of Directors and the Superintendent.

The Board of Directors

Bob Killen



Jim Smart

Vice President


Janet Huston

Secretary Treasurer


Tom Lowe


Gabriel Thorburn