A century ago, artists played an important role in the formation of the National Park Service. Looking forward, Joshua Tree Art Innovation Laboratory aims to restore this role within the modern park service. Moving beyond making art for parks, JT Lab explores ways that the creative community can work with NPS to support our national parks. Using Joshua Tree National Park and Mojave National Preserve as testing grounds, JT Lab explores new roles that arts professionals can play in helping NPS pursue its mission of preservation and engagement. It enlists artists not solely as image-makers, but as creative thinkers, problem-solvers, and communicators who are highly skilled at tapping into contemporary culture, generating new ideas, and engaging the public in fresh and innovative ways.
JT Lab collaborates with units of the National Park Service to realize mission-assistive projects, provide creative assistance, preserve the park service’s own modern design legacy, connect the parks and the wider art and design community, and provide professional creatives opportunities to utilize their skills and insights to engage with the parks in substantive ways.
AT JT LAB ALL PARTICIPATING CREATIVES ARE CONSIDERED ARTISTS-IN-SERVICE. WE WORK COLLABORATIVELY WITH OUR PARK COLLEAGUES TOWARD THE COMMON GOAL OF MEETING THE MANDATES LAID OUT IN THE ORGANIC ACT OF 1916, THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE’S ESTABLISHING LEGISLATION: “…which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”
You or your organization can support our work by making a contribution to the project through our partner, Fulcrum Arts. Just click HERE. We accept general donations, donations for specific projects, and donations for the archive. All contributions are tax deductible. No donation is too small!
If you are a creative professional and would like to participate in JT Lab, or your organization is interested in exploring a partnership, feel free to get in touch with us using the form below.
If you are affiliated with a unit of the National Park Service and are interested in collaborating or would like creative assistance, please contact us using the form below, with “NPS” in the subject line.
If you are interested in the Parks Modern Repository and Archive, would like access to materials for research purposes, or have items you might like to donate, please contact us below and put “ARCHIVE” in the subject line.
You can also follow JT Lab on Facebook.
Joshua Tree National Park is a 793,000 acre park located two hours southeast of Los Angeles. Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in this diverse landscape. Dark night skies, a wide variety of plants and animals, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in Southern California.
Established in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide variety of visual and applied arts, media, and design. Core programs in liberal arts, business practices, and community-driven projects support the College’s mission to prepare diverse students to enrich our world through their creativity, skill, and vision. As Los Angeles’ first professional art school, visionary alumni and faculty include MacArthur and Guggenheim grant recipients, Oscar awardees, and design stars at Apple, Anthropologie, Pixar, Mattel, and more. The renowned Creative Action program has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for Community Engagement, and the Otis Report on the Creative Economy is a powerful advocacy tool for creative industries. The College serves the Greater Los Angeles Area through compelling public programming, as well as year-round Continuing Education courses for all ages.
BoxoPROJECTS is a multi-program arts initiative based in Joshua Tree, California, exploring the role of art and artists in creating community and the power of art to shape the destiny of communities. Boxo offers facilitated artist residencies and related programming at BoxoHOUSE in Joshua Tree, as well as exhibitions, installations and performances in various locations.
The Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT) protects the Mojave Desert ecosystem and its scenic and cultural resource values. To date, MDLT has conserved more than 60,000 acres of prime desert habitat in National Parks, wilderness areas and wildlife linkage corridors.
Fulcrum Arts empowers artists to invent, inspire, and provoke. They provide resources and opportunities for artists, collectives, and independent arts organizations to advance their visions and contribute to a vibrant, challenging, and inclusive creative community
JT LAB LEAD ARTIST
Working closely with senior park staff, artist Rebecca Lowry leads mission assistive projects and provides creative assistance for Joshua Tree National Park and other units of the National Park Service. These collaborative efforts develop innovative solutions to both new and stubborn issues. Lowry, along with JT Lab’s other creative collaborators, acts as a creative problem solver, contributing ideas to any aspect of park management in which a new outlook is desired.
Parks Lowry has worked with include: Grand Canyon National Park, Craters of the Moon National Monument, Olympic National Park, Lava Beds National Monument, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Cesar E. Chavez National Monument, Sequoia National Park, and Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park.