Embedded Art Professional
Working closely with senior park staff, artist Rebecca Lowry will create new, mission assistive projects for Joshua Tree National Park and Mojave National Preserve. This collaborative effort will develop innovative solutions to both new and stubborn issues. Lowry will also function as a creative problem solver, contributing ideas to any aspect of park management in which a new outlook is desired.
Rebecca Lowry is an artist who splits her time between Los Angeles and Twentynine Palms. She holds degrees in art history and architecture from Boston University and Harvard University. She has a conceptually driven art practice and teaches at Otis College of Art and Design. Lowry has worked independently with National Parks since 2013. Her work has been shown both in the US and Europe.
Homo sapiens x
Completed by Lowry in 2015, Hsx consists of a series of five exhibits designed to resemble typical NPS signage. Presenting subspecies of Joshua Tree National Park visitors from a natural history point of view, the work addresses important issues of public safety and best practices with a touch of humor. Work is currently underway to create two additional exhibits that address new issues, one of which is the mortality rate of desert tortoises due to increasing traffic levels in the park. Exhibits will be permanently installed in 2017.
StarCount is a project Lowry developed for Joshua Tree National Park’s annual night sky festival. Its aim is to address the issue of light pollution. Prominent, low-tech “celestoscopes” are placed in high visibility areas as part of a mock science experiment to study visible stars, treating them as an endangered species. During the festival, astronomers come by nightly to take counts of stars and visitors can record counts themselves. Additional information about light pollution is available from free posters attached to the devices.
Cottonwood Visitor Center Design Development Guidelines
Joshua Tree National Park is currently in the design phase for a new visitor center at it's historic Mission 66 Cottonwood District. JT Lab was asked to collaborate with park staff in analyzing the existing historic district and producing a set of guidelines for design architects to follow in order to maintain the minimal, midcentury modern character of this remote desert outpost.
Silver Bell Mine is an historic site within Joshua Tree National Park. Two notable structures remain from its heyday as an operational mine: large heavy timber ore bins, or "tipples". The timbers at the base of both were experiencing rot and required replacement. Due to difficult hillside access through wilderness, tools and materials were required to be transported to and from the site by helicopter. The tipples themselves were raised up on jacks, squared, and the timbers replaced with new wood wherever necessary. Efforts were made to retain as much original material as possible, including historic hardware.
JT Lab was asked to document the process of the Silver Bell Mine tipple reconstruction. In doing so, we generated three types of photos. Documentary photographs, intended primarily for reference, Interpretive photographs, that tell the story of the preservation work, and Conceptual photographs that tell a more fundamental conceptual story of time: exploring relationships between new and old, technology, weathering and change.
As Joshua Tree National Park becomes an ever more popular place to visit, park administrators anticipate an increase in staff to meet the growing demands of the park and visitors. JT Lab was asked to do an analysis of existing work space at its park headquarters district and to make proposals to increase efficiency in space use and accommodation for it's growing staff.