In some ways, this is a story of numbers. It’s the 18th edition of the Highway 62 Open Studios Art Tours, wherein something like 125 artists open their doors across three weekends in October — two of which still lie ahead: October 12-13 and October 19-20. Just 130 miles from L.A., the string of towns along the route from Morongo Valley through Pioneertown and Joshua Tree to 29 Palms claim a huge population of creative independent souls, and there’s no better time to meet them.

Cindy Weinstein

Not every artist or art space is open all day or both weekend days — but the website has a gloriously useful online schedule that sorts artists by the kind of work they do, where along the route they live/work/show, what dates they’ll be open, an interactive map, and a downloadable catalog that has it all summed up. Print versions of the catalog are available too, for the collector sort, which is of course, who they most hope will make the trek up Hwy 62.

Joshua Tree Open Studios (Hwy 62 Art Tours)

Artists, galleries, foundations and other spontaneous venues include hubs like the Yucca Valley Art Center, Noah Purifoy Foundation, 29 Palms Art Gallery, Joshua Tree Art Gallery and more. For example, Boxo Projects (host of the occasional Joshua Treenial micro-land art festival) has a Saturday, October 12 closing reception for their current artist in residence, Elie Hirtle; and a new exhibition from Aaron Sheppard opening on October 19.

Elie Hirtle at Boxo Projects

HeyThere Projects closes their current show by Claire Loder and Arianne Vielmetter on October 11, and somehow by the next day, October 12, they open a new group show What Have I Begun? featuring Kyle Field, Jason Holley, and Viven Mildenberger, and celebrate with a special performance by Little Wings.

FYSA: October 10-13 is also this year’s Joshua Tree Music Festival, so if you’re going this weekend, get on that AirBNB situation asap.

Hwy 62 Open Studios Art Tours

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Aaron Sheppard at Boxo Projects

Arianne Vielmetter and Claire Loder at HeyThere Projects

Dianne Bennett

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