Arts Academy Students take Top Honors at 29 Palms Art Gallery

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ABOVE PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured with her instructor Darlene Morris, Heavenly Hughes won 1st Place, Drawing — Junior High School Division.

JOSHUA TREE — The esteemed 29 Palms Art Gallery held a reception and awards presentation for its 2016 Annual Juried Students’ Art Show on January 17th.  Student artists in Junior and Senior High School throughout the Morongo Basin were invited to present their two and three-dimensional art in competition for ribbon and cash awards, as well as participation in the gallery’s new art show running through January 31st.  In the Hi-Desert Arts Academy Program’s inaugural first full academic year, its new art students drew much praise — taking top honors and painting a picture of the future success in store for the program.

It was an honor for our students to be invited to participate in the 29 Palms Art Gallery’s student show.  For many of them, this is their first time receiving guided instruction with a planned curriculum, and their enthusiasm for learning is simply wonderful.Darlene Morris, Hi-Desert Arts Academy Instructor
1st-Place-Winner-High-SchoolNathanael Duhon won 1st Place, Drawing – Senior High School Division.
The Hi-Desert Arts Academy Program currently offers three weekly art classes under the tutelage of artist and instructor Darlene Morris, and 12 pieces of art from the Academy’s student body were selected to participate in steep competition at the 29 Palms Art Gallery’s student art show — organized by the Gallery’s Curator Rhonda Coleman and Education Coordinator Ed Keesling.  Amid exceptional art presented from students and schools throughout the region, Hi-Desert Arts Academy Program students garnered four awards for their work: Nathanael Duhon (1st Place, Drawing – Senior High School Division), Heavenly Hughes (1st Place, Drawing – Jr. High School Division), Thomas Brune (2nd Place, Drawing – Jr. High School Division), and Sage Ortega (Honorable Mention, Drawing – Jr. High School Division).  Other exemplary art was present from Arts Academy students Caleb Anderson, Rebekah Billings, Oscar Gutierrez, Caitlin Praxel, and Savanna Unzicker.

The Hi-Desert Arts Academy Program is an arts educational program created by the joint efforts of the Hi-Desert Cultural Center and Hope Academy Charter School.  While classes are included as part of the Hope Academy school’s free curriculum, students attending the classes include those from many of the area’s Morongo Unified School District schools as well as public/private charter and home-schooled students.



For more information about the Hi-Desert Arts Academy visual and performing arts programs, visit or contact


For more information about the 29 Palms Art Gallery, visit or contact the gallery at





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