Artists put interior lives on canvas in new shows

Suzanne Ross shows her paintings at the 29 Palms Art Gallery during the Art Cruise event.

At 23 years old, Trevon “Von” Dinkens may be one of the youngest artists to score a solo show at the 29 Palms Art Gallery. His wildly colorful mixed-media acrylic and spray-paint creations fill the east wing of the gallery.

Family and friends came out in force to support Dinkens when the gallery celebrated the opening of his exhibition, “Sadness Within,” with a reception Saturday evening, May 4.

The event was part of Art Cruise 29 –– a night of exhibitions and gallery openings at the 29 Palms Art Gallery, the Glass Outhouse Art Gallery, Artomotive Gallery, the 29 Palms Creative Center and Gallery and the 29 Palms Visitor Center and Gallery.

Dinkens calls Palm Springs his home now, but he lived in Twentynine Palms for more than 17 years and graduated from Twentynine Palms High School.

He began painting to fight depression and calls his art a way to show himself to the world.

He worked on the paintings for about two years and proposed the exhibit after joining the art guild.

“Art has helped me with depression. It’s a great avenue to express yourself,” he said.

“Sadness Within” will continue through May 26 at the gallery, at 74055 Cottonwood Drive.

About five miles east another gallery, The Glass Outhouse, was also hosting an opening reception.

Featured artists Douglas O. Smith and Paula Long shared the front space of the gallery and showed abstract surrealist-inspired paintings.

Smith’s work included a series of paintings on a black background with a limited color palette of blue tones depicting shapes and paths across the canvases. 

“Everything was just really based on how I feel at the time,” Smith said. “People have said they look like neurons.”

Decorating each piece was a small splash of rainbow details.

“They’re happy,” said Smith. “Sometimes you just want to paint a rainbow.”

Long’s work was also based in surrealism but focused on deities and spirit guides.

Long said she has a guide and a lot of her work shows her guide in different scenes.

“They’re not gendered but they’ve been with me throughout my life,” Long said. 

In a room next door a group of artists, The Six Chicks, displayed their work. The Six Chicks are a group of Morongo Basin women who meet once a month to discuss their practices and give each other advice on pieces. While they all have different styles, they work together as a community for advice and support.

Members include Janice Commentz, who displayed large-scale portraits, Hiroko Momii, who displayed colorful, surreal landscapes, and Diana Shey Diehl, who displayed photo encaustics.

The exhibits at both galleries will continue to be displayed through May. The 29 Palms Art Gallery, located at 74055 Cottonwood Drive, is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The Glass Outhouse, at 77575 Twentynine Palms Highway, is open 1 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

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