California artist, Alita VanVliet is known for her bold acrylic paintings, ink illustrations and block prints. VanVliet’s works are strong, deep, and soulful, with a real personal energy that clearly evokes an appreciation and connection to nature. Using an expressive stylized approach she creates work that is rich in color, texture, and luminosity. She resides in Joshua Tree, a unique southern California high desert enclave known for its national park and vibrant art community. Originally from Northern California, she was lured to the area in 2010. By late 2012 she was calling Joshua Tree home. Having sources for her subjects literally outside her back door, the artist works out of her studio overlooking the open desert, the park and the village below. An award winning artist, her desert landscapes, florals and architectural scenes have been exhibited in galleries throughout the southwest and sold to both national and international collectors. She is a regular on the Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours and in galleries in Joshua Tree and Palm Springs.
VanVliet’s interest and studies in art began at a very early age growing up in a family supportive of the arts. Her father was an architect, potter and instructor and the tools to create were all around her. Her structured studies include many forms of art from painting, illustration, and jewelry to fashion and landscape design. She holds two formal design degrees. Her work is ever evolving and as she finds more time, she focuses on combining her passion for travel with her passion to create. Packing her art supplies, her recent artistic wanderings have taken her to Costa Rica, France, New Mexico, Arizona and Hawaii and her artistic mediums have expanded into ink, watercolor and block printing. Feeling the need to express on a creative level is a driving force and a big part of what defines her life and with that comes growth and opportunity to continue to live the life of an artist.
Her deep passion for her surroundings, for the arts and for the community goes beyond the studio. She was honored to serve as a juror on the 2016 JTNP Art Expo selection committee and was a guest artist for the Joshua Tree Art Innovation Laboratory series, held in, and sponsored by the National Park in 2016-17. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council, managing exhibits, developing and heading up the council’s cooperative gallery in Joshua Tree from 2013-14, and directing the Art Tours from 2014-2015.
I create art that combines abstraction and figuration, geometry and flowing images with organic textures and layered semitransparent color. My designs are influenced by plants, rock formations, ancient rock art, Nature Gods, and the Earth Goddess.
Since moving here in 1997 from Arizona the energy of the Mojave Desert has influenced my approach to art. My colors have become brighter and multi-dimensional. I have been creating interesting textures using hot glue overlaid with semitransparent color and I also incorporate natural materials like plants and sand. Hiking in Joshua Tree National Park is always an inspiration for new ideas.
The Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization whose mission is to inspire and enliven the community through the arts, and to enhance the cultural and economic health of the region. Building community through the arts, the Arts Council continues to be a leading source of information, inspiration and energy for artists and patrons throughout the Morongo Basin and beyond.
The Art in Public Places program organized by the Arts Council to allow its members the opportunity to show their artwork at a variety of public venues throughout the Morongo Basin, including here at the 29 Palms Inn restaurant.
For more information visit www.mbcac.org