Copper Mountain College Students Show in Photography Exhibition

    October 12, 2009

    JOSHUA TREE, Ca –Copper Mountain College in Joshua Tree will present a student photography exhibition entitled Water in the Desert on October 22, in Bruce’s Coyote Kitchen beginning at 4 p.m.

    Student contestants were asked to interpret the show’s theme of the existence of water in desert environments in their own personal ways. This included forms of naturally occurring water found in the desert, such as oases, desert streams, pools, thunderstorms, flash floods, etc. as well as how water can be used or conserved. Water in the Desert features 26 college students that are showing a total of 38 prints. The students are from both Copper Mountain College and Mt. San Jacinto College.

    The jurors considered artistic merit and how well the photographs addressed the theme in selecting this well-balanced and diversified group of images for exhibition. First Place winner is Anthony Martinez for “Serene”; Second Place winner is Copper Mountain College student Melissa Spurr for “Snows of San Jacinto”; and the Third Place winner is Jason Conaway for “Explore Dead Serenity”. The three jurors for the show were: Spelman Evans Downer, Assistant Professor, Copper Mountain College; Keith Hanz, Assistant Professor, Mt. San Jacinto Community College; Lisa Tucker, MFA.

    This competition and exhibition has been underwritten by the generous corporate support of Cadiz Inc, a water and agricultural company with its main base of operations in the Mojave Desert at the settlement of Cadiz in San Bernardino County.

    The company has provided three cash prizes of $2000, $1500, and $1000 for first, second, and third place award winners. Next, the company has paid for both the digital archival printing of all the selected images as well as professional framing. All handling, transportation, and shipping costs, including the return of the framed prints to the students has been provided by Cadiz Inc. The contest was free to enter for any college student enrolled in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties during the fall 2008 and spring 2009 semesters.

    The exhibition will be touring four different venues over the next year and a half. The places and dates are as follows:

    •    Copper Mountain College, October 22 to December 16, 2009. Opening reception is Thursday October 22 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:45 pm in Bruce’s Coyote Kitchen. This show is also part of the events taking place during the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council annual Highway 62 Art Tour for 2009.

    •    University of California Riverside, Palm Desert Graduate Center, January 8 to February 19, 2010.

    •    Mt. San Jacinto Community College, April 5-23, 2010.

    •    High Desert Nature Museum, Yucca Valley, 1st week of January 2011 to the 1st week of March.

    In addition, the full multimedia exhibition of all photographs is viewable online at For further information please contact Lesley Thornburg at or Spelman Evans Downer at or 760 366 3791 ext 0228. For general information regarding Copper Mountain College visit us at or call 760.366.3791.