Anne Lear’s first experience with desert was a a young girl. Growing up in Los Angeles, Anne and her family made many trips to 29 Palms to visit her uncle, Bob Lear, a homesteader in the 1930’s. If Lear Avenue rings a bell, that road was named after Uncle Bob. This photo shows Anne, left, with Uncle Bob.
In this episode we’ll first learn how it was that Anne’s uncle came to be living in 29 Palms, which resulted in Anne coming to retire in the desert. Anne says as a child, there was nothing really interesting to do on these trips other than looking for rocks with one of the neighbor boys.
Anne credits two ladies for inspiring her to be an artist. Her mother – a teacher and artist herself – who would bribe Anne to finish homework or house chores with the reward of some kind of art-making equipment. Another inspiration was the Catholic school teacher who held up the students artwork for the entire class to see.
Anne shares the background of her teaching education, her learning the art of collage and serving as a chaperone for one her students on a trip to NYC.
In 1993, after 43 years of teaching – it was time to decide where she would retire. Having access to property with a prepared art studio, Anne decided she would retire in 29 Palms, on her uncle’s property.
Anne participated in two of the very first Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours and has also participated in the last three most recent tours. It wasn’t until she went on the tours herself that she realized how many artists are in the Morongo Basin. She notes desert artists are very quiet about their work and the lack of criticism leads to enhanced freedom and experimentation in their work.
Anne feels there is no reason to be isolated in the desert. If folks are feeling lonely, Anne recommends volunteering, stating, “Everyone needs a volunteer”. Not long after moving to the desert, Anne began volunteering at the 29 Palms Art Gallery and has been a member for over 26 years.
You can see Anne’s work at her website: http://www.annelearartist.com/