Desert Reflections Exhibit at the High Desert Museum

Photo by David Fulmer

Are you curious about how the powerful forces of water have shaped the American West’s high desert regions? Then check out an original exhibit at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon, running through September 29. “Desert Reflections: Water Shapes the West” weaves together science, history, art and contemporary issues, such as resource consumption, Indigenous sovereignty and climate change, to explore the role of water in the region’s past, present and future.

The exhibit approaches the subject by examining three different basins in the region—the Mid-Columbia River Basin, Great Salt Lake Basin and Klamath Basin. In addition to the discussion of the complexities of water management, Desert Reflections will connect visitors to the significance of water through various mediums, including visual art, music, dance and spoken word. The High Desert Museum commissioned artwork from four Pacific Northwest artists for the exhibition from visual art alongside the Museum’s stream to large-scale art pieces inside the Museum.

“Water is a highly valuable and finite resource that permeates every aspect of our shared history,” said Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “Desert Reflections is a collaboration among not just our curators but many artists and experts throughout our region, uniting to share with visitors a dynamic, textured narrative on the many ways water touches all of our lives in the high desert.”

For more information about the exhibition and related programming, visit Plan your visit to Central Oregon at