1 minute read
Seeking Jesus? Religious pilgrimage or art lover, discover Desert Christ Park, a desert sculpture garden at Coachella Valley featuring 40 biblical sculptures. Let’s explore this unusual meditative attraction.
A brief history
Sculptor Antoine Martin started his artwork in Inglewood in 1949-1950. Concerned by the atomic war, he carved statues to bring peace among people. He declared in the Los Angeles Times: “Civilization will certainly go down beneath atomic destruction unless the religious people of the world get together. My statues may bring mankind together before we are obliterated completely.”
His first statue, the “resurrected Christ” was supposed to stand on the rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. When governmental officials rejected his project (separation between the state and the religion), he looked for a new place for this “unwanted Christ.”
Reverend Garver welcome the statue on Easter 1951. The transportation from Inglewood to the Yucca Valley of this ten-foot-high Jesus bring media attention and attracted many onlookers.
Photo credit: Life Magazine
Antoine Martin moved to the park to create more statues. Over ten years, he added 37 artworks using the desert as his canvas.
Desert Christ Park today
Unfortunately, the park has been deteriorated over the years by the 7.3 Landers earthquake, vandalism, and personal query between the sculptor and the reverend.
The Desert Christ Park Foundation is currently operating and maintaining the park.
Stroll over the arid garden to discover sculptures, flora, and fauna. Sculptures highlight some charters of Jesus’ life like the last supper or Christ’s ascension.
Located on a hilltop, enjoy the panoramic view over the Yucca Valley.
Besides, the site includes a church and an outdoor stage hosting masses, weddings, and other celebrations.
In my opinion: Desert Christ Park is an unusual, quiet and relaxing park to visit. Add it to your bucket list if you’re visiting the Yucca Valley.
Article based on my visit in 2021
Will you visit Desert Christ Park? Share in comments!
*COVD-19 update as of August 2021*
- Please wear a mask and respect physical distancing by 6 feet.
- Please review health and safety protocols before visiting.
- Location: 56200 Sunnyslope Drive, Yucca Valley, CA 92284
- Hours: From sunrise to sunset
- Admission: Free. Donations accepted.
- Duration: 30 minutes
- Parking: free on-site lot
- More information available at https://www.desertchristpark.org/about-desert-christ-park
If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment and share it with an art lover.