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Desert Lady Diaries

Jul 21, 2020

Janis Commentz is a southern California native who grew up near the coast and began drawing and painting early in life. As the daughter of an artist, she was surrounded by art materials and enjoyed trips to galleries and museums, as well as seasonal trips to Laguna Beach and Carmel.

Commentz moved to the Mojave Desert in 1977 to teach art and English at Sky High School, now Black Rock High School. At the University of Redlands, she earned a B.A. in art and English and studied printmaking with John Nava, well-known for his tapestries at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. She holds an M.A. in Education from California State University at San Bernardino, facilitated life drawing in Joshua Tree sessions in Joshua Tree for nearly a decade and teaches art classes at the 29 Palms Art Gallery, field classes for the Joshua Tree National Park Desert Institute, and painting retreats at the Campbell House in 29 Palms.

She has exhibited at Gallery 62, Joshua Tree Art Gallery, the Purple Agave, Rainbow Stew, and the 29 Palms Art Gallery in the Morongo Basin, T.E. Studios in Riverside, and the Redlands Art Association, Redlands.

Commentz participated in the Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours (ten seasons), Joshua Tree National Park Juried Art Exposition (six years), Joshua Tree National Park Spring Art Festival, Art Faire at California State University at San Bernardo and Art For Heaven's Sake, Redlands. In 2013, she helped create the “Pop Up” Art Gallery in Joshua Tree, Six Chicks, which evolved into Gallery 62. Commentz served as Gallery Director for Gallery 62 during 2016.  She has been the featured artist at the Glass Outhouse Art Gallery and the 29 Palms Art Gallery.

Janis Commentz blogs on her website at