By Katie Nartonis

“I thought to myself that there must be a lot of other artists out here like me that don’t paint desert landscapes.” – Laurel Seidl

he Glass Outhouse Art Gallery is a not-for-profit arts organization and gallery space located minutes from 29 Palms and the Joshua Tree National Park 29 Palms entrance. The site features multiple art galleries featuring the work of local desert artists that changes monthly. The surrounding land also includes walking paths that wander through a very unique property populated with unusual outdoor art installations and found objects.

Privately owned and run by long-time desert resident and artist Laurel Siedl, she started the project over 16 years ago. Booked with artists through the end of 2024, the galleries show 9 or 10 artists at once and are well-appointed, showing the art in good light and surprisingly spacious conditions, noting that they are in former rabbit barns. The only requirement for the artists that show is that they need to do their own advertising (Seidl does not own a cell phone or a computer) and they must bring food for the monthly artist’s reception. She does not charge a hanging fee or a commission to show the art. Donations, Seidl notes, go toward the free cold drinks, the tootsie pops, and the “high quality” toilet paper featured in the glass outhouses on site. It is truly a labor of love, “I don’t make any money at it,” she admits, “But, I love talking to people. It keeps me 79 years young!”

Laurel greets visitors warmly, surrounded by her coterie of semi-feral cats and kittens and her small lap dog. A native Californian, Seidl grew up in the Bay Area and settled in the high desert full time in 1982 with her late (third) husband.

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She recalls that, “The first time we came down here in ’75, we came down for Thanksgiving. My husband-to-be was a machinist and I was working for Levi’s. And we were both walking up this road – and I stopped him and said, “Listen!” It was so quiet it ‘almost made your head dizzy.’ And then we turned around and saw that view! I just knew this is where I had to be. We decided we would build, and so we bought this land from my folks as a wedding present.” Not long after they were married, Seidl’s husband traded a shotgun for two goats. After much hilarity ensued, they mastered the milking process and her husband started making and selling goat cheese and goat milk. The rabbit farm followed soon after.

Siedl notes that she started The Glass Outhouse when a local gallery in town would take her dues, but then not allow her to show her work. She recalls that, “At that particular time, all they wanted was desert landscapes for the tourism trade. And it pissed me off that they would take my money and not show my work. I thought to myself that there must be a lot of artists out here that don’t paint desert landscapes.” Seidl figured she was paying taxes on the buildings, and they should be used. She turned the former rabbit barns into gallery space.

Naturally outgoing, she interacts warmly with the many visitors from all over the country (and the world) who visit. She has been written up in Smithsonian Magazine as a not-to-be-missed roadside attraction along with other international publications. Don’t miss this unique spot right in our backyard!


The Glass Outhouse:

77575 29 Palms Hwy, Twentynine Palms Highway

Open 1pm-5pm, Tuesday thru Saturday. Closed Sunday

Phone: 760-367-3807

On the first Saturday of every month, the Glass Outhouse is open for live music and the artist’s reception from 5pm-9pm. Donations are accepted, and especially encouraged for the live band.

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