homestead cabins in the high desert

The homestead cabins that dot the wild desert landscape of Wonder Valley can provoke both curiosity and unease in the outsider, but to the residents of Wonder Valley they’re home. They connect us as a community.

The homesteads have featured prominently in my work. On this page you will find artworks, projects, and resources that explore the cultural legacy of the Small-Tract Homestead Act in Southern California’s high desert.

In an arid land the boundaries of the derelict homestead cabin are liquid, hanging between precipitance and dissolution. The cabin is a metaphor for disappearance in a land of disappearance, a land into which we fear, and sometimes long, that we ourselves might disappear.

– notes, Culver Center of the Arts/UC Riverside, 2013


  • Wonder Valley Homestead Cabin Festival organized with Wonder Valley Arts in February-March 2008
  • more about the 2008 Festival, events, and participants and posts exploring the cultural legacy of the Small-Track Act on Homestead Is Where the Art Is, the blog of the Cabin Festival
  • Jackrabbit Homestead: Kim Stringfellow’s web-based multimedia project includes me in free downloadable audio tour as well as in the book
  • text of presentation Home: Finding Our Place
  • The Pink Cabin – a story of disappearance (pdf)
  • artwork inspired by the homestead cabins




On paper or sandpaper. 2007-2015.

Learn more about the pastels on the Magicgroove blog.

Yellow Cabin Gallery

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Linen, cotton, ceramic, steel. 2008.

cabin/home gallery

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cabins from The Plan

Ink on Japanese papers. 2007.

Learn more about The Plan (pdf).

cabin gallery

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Additional Dimensions:

Disappearance and the Homesteads of the Mojave

Pastel on sandpaper. 2015-16.

Untitled Homestead (Violet-gray and Persimmon on Wheat) - C. Carraher 2016

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Chris Carraher in Magicgroove Studio 2008 by Kim Stringfellow
Chris Carraher in Magicgroove Studio 2008
(photo Kim Stringfellow)

more galleries…

Paint Gallery


Sand Gallery


Homestead Gallery