There are some things you’d expect to find in the Southern California desert. Sand dunes or cacti, for example, would be common suspects, as would a tranquil palm tree oasis or a roadrunner making tracks across the desert floor. Other things, like dinosaurs, saber-toothed tigers and sea serpents, might take you by surprise, though. But sculptures of these creatures and more call the desert town of Borrego Springs home at Galleta Meadows Estate, an outdoor art gallery filled with metal art installations.
The sky art gallery was the brainchild of Dennis Avery (of the same Avery family of adhesive label fame), who thought the flat lands and clear, bright skies of his three-square-mile property in Borrego Springs would be the perfect backdrop for an outdoor sculpture garden. He commissioned local artist Ricardo Brecera to weld a collection that would tell the desert’s history, from its prehistoric dwellers to Native Americans and farm workers.
Today, more than 120 metal sculptures sit in this area of the Southern California desert. Everything from elephants and raptors to gold miners and ancient tribal leaders dot the desert surrounding this small town. You don’t even have to stop by Galleta Meadows Estate proper to catch a glimpse of these metal creations — sky art installations line the roads both north and south of town, so you can spot camels, tortoises and sloths as you simply drive through town.
Avery wanted to release the gallery as public art, so the installations remain free for visitors to enjoy. This somewhat urban safari can be enjoyed from the road, though you may want to park alongside the streets to snap a few pictures and admire these incredible creations up close. Learn more about the gallery on the Galleta Meadows Estate website, and map out your visit with this handy illustration of Borrego Springs. While you plan your trip to the Southern California desert to experience this sky art collection in person, get a better idea of what awaits you with the photos below.
(Main image: cloudchaser32000)