Situated in the hills of the Mojave desert, the High Desert Observatory functions as an education space, art studio and gallery. We offer workshops for all ages with a focus on sustainable craft, art and aromatics. We believe in the importance of hands-on experiential learning and multi-sensory art.
Staff + Instructors
Michael Endo is an artist and curator originally from Portland, Oregon. He earned an MFA in painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan, in 2009 and a BA from Portland State University, Oregon, in 2005. His studio work has been included in national and international exhibitions at venues such as The National Glass Centre (Sunderland, UK), Disjecta (Portland, Oregon), Yuan Yuan Art Center (Jinan, China), and Bullseye Projects (Portland, Oregon and Mamaroneck, New York). Michael is currently the curator at Bullseye Projects, organizing exhibitions in Portland, Oregon; Emeryville, California; Mamaroneck, New York; and Latheronwheel, Scotland. He also co-founded Dust to Dust, a curatorial project that started in 2018 with artist Emily Endo. In 2019, Endo moved to Yucca Valley, California where he is the co-director of High Desert Observatory and partner in the Yucca Valley Material Lab, a studio and residency founded by artist Heidi Schwegler.
In addition to his curatorial and studio practices, he is a frequent lecturer and teaches classes at all levels. Recent course venues include Bild-Werk Frauenau Academy (Frauenau, DE), Pilchuck Glass School (Standwood, WA), Urban Glass (Brooklyn, NY), Pittsburgh Glass Center (Pittsburgh, PA), Northlands Creative Glass (Lybster, UK), Portland Community College (Portland, OR), and Oregon College of Art and Craft (Portland, OR).
Emily Endo (née Nachison) was born and raised in San Diego, California. She received a BFA in fiber from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2006 and a MFA in fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2010. Emily served as a faculty member at the Oregon College of Art and Craft from 2010-2018 and as the Chair of the OCAC Fibers Department from 2013-2018. From 2010 - 2018 she worked as a mentor and committee member in the Pacific Northwest College of Art and Oregon College of Art and Craft Applied Craft + Design MFA program. Emily has worked with students of all ages and abilities - from 2010 - 2012 she taught visual arts classes at PHAME Academy for adults with developmental disabilities and children’s wilderness survival and craft classes at Trackers NW.
Emily has exhibited and lectured internationally at venues such as the Scottish Glass Art Society (Glasgow, UK), The Byre (Latheronwheel, UK), the Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland, OR), the American Craft Council (Minneapolis, MN), Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR), and the Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY). Her work has been featured in American Craft Magazine, Interior Design Magazine, Art Ltd. Magazine and Frontrunner Magazine. In addition to her studio and teaching practice Emily runs Out of Range, an independent fragrance line.
IO Endo runs our hospitality division. She enjoys snacks and sunbathing.