About the Borrego Art Institute


The following article by Board Member Martha Deichler appeared in the Borrego Sun, June 2018.


If it ends in “ing” then it is probably happening at the Borrego Art Institute (BAI): creating, teaching, mentoring, cooking, growing, harvesting, painting, hiring, training, supporting, amazing!

The rich tentacles that reach out and encompass the BAI, a 501(c)(3), are far reaching and all inclusive. Components include  Pottery,  ArtFarm,  KidsArt Program,  Art Gallery and  Kesling’s Kitchen. What these have in common is their ability to  bring out the creativity in our local Borregans and  offer our community an inspirational rallying hub around the universal language of artistry, personal expression and opportunity.  The BAI works passionately to  encourage and foster the creative genius of gardeners, artists, potters, painters and culinary artists - from the ages of 5 and up!

KidsArt projects adorn the walls of Kesling’s Kitchen reflecting the hours Leslie Duncan spends planning and implementing her incredible art program at Borrego Springs Elementary School. Unabashed young artists  are given opportunities to grow and create and express. As these youngsters move to the Middle School, they often become part of the After School Photography Club, also supported by funding and expertise from the BAI.  A number of our High School students are being mentored by artists within the Gallery during after school classes and demonstrations. Some of their work adorns the walls of the Gallery and the impact of seeing their drawings  hanging next to that of professionals is huge!

Creativity comes in many forms. Ask Borrego High Schooler, Isamar,  who works in Kesling’s Kitchen as part of the school district’s Workability Program. Isamar is learning the art of setting a table, serving, greeting and presentation.  Kesling’s is changing young lives one at a time by offering employment opportunities and training to many of our young people. Chef Tom Hildebrandt’s   Summer Internship Program invites Middle School students to intern in the restaurant to familiarize them with the world of work  and build capacity among these young folks to become creative members of the hospitality business one day should they so choose.

Marina, a local mother of 3 and a passionate baker, was the first employee hired by Kesling’s Kitchen two years ago. Her home-grown talents, combined with the possibility of advancement, soon had her not only baking fabulous desserts but also working as kitchen manager. Like her scrumptious rising dough, she’s a rising star and Marina relishes the thought of further training and schooling to perfect her skills. Locating and supporting local talent is of paramount importance to the survival of our families, our schools and our community.

From the KidsArt to the Gallery to the Kitchen, our young people and young families are finding their talents, their interests, their voices and are being offered rich opportunities to grow with the BAI. As the ArtFarm nears completion and the Pottery moves from the High School to the BAI, our students and families will have even more opportunities to participate and become a part of the creative hub that is the Borrego Art Institute.

“That’s just another place for the old people in Borrego Springs to hang out”, sighed one Borrego Springs High School student disparagingly 3 years ago as the BAI was being constructed. He won’t be saying that this week as he sits down in Kesling’s Kitchen for a delicious complimentary breakfast for all graduating seniors. Thank you Chefs Tom and Pam and thank you, BAI.

A Note from our President 

Jim Wermers

Thanks for your interest in the Borrego Art Institute! We hope you are intrigued with what you find here and that you have the chance to personally visit us, right in the heart of Borrego Springs at Christmas Circle. Our organization has grown thanks to dedicated and talented people who have enthusiastically joined in our efforts to showcase and promote the arts and art education in our community. Our volunteers, supporters, and members are a vibrant and generous group, sharing a unique vision and sense of purpose. The BAI is truly a grassroots effort, authentically representing the hearts, minds, spirits, and skills of remarkable visionaries, eager to make a difference and inspire lives through the arts. We welcome you to browse, take a workshop or class, ask questions, and enjoy a distinctive meal in our restaurant. Please come join us!

Our Mission:

We inspire lives by providing an expansive platform for artistic expressions.

We believe that inspiring lives is what artists and the arts do for us. Inspired lives are happier, more fulfilling. When we are inspired, we are at our best.

We believe that people get excited when they are exposed to a variety of art forms. Imaginations soar higher -- the thrill of artistic discovery excites the spirit.

We believe that artistic surprise is one of life’s most delightful elements. That is the gift of art – an insight to unexpected points of view. Surprising artistic discoveries are good for all of us.

We believe the Borrego Art Institute is a vital community asset, providing space and a beautiful sense of place for sharing artistic endeavors and exploring what art can teach us.

Come join us!

Feel Inspired

The Gallery is a shining renovation of a 68-year old local landmark, a prime example of the new wave of California-modern architects.  Step inside, and you’ll be inspired by open space, beautiful views, and art – lots of art. Look around and be intrigued by the artists’ visions and discover your own inspiration.

Get Excited

Get involved! There are plenty of volunteer opportunities here, from planning monthly show openings to taking care of the desk, hanging shows, and gardening at The ArtFarm. Take classes or a workshop. Join our membership!

Be Surprised

Delight in new discoveries. Visit The Gallery,  The ArtFarm, and The Pottery to see the latest exhibits, endeavors and plans. Come to a show opening and enjoy meeting artists and kindred spirits. And be scrumptiously surprised at Kesling's Kitchen, our on-site restaurant. Enjoy distinctive wood-fired pizzas, salads, and other items starring fresh produce grown right out back in The ArtFarm.

Inspiration. Excitement. Surprise. All right here, conveniently located In the middle of nowhere.

Open Thursday - Sunday 10 am - 4 pm
Closed on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.

© Borrego Art institute 2021

Borrego Art Institute is a 501 (c) 3

not-for-profit corporation


Borrego Art Institute

665 Palm Canyon Drive, at Christmas Circle

Borrego Springs, CA 92004

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 2383

Borrego Springs, CA 92004

Phone: (760) 767.5152
Email: gallery@borregoartinstitute.org

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