Kóan Jeff Baysa is a the Creative Director of Hawaii Biennial Foundation. Born and raised in Hawaii, he is an international curator, writer, Whitney Museum ISP Curatorial Alumnus, and AICA member who networks the areas of medical science and contemporary culture. A UCSF-trained doctor, he has a translational medicine practice that embraces neuroscience and social media, focusing on health perception, acculturation, sustainability, and access by the differently enabled to creative experiences. As a physician and curator, he brings together the cultures of science, design, and disruptive technology. He has curated numerous exhibitions globally in Dubai, Zagreb, Beijing, Hanoi, Santiago and lectured at MoMA, the Philips Collection, the Krasnow Institute, and the United Nations. He is a board member of several arts organizations in NY and LA, the Chief Strategy Officer for the Institute for Art and Olfaction, and the Chief Medical Officer for Medical Avatar.
Bernard Leibov is the founder and Director of BoxPROJECTS, a residency and programming initiative based in Joshua Tree, CA. Prior to moving to California, Bernard was Deputy Director of Judd Foundation in New York. He also operated a non-traditional gallery space in New York which featured artists from Joshua Tree and other non-urban areas. Bernard has a background in brand strategy as well as finance, has served on the Board of Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce and a working team member of Transition Joshua Tree.
The Joshua Treenial is a weekend of art, installations, performances and community building which highlight all that Joshua Tree inspires and makes possible.
Co-Curated/Co-Founded by KJ Baysa and Bernard Leibov (see bios below)
Joshua Tree as Laboratory
BoxoPROJECTS, HQ for the Joshua Treenial, is dedicated to contemporary art at the new frontier. In a locational sense, Joshua Tree is that frontier. A place which is foregoing generic development and fighting to maintain its unique eclectic character. People come to Joshua Tree/the desert called by the sense of freedom and possibility – a place with open minds, open spaces and a low cost of living where one can tackle that project/passion/way of life that was elusive elsewhere. There is a supportive community of like-minded individuals all working on their particular aspirations. Not all projects succeed – there are many half-realized, unrealized or broken dreams strung through the physical and psychic landscape.
Joshua Tree/the desert is a microcosm of world issues – the environment: water, renewable energy, permaculture; the military; politics; social development; financial sustainability; spirituality. It is a laboratory where one can get close up to the issues, examine them and take actions which have impact. It is an atmosphere in which artists are welcomed and their input into problem solving is sought.
Lastly, the desert is a place that promotes awareness – the space, the light, the temperatures, the low density populations and minimal infrastructure provide endless lessons that make one aware of one’s impact on self/community/the environment." --Bernard Leibov