The Barstow area may be in the middle of the Mojave Desert, but arts & culture abound. From ancient petroglyphs to murals depicting Barstow’s history to a variety of performing arts, you can find it in and around Barstow.
Located between Superior and Water Valleys, northwest of Barstow, the Black Mountain Rock Art District contains an extensive concentration of petroglyphs. These “rock art” engravings were put here by Native Americans over the past 12,000 years using stone tools. Other images, called pictographs, were made by applying mineral substances to the rock surface. Pictographs are relatively rare compared to an estimated 12,000 petroglyphs in the district sites.
Main St. Murals
Downtown Barstow is home to “Main Street Murals.” a nonprofit organization set up by Barstow resident Juliette Tison to create a walking gallery of historic murals along Route 66’s last-existing Main Street. They invite you to explore their growing gallery of murals both in person and online at www.mainstreetmurals.com.
Live performances are found in many shapes and forms, thanks to our plentiful number of schools, churches and youth groups. At almost any time of the year you can find some type of entertainment from Stars of the Desert Youth Theatre Group, The Callboard Performing Arts Club at Barstow College, and the many dance studios found in Barstow.
Add to that appearances by Barstow’s school bands, choral groups and orchestras, a community jazz band and various local bands and singers who perform at the many events that are held (Relay for Life, the Community Recognition Awards, the Annual Fourth of July Extravaganza, and the Miss Barstow Pageant) and you’re never far from entertainment. And let’s not forget that Barstow has one of few surviving drive-in theatres in existence in Southern California, the Skyline Drive-In with two screens and first-run movies at a very reasonable price.
The Barstow Art Guild is a group of dedicated artists who pay great attention to detail in their work. You can see some of the best of the bunch at several places in Barstow, including the Barstow Chamber of Commerce located at the Historic Harvey House, at the Mojave River Valley Museum, the Barstow Elks Lodge on West Main Street, and at the world famous Idle Spurs restaurant.