Bearded & Shucked: Droppin' a Deuce
2nd Annual Mermaid Parade in the Desert
Joshua Tree, CA 2017 
Artist Aaron Sheppard recently hosted the second 
annual Bearded & Shucked Mermaid Day Parade, 
in honor of the Coney Island tradition. Sheppard 
(Joshua Tree) and Erin Stellmon (Baltimore), both 
former Las Vegans, collaborated on last year’s first 
procession through Joshua Tree, California, and 
shared their memories of Coney Island and the 
parade with Settlers + NomadsMikayla Whitmore 
participated in this year’s event and contributed 
this gorgeous photo essay documenting the festivities:
Desert rats flocked to the sand in Joshua 
Tree, California, transformed into sea-loving 
creatures for a day of marching on scorched 
earth followed by rounds of mud wrestling and 
Later, long after the sun had fallen away, a 
fellow mermaid glistening in the moonlight 
washed off the mud caked to his body while 
sitting in an inflatable pool and proclaimed, 
“After a night of many answers I only am left 
with questions. I’ve tasted the God’s blood. 
I sipped the sweet disaronno of this land – 
he put it in my cold brew. I bathed in the 
sweet pool of the mermaid horde.” And with 
that, the once bedazzled mermaid stood before 
us a mere man, and together we shed our 
personas and removed sun-baked makeup, only 
left to dream about the same day, next year.
-Settlers + Nomads
 Summer 2017 Exhibitions and Events

all photographs by Mikayla Whitmore

BS#2 featured Mer-Mud Wrestling by Frankie Orr

AND included the grand opening of La Matadora Gallery in Joshua Tree with its first exhibition, Mermaids + Matadoras! which the parade itself was part of