Murray Nichol Coachella Valley desert road trip – Jump for joy!

Murray Nichol photographed by Eyoalha baker for Jump for Joy Photo Project and Palm Springs Cultural Center Artist Residency

Road trip! This was a fun filled full day adventure through the Coachella Valley. I know Murray and his husband Barrie from Vancouver, where they had jumped for joy with me before.

We stopped in many places along the way to appreciate the landscape and the innumerable amount of run down and abandoned buildings. Murray is kind, considerate and super playful so we all had a lot of fun together.

Get to know a little about Murray:
Q: What inspires you to jump for joy?
The weather, Mother Nature’s stunning geographical beauty, joyful (and inspirational) individuals, sports events.

Q: How was your experience doing the jumping photos?
While preparing to jump (and warming up my muscles), I felt the joy coursing through my veins! Jumping with others definitely promotes the contagious, joyful nature of jumping en masse.

Q: How do you describe the feeling of joy?
When joy enters my body, it’s as though a mini flood is permeating my entire body. There is a keen sense of being in the moment and forgetting about the “small stuff.”

One of the most enjoyable elements of joy is that joy can be experienced in myriad locales — both indoors and outdoors. In some musical contexts, joy is the ultimate mental high.

Q: What is your greatest passion in life?
The arts in general. More specifically, live music concerts. It may sound somewhat corny or sentimental, but having one’s spirits lifted for an hour or two is incredibly moving. Another great passion is watching films created by exceptional filmmakers who have an ability to transport the viewer out of his or her everyday existence. And I mustn’t forget to mention the culinary arts. Eating is one of life’s greatest adventures, no?

Q: How do you feel about being part of a community project that promotes joy?
LOVE IT! With all of the negativity that inundates our brains through media and social media, it is so freeing and invigorating to experience firsthand a project that furnishes opportunities to forget the unpleasant and offensive images and stories that saturate our minds.

Q: If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?
I would wish for every one of the 7.3 billion inhabitants on this planet to experience more joy on a regular basis.

Q: What are you working on or creating?
A: I am involved with the Vancouver Biennale, a not-for-profit charitable arts organization that celebrates art in public space. The Biennale’s exhibitions transform urban landscapes in Metro Vancouver into an open-air museum that is accessible to one and all, 24/7. I love seeing how art, specifically public art, engages individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Watching, for example, a five-year-old or an eighty-five-year old interact joyfully with Yue Min’s A-MAZE-ING LAUGHTER art installation in Vancouver’s West End can be highly entertaining for the viewer. The Biennale’s next exhibition will launch later this spring. We’re all excited to see what projects and installations will be unveiled!

Q: Mini bio or something special you want to share.
As a piano examiner for The Royal Conservatory of Music, I am grateful to hear amazing (and frequently joyful!) musical performances by students ranging from preschoolers to octogenarians.

Twitter: @Murray_Nichol
Instagram: @murraynichol
FB page: Murray Nichol

Thank you Murray for the fun day and for sharing your jumping joy!


Thank you to the Palm Springs Cultural Center inviting me to be your first Artist in residence and bringing the Jump for Joy Photo Project to the Coachella Valley.

If you live in the Coachella Valley and would like more info on the project, or would like to take part, email us:


Follow Jump for Joy on:
Instagram: @jumpforjoyphotoproject
Twitter: @jumpforjoyphoto
Facebook: /JumpForJoyPhotoProject

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