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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Visual Arts

21 Feb 2019
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The second Desert X biennial exhibition, on display through April 21, consists of 19 site-specific works of art, created by an international group of acclaimed artists, spanning the Coachella Valley—including eight of the nine valley cities. The sites, all open to the public for free, stretch from the windmills of North Palm Springs down to the Salton Sea—but the impact is being felt worldwide. Desert X is the fulfillment of a dream by founder and president Susan L Davis, a public-relations professional and founding member of the President’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities. The idea was to create a conversation between cities, art organizations, local residents and visitors. The inaugural event in 2017 was acclaimed by the international art community, with more than 200,000 visitors. Excitement has been building over the last two years for the second edition. I had the privilege to participate in this excitement at the…
29 Jan 2019
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This year’s Art Palm Springs—the large annual art show that takes place at the Palm Springs Convention Center—kicks off with an Opening Night VIP Preview on Thursday, Feb. 14, and runs through the entirety of Presidents Day weekend Perhaps the word “large” doesn’t do Art Palm Springs justice; the show is truly massive and has been growing every year since its inaugural year in 2012. Nearly 80 galleries, from all corners of the globe, will be showing postwar and contemporary art, representing thousands of artists. Some of the Coachella Valley’s premier galleries, not surprisingly, are taking part. These types of mega-art events—this one is put on by Urban Expositions, which also produces shows in Aspen and Chicago—are a relatively new phenomenon that is changing the shape of the art world. They are as much about the experience as the art itself—and the art-loving public in our community resoundingly approves, with…
28 Jan 2019
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I love signature events, and they don’t get any more “signature” in the Coachella Valley than Modernism Week. It has become the defining celebration of the things this city stands for—iconic architecture, glamour, sophistication, occasional hedonism and complete freedom. What is modernism? Wikipedia says this: “Modernism is a philosophical movement that, along with cultural trends and changes, arose from wide-scale and far-reaching transformations in Western society during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was the touchstone of the movement’s approach towards what it saw as the now obsolete culture of the past.” Modernism transformed every aspect of society and the arts—and it still permeates our thinking and world view. Volumes have been written, discussed and debated about the movement. Modernism Week focuses on the architecture that arose after World War II but does not limit itself to that. With more than 350 tours, lectures, screenings and parties taking…
11 Jan 2019
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Palm Springs’ Church of St. Paul in the Desert wants to help tell the Coachella Valley’s story. Working with the Palm Springs Public Arts Commission, the Church of St. Paul and artist Bernard Hoyes have begun work on a community mural, “Cast Your Bread Upon the Waters.” On a recent visit to the in-progress mural—on the church’s wall facing the alleyway behind Trina Turk—Hoyes was finishing up after a group of children from BRAFF (Building Resilience in African-American Families) had done some painting with him. Hoyes said he welcomes people to come and share ideas. “I’ll just enlarge and re-realize it,” Hoyes said, pointing to a wagon wheel some of the kids had painted. “I’ll just make it more realistic as a wagon wheel so it can be recognized. They suggested things, and I’ll make them come alive in a way that makes them a part of what I’m doing…
22 Nov 2018
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Tysen Knight was surrounded by street art while growing up—and it inspired him to become a street artist himself. Now living in Palm Springs, Knight has helped bring street art into the mainstream. He’s also an actor and a filmmaker, and his first street-art documentary, The Art of Hustle: Street Art Documentary, made the festival circuit—winning some awards along the way. A follow-up, The Art of Hustle: Homeless Street Artists Documentary, is in post-production and could hit screens as early as January. Meanwhile, Colliding Worlds Fine Art Gallery in Cathedral City is currently showing an exhibit of Knight’s art During a recent interview, Knight discussed how street art inspired him. “I discovered I was good at art around the ages of 10 to 13. I showed my parents, and they seconded it, and it took off from there,” Knight said. “I grew up in New Jersey near Philadelphia, and I…
21 Nov 2018
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The Desert Art Center sits nestled in two historic buildings on Palm Canyon Drive. Founded in 1950, it is the oldest art organization in the Coachella Valley. The artists who created it 68 years ago had an expansive vision of their role in society. It wasn’t enough for them to simply express their creativity; they also believed it was important to contribute to their community. Today, that commitment to both residents of and visitors to the valley is realized through low-cost classes, workshops, programs for students, high school scholarships, seminars and a gallery staffed by the member artists themselves. The center also provides scholarships for seniors and grants to local teachers for art materials. The facilities themselves are worth a visit. Located in one of the first schools built in the Coachella Valley—in 1927 by Frances Stevens—the classrooms, studios and gallery are architecturally and historically important. In 1974, the city…

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