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Visual Arts

22 Jan 2018
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Times are tough for community-oriented arts programs. Despite record-setting prices for art at auctions, funding for public art and education is evaporating—or has already dried up. School districts have decreased course offerings in art, music and the humanities. As a result, to some art-lovers, the future appears bleak. Enter the CREATE Center for the Arts. A year ago, the center opened its doors in a converted thrift store on Highway 111 in Palm Desert, and the 12 months since have been marked by accomplishment, tragedy and a dogged determination to survive. The CREATE Center’s mission statement, “to create community enrichment through the arts,” is epitomized by founder and director Debra Ann Mumm. I’m a relative newcomer to the valley arts world, and as I’ve talked to local gallery owners, artists and museum representatives, one name kept coming up: I was told, “You have to meet Debra.” I wanted to learn…
04 Jan 2018
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Mark your calendars: The seventh annual Cathedral City Home Tour of Artists’ and Historic Homes will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 11. The event, sponsored by the Agnes Pelton Society, this year will show off five historic artists’ homes in the Cathedral City Cove. The centerpiece of this year’s home tour is the low, rambling cinderblock structure on F Street in Cathedral City Cove, designed and built by Agnes Pelton in 1939. Pelton (1881-1961) came to the desert for isolation and to live a more spiritual life. At the time, the area was considered remote, and she lived and worked in the house for 20 years. During that time, she produced paintings that sought to capture a visual representation of the meaning of life. Financial hardships forced her to sell her beloved home and studio in 1960. She died six months later in a small…
03 Jan 2018
If you resolved to support small businesses, local art and local newspapers in the new year—and you most definitely should have—you can help fulfill those first two resolutions by attending the annual Southwest Arts Festival, coming to the Empire Polo Club Jan. 25-28. Richard Curtner is one of the local artists who will be featured at the Southwest Arts Festival. How does he describe what he does? “I call it word-collage art,” he said. “It’s collages created by using hundreds of cutouts of written texts, which form a visual image that can be read and seen.” He uses donated magazines in his work. “I am not creating any papers; I use what I find—whatever text and colors to make up the images,” Curtner said. “People have given me magazines for years. Many people would rather give them to me to make a piece out of them than have them end…
14 Dec 2017
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Cakes, aka Monica Morones, is “a bad bitch.” Those are her words—told to me during a recent phone interview. The local visual artist and musician is holding an art show, Bipolar, at Flat Back Art Supplies in Palm Desert on Saturday, Dec. 16. I asked Morones to explain what makes her a “bad bitch.” “I’m independent; I think for myself; I stick to my beliefs; and I feel like I’m a beast,” Morones said. “I feel like I can handle myself in any situation, and I feel like it’s not a defense mechanism, but that I’ve hardened myself into a bitch. I could tackle anything. I could do video; I could do photography; I could do painting; I could do modeling; and I could get up onstage and be a singer. I can do all of those things because I said so. That’s what being a bad bitch to me…
16 Nov 2017
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There are many adjectives that could apply to Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art 1954-1969, an exhibit currently at the Palm Springs Art Museum. Historic. Groundbreaking. Educational. Mesmerizing. In the end, however, the most important thing is this: The exhibit, touted as the first in-depth examination of the role played by mid-century South American artists in kinetic art, is a whole lot of interactive fun. Things move and transform. They shimmer and beguile. The viewer is an essential part of the artwork itself. Kinetic art is divided into two categories. The first is active, where the art itself is animated by electric motors, wind, magnets or light. (A posting warns that some of the flashing lights may cause seizures in persons with a certain kind of epilepsy.) The second is passive, in which the transformation is dependent on the movement of the viewer themself. This exhibit contains examples of both. I…
06 Nov 2017
When Woody Shimko travels from Provincetown, Mass., to Palm Springs, he packs up more items than just a few extra T-shirts: He packs up works of art. He owns galleries on both coasts, and he hauls a large collection of art that is melded into one show, linking artists that work 3,000 miles apart. The Woodman/Shimko Gallery, at 1105 N. Palm Canyon Drive in the Uptown Design District of Palm Springs, features work by both artists local/regional and from his gallery in Provincetown. The broad collection offers an eclectic mix of contemporary, modern and realistic paintings and photographs that are a perfect fit for the modernism of Palm Springs. Shimko opened the gallery in January 2013. Contemporary artists such as Richard Ransier from Los Angeles, Roger Allen Mosser and Austin Calloway from Palm Springs, and Cassandra Complex, Christopher Sousa, Chet Jones and Larry Collins from Provincetown have shown work there.…