Editor's Letter - December 2009

Home Is Where the Art Is

The art market rises and falls with the same gut-wrenching drama as the stock market. The difference, of course, is that you can enjoy your art investment regardless of its fluctuating value. Sure, most of us purchase art for love more than investment, but we like our marquee pieces — and the artists who created them — to grow in importance as well as price. Experts say that now is the time to invest in stocks and real estate; the same holds true for fine art. This is a perfect time to visit local galleries. For a complete visual art season preview, see “The Draw of the Desert” on page 6DG in the Desert Guide.

This issue of Palm Springs Life offers a look into a few dimensions in the local art community. In “The Fantastic Floor” (page 36), we celebrate the generosity of Donna and Cargill MacMillan, who are donating the best of their world-class art collection to Palm Springs Art Museum. “A Space Odyssey” (page 40) explores an impressive time line of milestones achieved by Imago Galleries, which has helped many art enthusiasts build their collections. And, in her Wealth column (page 24), Ellen Paris reveals the fiscal realities that desert arts institutions face.

Arts organizations nationwide — from symphonies to theaters to museums — have trimmed programming, laid off staff, and even closed. The economy has not helped, but the real reason is the inability to close the gap between the cost of producing shows and exhibitions and the revenue they earn from ticket sales, subscriptions, and memberships. The burden of supporting arts institutions largely falls on a few supporters and philanthropists. We encourage you to check out local arts organizations and consider making an important contribution.


Our October issue mischaracterized how one luxury community has fared in these unstable financial times. Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert has remained a solid investment with 19 property sales between January and Oct. 1 — a remarkable accomplishment relative to many other country club communities. Bighorn attributes its sales to its sustained commitment to excellence, including Tom Fazio’s summer redo of the Canyons Course ninth hole, the design and construction of a new street and accompanying landscaping, and the development of an additional irrigation well ensuring efficient water supply for the golf courses and common areas. Bighorn Chairman R.D. Hubbard has always understood the key to longevity is to far surpass expectations.

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