By Pamela Bieri
The entrance to this important contemporary art center and sculpture garden is just steps south of El Paseo on San Luis Rey Avenue. Bold and inviting, the architectural details of the remodeled historic motel come alive with vibrant color and ever changing exhibits that welcome you from the street through the gardens, and into its galleries. Desert Art Collection features internationally renowned contemporary American artists. Enter through a shaded walkway, where on either side the galleries’ artwork and artifacts are framed in displays windows, suggesting the treasures within. Hand crafted, punched out metal doors lead to the sculpture garden, often called the Desert‘s Secret Garden. Stroll amongst delightful art pieces in stone, bronze, metal, glass and other materials by such sculptors as Max DeMoss, Otto Rigan, Dan Rider and many more. With such an impressive and diverse collection of artists, surprises abound in the garden.
You may find a realistic bronze roadrunner or desert tortoise by William Ware; a colorful red steel figure “Heart Connection” by Alisa Looney; a timeless, metaphysical bronze figure “ZipLock” by Virgil Villers; and sensual ceramic or carved stone fountains trickling with water.
Art galleries beckon with extraordinary fine art and unique artifacts. “Artwork here can be visually and intellectually stimulating,” explains Art Director Jana Koroczynsky, who with developer/builder/designer Michael Fedderly, selects the artists and pieces in the collection.
For example, an intriguing diptych “Mirage” by Allison Stewart “expresses the complex, disturbing and fragile dialogue between man and nature with oil, charcoal and acrylic on canvas,” says Koroczynsky. “Stewart has gained national recognition for her work, and it is becoming more and more relevant as each day passes, with oil spills, climate change and other pressures threatening more than just a few ecosystems.”
Evoking strong emotions are human figures touching one another in bronze by new artist Aiko Morioka. Enigmatic abstracted landscapes that are allusions and commentary about ancient to modern cultural influences by Aïda Marini Schneider; carved wood forms painted with ancient and modern scientific patterns by Charlotte Lees; organic glass pieces that can be found in corporate headquarters, international airports, hospitals, restaurants, hotels and private residences, including the Seattle home of Mr. & Mrs. William Gates by Markian Olynyk; original embossed, hand-colored etchings by Smithsonian Collection painter/printmaker Sheila Benow; and intriguing Venetian plaster on burlap paintings that are parables about the human condition by Michael Battaglia are among the many fine artworks featured at Desert Art Collection.
Master Award-winner for a painting at the Armand Hammer Museum of Fine Art, Michael Nisperos is an abstract and figural expressionist well known across the western United States. His energetic imagery captures the elusive subjects of emotion.
Desert Art Collection is an outstanding resource for a variety of other art work available by these and other artists. Works may also be commissioned or custom made for specific needs.
Also sharing the property is the Lotus Garden Center. Specializing in unique pottery and conceptual landscape planning of resident and commercial properties, they have been creating unique landscape environments throughout the upscale enclaves of the Coachella Valley, recognized as the finest in their genre. There is also a full-time florist on staff.
Desert Art Collection & Sculpture Garden
45350 San Luis Rey Ave., Palm Desert, CA 92260
760-674-9955 • www.desertartcollection.com