8 Must-See Pieces at La Quinta Arts Festival



San Francisco artist Michael Gard weaves and knots each individual wire to create these sculptures.

Jim Powers

An appreciation for art varies from person to person.

But there is no mistaking the beauty in art, and its ability to enhance our lives positively.

Here are a few items I picked out at the La Quinta Arts Festival, featuring 230 artists from 29 states and Canada, which continues March 9-10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at La Quinta Civic Center Campus, 78-495 Calle Tampico.

Let me know what struck your fancy there. Post a comment here, on our Facebook page or post a photo of your favorite artwork.

There were several instances of 3-D type artwork at the festival, but these caught my attention. Artist Tom Walsh of Oregon calls his work "abstract organic", noting each piece is a "variation on elements of our world." It seems to have a southwestern, Native American feel to it.

 

 

 

I love the colors La Quinta artist Tom Barnes uses in his paintings. And the expressions he captures draw you immediately to the eyes and the whole shape of the face. The number 13 is lucky for Barnes. It's the number of colors in his palette.

 

 

 

 

 

The first time I saw this, I thought it was real. Having lived in Arizona for 18 years, I've seen Prickly Pear Cactus like this. But then I realized it was made of steel. Artists Richard Turner and Eric Carroll say on their website that the realism of the piece increases with age. No surprise, much of their work focuses on different types of cactus.

 

 

 

Here is another 3-D type piece. I think I understand why tennis star Maria Sharpova chose lip imagery for her Sugarpova candy line logo. I loved the metallic aspect of this piece. San Francisco-born brothers Ric and Tom Vigallon produce the color in their artwork through heat treatment or the combination of acids and chemicals.

 

 

 

 

Artist Kathy Ross calls her globe artwork an obsession, and you can see the detail that she puts into this particular piece. She also works in tin and bronze. Ross loves the "utter silliness" of this genre, and she's correct when she tells us to think of the many colorful cookie and tea tins in thrift stores. Good to know she's putting them to good use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond the magnitude of this piece, the richness and soulful emotion it depicts made this piece by Felicia stand out. The Colorado artist says she works with live models at times to help capture the strong "likeness of the person." She makes the status as small as 7 inches high to  his life-sized edition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Color always makes me stop and look. Artists Bob and Laurie Kliss have created hand-blown glass art for more than 15 years. These vibrant pieces contain stunning detail and ornate decorations. The couple consider themselves colorists, and after seeing this display, you understand why.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The process to create these stunning human forms is very detailed, especially when you read that artist Michael Gard strings each of the wires over a wax sculpture, weaving and knotting them. Talk about patience. Suspending these figures in air just add to their elegance. He also sculpts on a smaller scale using gold, bronze, brass and copper.

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