Culture

Bon Voyage, Prodigal Son — Palm Springs artist/raconteur Colin Webster-Watson announces his return to his native New Zealand.



After 14 years in Palm Springs, Colin Webster-Watson — one the desert’s most talented and spirited visual and performance artists — will return this month to his native New Zealand, where he’ll be greeted by family and dignitaries, to whom he’ll present one of his favorite sculptures: Tail of the Wale. (He’ll also gift Gliding Through Atlanta to Te Papa Museum in Wellington.)

“It’s with radiating reluctance that I leave this beautiful valley and the many wonderful friends who have supported me as a sculptor, as a playwright and poet, and in my other endeavors as an artist,” he told an audience at Camelot Theatres after the Playwrights’ Circle Staged Reading Series performed a two-act play he wrote nearly 50 years ago.

“I became quite emotional sitting back there, watching this marvelous cast perform,” he added before inviting the entire audience — about 80 people — to his home/studio for supper.

Colin moved to Palm Springs in January 1990 on the advice of friend and patron Carroll Baker, who helped him cope with the death of his wife, Jane Ewing. He has since been a fixture in the valley’s art and theater scenes, exhibiting his sculptures in galleries and performing in countless productions and one-man shows. “He’s a treasure,” says Peggy Cravens, one of Colin’s most loyal collectors and supporters. “This valley will miss his tremendous talent.”

His July 15 departure will be bittersweet. Colin — who had also lived and worked in Rome, London, New York, and Acapulco — recalls one time he returned to New Zealand: “My father welcomed me home with such passion. He crawled on the floor begging me to stay. When he died, it was a terrible shock to me.” Their relationship inspired The Prodigal Son (pictured). The artist would communicate the value of family in several other pieces, most notably La Famiglia: “There is my father looking out to the future, with mother and son, holding the family together,” he beams.

Colin, 78, showed his work earlier this year at Robert Roman Gallery in Scottsdale, Ariz., and continues to sell his work through his Web site (www.colinwebsterwatson.com).

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Ambassadors Serve Warm Welcome at Dining Out For Life

JoAnn Morford couldn't think of a better way to spend her time than volunteering, especially as a dining ambassador at Dining Out For Life on April 28.

Highway 62 Revisited

Clive Wright's house, perched in the rocky hills above Joshua Tree National Park, doubles as his music production business, Desert Sky Studios.

Palm Springs Resorts Host Coachella Pool Parties

Palm Springs resorts will be back in action for Coachella Weekend 2 with a host of poolside music events.

Palm Springs Offers Poolside Parties to Complement Coachella Weekend

While Coachella and Stagecoach dominate the valley over the next three weekends, four hotels have created poolside music events to bring the experience to Palm Springs.

Coachella: Where to Eat, Shop Within 15 Minutes of Polo Grounds

To stay fueled for the music marathon, you'll need some close dining suggestions during the next two weekends of Coachella in Indio.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

Palm Springs Life's Women in Business

Palm Springs Life's Women in Business

Celebrate the Coachella Valley’s most dynamic women in business at the May 12 luncheon featuring keynote speaker Laura Schwab, President, Aston Martin The Americas. The luncheon takes place at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage.
Fashionista Friends

Fashionista Friends

Experience the glitz and glamour of Fashion Week El Paseo 2016.
Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Enter for a Chance to Win a Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert 2016 Grand Experience
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.