First Takes: Wear Your Art on Your Sleeve

Courtesy Jennifer Charles

Marking 25 years of putting on its signature arts event, the La Quinta Arts Foundation could conceivably rest on its laurels. But that’s not how you continue attracting crowds.

Three years ago, the foundation — after careful consideration — introduced textiles as a category in its juried La Quinta Arts Festival. “This media had not been included in our event previously, as many artists in traditional categories are fearful that a festival may bring in wearables that are not entirely manmade by the artist,” explains Events Manager Kathleen Hughes. “We were also concerned if the textile category could hold its own with sculpture, painting, etc.”

Not only did it hold its own, but also accounted for last year’s Best of Show award — presented to Oakland-based Mark Thomas, a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles.

“This year, we had more than 50 artists across the U.S.A. and also from Ireland apply for our textile category,” Hughes says. “We will showcase 10 of them.”

The foundation appointed Jennifer Charles, a textile artist with 30 years of experience under her belt, as artist advisor for textiles. For her third year as an exhibiting artist, Charles will travel from her home in Salida, Colo., with hand-painted silk kimono jackets and tops. She defines textile art as “any creation made by the artist using coloring, patterning, texturing, stitching, weaving, knitting, painting, dying, quilting, and structuring of fiber to become wearable or decorative art.”

Charles and Thomas do their own design, patterning, painting, and sewing. To be included in the La Quinta Arts Festival — as in all other categories — works must be one-of-a-kind or of a limited edition. Hughes says festival representatives closely monitor exhibits throughout the duration of the festival to ensure they uphold the festival’s integrity and reputation for high-quality art.   

She points out that textiles at the festival, March 15-18, create the perfect stepping off point for Fashion Week El Paseo, March 18-25. “Once people see what can be done with fabric, they’ll be eager to see the trends in haute couture.”

Information: (760) 564-1244 or

Palm Springs Life

Related Articles

Lisa Vanderpump Achieves Star Status in Palm Springs

Lisa Vanderpump, one of the stars of the 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills', will receive the 372nd star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars July 30.

Palm Springs Horoscope - July 2014

Entering Leo on July 16, Jupiter ramps up the social calendar. There will be more summer parties than last year — expect an overbooked schedule.

Star Power

The Palm Springs Walk of Stars honors philanthropic superhero Lynda Carter for shattering stereotypes and blazing new paths for generations of women.

Golden Eye

Capitol Records music video producer and desert resident Danny Lockwood lends his Midas touch to top artists.

A Climate for Culture

It may be 100-plus degrees outside, but it’s always a cool 75 inside Palm Springs Art Museum and its sister Palm Desert location, The Galen.

Promotions + Contests

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

Experience the beauty, romance and excitement of the Palm Springs area when you enter to be the lucky winner of this romantic couple’s getaway
90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Each month, a first place winner will be selected to win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!And, each month, three additional runners up will be selected to win a wonderful Palm Springs area Dining certificate!
2013/14 Best of the Best

2013/14 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
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.
Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest

Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest

Enter your “Cutest Pet” photo in the Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest. Online users will be able to like the Cutest Pet photos from six (6) categories.