This year is Desert Art Collection’s 21st birthday, and she has grown up beautifully.
By Kay Kudukis
Photography by David Blank
The entrance to Desert Art Collection is nothing short of magical. Blue skies, mature cacti, and palm trees backdrop a whimsical and majestic Sculpture Garden that transports you to a wonderland of lively art, bronze boats, and monoliths.
The gallery itself is equally well appointed. The work of established and masterful artists shares space with that of exciting, emerging talents alongside world-famous Shona sculptures (tribal art from Zimbabwe) — and the mix illustrates how keenly the collections have been curated. Baghdad-born artist Aida Schneider, whose art focuses on her vision of growing up in an ancient culture, mingles with the vibrant paintings of Chicago native Allison Stewart, the gorgeous mixed media on Venetian plaster of Michael Battaglia, and the work of 41 other artists — none of which you’d expect to work together, yet they do.
“My father was a steel worker and part-time artist,” says Jana Koroczynsky, Director of the Sculpture Garden and Desert Art Collection, “and on Sundays he loved to go to the Butler Institute of American Art, which had the biggest and best collection of American art in the world From the time I was 5, I would go with him.”
Those visits planted the seeds for Koroczynsky’s 30-year career as a corporate art and sculpture consultant and, in 2003, made her the perfect hire for developer, builder, designer, and owner of Desert Art Collection Mike Fedderly. The later addition of Eric Branthoover, an art consultant and collector of fine arts with 15 years of experience in home furnishings and interior design, rounds out the savvy triumvirate.
If you need help figuring out what will work in your space, Desert Art Collection provides consulting services and is a valuable resource for architects, developers, designers, and collectors looking to navigate the detailed process of placing or commissioning appropriate, compatible fine art or sculptures.
As part of its 21-year birthday celebration, from January 6 to 27, Desert Art Collection will feature Dreamscapes, the “vibrant and emotional” work of Academy Award – winning actor, composer, and artist Sir Anthony Hopkins, along with other exciting exhibitions throughout the year.
If you want a taste of what they have to offer before you visit, Desert Art Collection participates in El Paseo Art Walk, every first Friday, November through May. However, no experience compares to the enchantment of stepping through the entrance and into this eclectic paradise of fine art and the desert flora of Lotus Garden Flowers & Boutique Nursery, also on property.
Open Tuesday–Saturday: 10 a.m. –5 p.m.,
Sunday 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
45-350 San Luis Rey Avenue, Palm Desert CA 92260