Sunshine, lush grounds, and a majestic mountain backdrop set the La Quinta Arts Festival stage. More than 200 artists contribute their finest paintings, prints, photographs, drawings, sculptures, textiles, ceramics, jewelry, wood, and studio art glass to the idyllic scene. Thousands of art lovers follow, eagerly spending more than $2 million in five short days.
The artists and patrons combine to make this event one of the West Coast’s most highly regarded fine arts festivals. This year celebrates the festival’s 30th anniversary.
“The founding fathers had a vision of how they wanted the city to develop,” says La Quinta Arts Foundation Executive Director Christi Salamone. “They wanted it to be, among other things, a haven for artists and artistic pursuits. They knew the natural beauty in this area would draw artist. So when they incorporated the city, they also created the arts foundation and the arts festival.”
Art Fair Source Book ranks the festival the No. 3 fine art festival in the nation and the top festival west of the Rockies, easily surpassing well-known events in Sausalito, Laguna, and Beverly Hills.
Much of the allure stems from the incredible natural setting and the festival’s stringent artist selection process. Unlike most arts festivals, La Quinta has a five-member panel for each media category. Consequently, the festival is tougher to get into, and the quality of artwork is uniformly better.
In addition to celebrating its own 30th anniversary, this year’s festival honors the 50th anniversary of the American Studio Art Glass movement, placing a special emphasis on the glass category.
Studio art glass artist Randy Strong, two-time winner of the Niche Award for Best Blown Glass in the United States, will exhibit his works at the festival and present a lecture on studio art glass at Embassy Suites La Quinta.
“Randy hasn’t done an outdoor festival in many years, so we’re thrilled he’s going to be here,” Salamone says. “He’s genuine and warm and still excited to pass along his knowledge and expertise.”
La Quinta Arts Festival
March 8 -12,
La Quinta Civic Center Campus, 78495 Calle Tampico, La Quinta
Glass Artist Randy Strong Lecture
“A Life Lived at 2,300 Degrees,”
March 9, 6 p.m.
Embassy Suites La Quinta 50777 Santa Rosa Plaza, La Quinta
Visit www.lqaf.com or call 1-760-564-1244 for more information.