art_la quinta arts festival

A Valley of Art

Treat your eyes with art in the most surprising places.

Steven Biller Arts & Entertainment

art_la quinta arts festival
The skies will light up on July 4th at the Agua Caliente Spa Resort Casino in Rancho Mirage, as well as other spots in Palm Springs and around the Coachella Valley.

The wide-open spaces of the desert provide a blank canvas for dreamers, creators, and innovators — as well as a habitat for all varieties of eccentrics, oddballs, and artists.

On Feb. 25, 2017, Desert X (, a new, free-to-the-public, international exhibition of site-specific art installations, will unfold across the Coachella Valley, up to the High Desert and down to the Salton Sea. Curated by Neville Wakefield, who in 2014 organized the site-specific biennial exhibition in the mountains of Gstaad, Switzerland, Desert X has been stirring interest for almost a year, making it the most anticipated art event of this season.

The art at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival ( garners almost as much attention as the music. Curated by Paul Clemente, art director for festival promoter Goldenvoice, the exhibition features monumental art, often towering up to three stories high. At the 2016 edition, Latvian artists Katrīna Neiburga and Andris Eglītis re-created the multimedia Armpit, which they first installed at the 2015 Venice Biennale. The 2017 festival takes place at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on April 14-16 and 21-23, 2017.

Palm Springs Art Museum (, which has three unique campuses, including Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert and Palm Springs Art Museum Architectural and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion, offers a more traditional lineup, including this year’s marquee exhibition Women of Abstract Expressionism, opening Feb. 18. The show focuses on artists that curator Gwen Chanzit of the Denver Art Museum says have been neither appropriately studied nor appreciated compared to the men working at the same time, the 1940s and ’50s. It features 50 works by 12 artists, including recognized painters like Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell, and continues through May 28.

MetaModern, on display at the Palm Springs Art Museum, Oct. 9, 2016 to Feb. 27, 2017, featuring Edgar Orlaineta, Narcissus, 2002, Two LCW chairs (Charles and Ray Eames, 1946, for Hermann Miller, reproduction), steel cables.

The institution also mounts exhibitions at the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert, including Glass for the New Millennium: Masterworks from the Kaplan-Ostergaard Collection, which showcases the evolution of studio glass and its blossoming into 21st-century mainstream culture. It features dynamic artists from more than 10 countries.


Agua Caliente Cultural Museum showcases slices of Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians culture in annually changing exhibitions. IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas (through October) focuses on the history and complex lives of people of dual African American and Native American ancestry.

Cabot’s Pueblo Museum, a four-story, 5,000-square-foot, Hopi-inspired pueblo in Desert Hot Springs, offers guided tours year-round. Visitors learn about the life of founder Cabot Yerxa and his family.

Coachella Valley History Museum (Oct. 1 through May 31, 2017) in Indio includes the 1926 adobe Smiley-Tyler House, the 1909 Indio Schoolhouse, the world’s only Date Museum, and a variety of gardens (Japanese, rose, desert, and date, among others).

La Quinta Museum, situated in the city’s oldest commercial building (1937), mounts exhibitions and holds the La Quinta Historical Society archives.

must see

Art Palm Springs: About 50 galleries converge in Palm Springs Feb. 16–19, 2017, to showcase works of modern and contemporary art. Formerly the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair, the show offers artist talks, topic panels, and curated tours.

BoxoProjects: Established as an artist residency program in Joshua Tree, BoxoProjects mounts some of the area’s most compelling exhibitions, installations, and performances. One of the most recent, Active Resistance, featured China Adams and John Luckett in an artistic call to action for the LGBT community in the wake of the Orlando shooting.

Since November 2010, Heath Gallery has remained committed to providing modern abstract works of art with bright colors, inspiring themes, and works worth contemplating. Always maintains rotating collection of fine art from artists in Europe, Canada, and the U.S.
222 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs. 760-770-2779;

Coachella Walls: This collection of murals from around the world reflects the life and lore of the local immigrant farmworker population. Founders Armando Lerma and Carlos Ramirez, who collaborate as the Date Farmers, painted the first mural — a monument to the Delano grape strike and boycott that started in 1965 — on the side of Casa del Trabajador, where Cesar Chavez famously organized farmworkers.

Heather James Fine Art: Featuring global, genre and time-spanning paintings, photography and design with fine artwork from premier Impressionist, Modern, Post-War and Contemporary artists. The gallery uniquely showcases blue chip and cutting-edge contemporary art while maintaining a respect for the integrity of antiquity and classical masterpieces.

Old Town Artisan Studio: People of all ages invited to reveal their creativity through clay, fused glass and other artistic mediums through private instruction or classes for children, adults and seniors. Independent studio use is blended with fee exempt instruction offered to numerous charities.

Backstreet Art District (Palm Springs), located off East Palm Canyon Drive on Cherokee Way, is a collection of six artist-owned galleries and working studios open on the first Wednesday night of every month.

El Paseo (Palm Desert) hosts an art walk on the first Friday of every month from November through May. Choose from 20 galleries and finish at the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert, where you can take in an exhibition and live music. Admission is always free.

The Art Place – Palm Desert’s Design District (Palm Desert), located off Hovley Lane, has a few art galleries among its designer resource stores.

Perez Road Art & Design District (Cathedral City), located between Cathedral Canyon and Date Palm drives, is a blossoming destination for contemporary art galleries, modern design boutiques, and resale stores.

Uptown Design District (Palm Springs) boasts a growing number of contemporary art galleries and modern design boutiques on the city’s hip North Palm Canyon Drive.

art festivals

Nov. 5–6 , 2016
Rancho Mirage Art Affaire art-affaire

Jan. 26–29, 2017
Southwest Arts Festival Indio

March 2–5, 2017
La Quinta Arts Festival

March 16–19, 2017
Spectrum Indian Wells

March 31 – April 2, 2017
Indian Wells Arts Festival