The shutdown caused by COVID-19 delivered a crippling blow to Coachella Valley artists, arts organizations, and venues. With so many performances and exhibitions rescheduled or canceled, they are turning to webcasting to reach and grow their audiences. Following is a roundup of local offerings ranging from live performances to virtual exhibitions.
Palm Springs Art Museum has launched four online exhibitions, including a virtual iteration of Gerald Clarke: Falling Rock, which opened at the museum in January but was interrupted by the COVID-19 shutdown. Administrators are discussing the feasibility of extending the show into the fall, when the museum reopens, because of its quality and local significance. Clarke, a Cahuilla artist, works in inventive ways to depict, in searing and often humorous fashion, the deep-rooted injustices inflicted on Native communities. Read about the artist and his work here, and then visit the exhibition.
We recently previewed the museum’s online exhibition Stephen H. Willard Collection — a showcase of photography by the Ansel Adams of the desert, drawn from Willard’s archives, which the artist’s daughter donated to the institution in 1999. Read about the artist here, and then visit the exhibition.
Stephen H. Willard (American, 1894-1966), Spring Flowers with San Jacinto and San Gorgonio in Background, 1937, 8 x 10 film negative. Gift of Dr. Beatrice Willard, Willard XV9. © Palm Springs Art Museum
Another exhibition surveys the work of celebrity photographer Bill Anderson, who captured the rise of Palm Springs as a Hollywood playground in the mid-20th century. Bill Anderson Photography includes candid images of Rock Hudson, Kirk Douglas and sons, George Montgomery and Dinah Shore, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Liberace, Jane Mansfield, Groucho Marx, Judy Garland and Mona Freeman, and many others letting down their guard in Palm Springs. Visit the exhibition.
Finally, the COVID-19 shutdown interrupted the jurying process and physical exhibition of the annual Fine Art Creativity Display, featuring the work of student artists from the Palm Springs, Desert Sands, and Coachella Valley Unified School districts, as well as College of the Desert. An online presentation includes all of the submissions for this year’s theme Hidden Worlds. Visit the exhibition.
The third annual Gui Ignon Student Artist Show and Sale, a juried exhibition organized by the CREATE Center for the Arts in Palm Desert, is also online with a virtual tour. A portion of sales benefits the center, which has been donating PPE to local healthcare workers despite being burglarized in April. Thieves got away with an administration computer, point of sale system, and donation box containing $800 in cash. Visit the exhibition.
A few local art galleries are offering virtual exhibitions. Most notably, Heather James Fine Art in Palm Desert is showing The Radical Line featuring abstract geometry, hard-edge, op art, and kinetic works by Josef Albers, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Karl Benjamin, Gene Davis, Ellsworth Kelly, Peter Halley, Kenneth Noland, Jesus Rafael Soto, and others. Visit the exhibition.
Also, the Heather James website features the exhibitions Abstract Expressionist Women, which includes Mary Abbott, Perle Fine, and Charlotte Park, and The Rest So Beautiful: Contemporary Art and China, with works by Zhang Huan, Hai Bo, and Jiao Xingtao.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY HEATHER JAMES FINE ART
Regen Projects in Los Angeles is presenting an online exhibition surveying the past two decades of work by Joshua Tree–based artist Andrea Zittel. How to Live? A–Z West 2000–2020 includes sculpture, furniture, objects, textiles, uniforms, ceramics, paintings, works on paper, and tilework reflecting Zittel’s ongoing aesthetic inquiry into what it means to exist and participate in culture today. Visit the exhibition and read about Zittel’s open-to-the-public Planar Pavilions installation in Joshua Tree.
A who’s who of locally based artists and writers contributed quarantine-themed art to Quaranzine, a zine that sells for $20, with half the proceeds benefitting the nonprofit Galilee Center, which fulfills the food, clothing, and basic needs for local disadvantaged children, families, and farmworkers in the eastern Coachella Valley. Artists include Adam Enrique Rodriguez, Albert Reyes, Evelyn Sofia Rivera, Giselle Woo, Carlos Ramirez, Chris Sanchez, Cristopher Cichocki, Sofia Enriquez, Pete Salcedo, Yehsiming Jue, Zack Jue, and Kylie Knight, who is selling copies on her website.
We’d be selling you short if we didn’t also point you to some of these artists’ Instagram feeds. Rodriguez, in particular, is red hot, skewering politicians and the police in poignant watercolor paintings and drawing the attention of the New York Times. Follow him at @adamenriquerodriguez. While you’re at it, follow Reyes @thealbertreyes, Ramirez @c.ramirez2323, Enriquez @sofiaenriquez, and Gisella Woo & The Night Owls @gisellewooandthenightowls.
Woo not only contributed to Quaranzine, but also appears in the new official music video of the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau. The tourism agency’s destination-driven theme song, “Find Your Oasis,” assembles a cross-section of local musicians, artists, and poets in some of the most popular and iconic spots in the desert. Watch the video and look for Jesika von Rabbit, Angie & The Deserters, Mack and Gold, Michelle Packman, The Flusters, DJ Alf Alpha, Assata Grooves, Meagan Van Dyke, poet Dante Mitchell, and visual artists Chris Sanchez, Sofia Enriquez, and Ryan Campbell.
Cellist Michelle Packman is featured in “Find Your Oasis.”
CV Repertory Theatre has launched Theatre Thursdays with a variety of programs such as Broadway sing-alongs and panel discussions, including the June 18 event, “So You Wanna Be A Writer,” moderated by Corey Roskin and featuring authors Luis J. Rodriguez and Cathryn Burger Kaye and Coast Magazine editor Samantha Dunn. Tune in to the discussion here.
You can also watch a McCallum Theatre season preview presented by CEO Mitch Gershenfeld. In a video message, he discusses the Broadway, jazz, classical, country, pop, and rock and roll, dance, and comedy offerings as well as a January performance of The Life and Music of George Michael. The McCallum plans to reopen in October. Watch the video.
Also closed for the summer, Sunnylands Center & Gardens in Rancho Mirage offers 3-D virtual tours of two of the Annenberg estate’s most intriguing rooms. Go to the Sunnylands website and scroll midway down the homepage to the “walk” through The Game Room, Yellow Room, and Pink Room — aka Guest Wing East, where the Annenbergs entertained visitors with refreshments, games, and first-run films on a large movie screen. A second virtual tour goes into The Room of Memories, a den a library containing photographs and mementos of the Annenbergs’ civic and personal lives.