cecilia bengolea desert x

Desert X 2021 Set to Return to Coachella Valley Desert

The recurring site-specific art exhibition will run February 6 to April 11, 2021 at sites spanning 40 miles across the desert.

Staff Report Arts & Entertainment, Current Digital

cecilia bengolea desert x
Cecilia Bengolea, ,Mosquito Net, Desert X 2019.
PHOTOGRAPH BY LANCE GERBER / COURTESY OF DESERT X

Desert X will conduct its third edition of the recurring site-specific art exhibition set for February 6 to April 11, 2021 at sites spanning 40 miles across the Coachella Valley.

Among the first art experiences in the region since widespread lockdowns and shuttering of arts and cultural institutions due to the global pandemic, the outdoor exhibition will prioritize a safe and free visitor experience, and returns with an expanded board of directors and new support from corporate and individual donors.

Curated by returning Artistic Director Neville Wakefield with Co-curator César García-Alvarez , the 2021 edition of Desert X will present newly commissioned projects that build on the themes explored in previous iterations while looking deeper at the histories, realities, and possibilities of the Coachella Valley and its many communities. Created by a roster of international artists, the projects imagine the desert as both a place and an idea and attempt to create meaningful dialogues between regional and global desert experiences.

• READ NEXT: A Look Back at Desert X 2019.

Bolstering the organization’s leadership, newly-elected board directors include San Francisco-based Alyse Archer-Coité, who is leading research and special projects for Apple’s industrial design team and is founder of a nonprofit to increase voter turnout inunderrepresented communities; Palm Springs-based philanthropist, conservationist and art patron Roswitha Smale, and internationally-recognized, award-winning designer and author Kelly Wearstler. They join a board of pioneering creative and cultural professionals from a cross-section of disciplines and backgrounds, who together are working internationally and within the local community in contemporary art, design, architecture, publishing, technology, conservation and philanthropy.

Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille, a global luxury brand with a long history of involvement with the arts, as presenting sponsor of the 2021 exhibition reinforcing the brand’s conviction that a close bond naturally exists between watchmaking and art.

“At a time when we all long for nourishment from art, Desert X is grateful for the expertise, guidance and contributions of our new board members – three accomplished women committed to the arts and its unifying role – Alyse Archer-Coité, Roswitha Smale and Kelly Wearstler, and for the generous support from our presenting sponsor Richard Mille. We look forward to embarking together on a new journey of exploration, providing a much-needed opportunity for visitors and their families to enjoy and engage safely with art by some of today’s most important artists as they address the urgent issues of these extraordinary times,” says Desert X Founder and President Susan L. Davis.

Among the partners announced for the third edition are those who have supported the recurring exhibition since its founding, including cultural partners Ace Hotel & Swim Club Palm Springs and Sunnylands Center & Gardens, and returning media partners artnet , The Desert Sun, Here TV, and Palm Springs Life.

New corporate partners are Blick Art Materials, Blue Room Investing, Cerámica Suro, Maestro Dobel and Tamarisk Country Club, with the list still in formation.

Since its first edition in 2017, Desert X has established itself as an unrivaled art experience. To date, artists from 12 countries, as well as the Coachella Valley, have made compelling work in response to the conditions of the desert, continuing a legacy that began with the Land Art movement of the 1970s, when artists sought to create work outside of the confines of institutional walls, thus creating a new paradigm for the presentation and experience of art.

Prior to the opening, the organization will release a Desert X visitor guide in compliance with state, county and CDC regulations that will contain up-to-date guidelines and requirements to safely experience the exhibition and the public programs. An enhanced digital experience is planned so that visitors from around the world can explore the exhibition from home.

For a full list of donors, sponsors and partners, more information about Desert X 2021 and how to support the exhibition, visit desertx.org.

• READ NEXT: The Desert We Want: What Does That Mean for Arts and Culture?