rancho mirage art affaire

An Affaire to Remember

Coachella Valley’s art festival season kicks off Nov. 9 and 10 with the Rancho Mirage Art Affaire. Here’s why this year’s event is not to be missed.

Staff Report Arts & Entertainment, Current Guide

rancho mirage art affaire
A variety of media will be on display at the Rancho Mirage Art Affaire, Nov. 9-10.
There’s something for everyone.

Rancho Mirage Art Affaire curator Bill Schinsky promises a variety of media — watercolor, photography, sculpture, jewelry design, and more. “I love painting,” says the executive director of the Coachella Art Center. “But you don’t want to go to an art festival and only see paintings.”

It’s more than a feast for the eyes.

Awaken your taste buds and quench your thirst! A variety of local Rancho Mirage eateries, including Acqua California Bistro, will be on hand to offer up delicious treats and creative libations. And the Rancho Mirage Rotary Club will host a wine and beer garden for attendees 21 and older.

The sounds will be smooth.

Your senses will continue to be excited each afternoon starting at 3 p.m. The state-of-the-art Rancho Mirage Amphitheater will be buzzing with live music, including smooth and modern jazz, plus a little Motown and blues.

Artist spotlight

Meet two fresh-on-the-scene artists showcasing their unique and inspired work at the 19th annual Rancho Mirage Art Affaire.

Deanna Fainelli


The self-proclaimed “urban flavored” painter, whose work has been on display at such venues as the Palm Springs Art Museum and in CB2 stores, relocated to the Coachella Valley two years ago from San Francisco and has been inspired by the range of local hues.

Fainelli says, “Vivid color has always been a huge part of my work, and the desert is full of unexpected colors.”

The artist also frequently incorporates vintage images into her work. Since calling the valley home, she’s begun juxtaposing black-and-white pictures of locations like the Salton Sea’s Bombay Beach with splashes of orange, blue, and green.

Fainelli recently dug deep into the Palm Springs Historical Society’s archives for a painting commissioned to hang in a new vacation home.

“I spent hours going through old photos,” she says. “It was really cool because it ended up being an opportunity to learn all about the Coachella Valley.”


Deanna Fainelli

Cory Hamilton


A master woodworker, the Yucca Valley native creates both dramatic theological-inspired custom furniture and spine-tingling sculptures. “I live in such a chill place,” Hamilton says. “I’m constantly inspired here. If I was in a city, I don’t think my creative juices would flow as much. There would probably just be too much chaos for me.”


Cory Hamilton

Hamilton’s most striking pieces are his intricate animal busts that have a Jekyll-and-Hyde vibe. He painstakingly crafts one side of a hunk of reclaimed wood to realistically mimic a creature’s face, while the other is shaped into a more outlandish form — a skeletal dissection or computer-generated rendering, for instance.

Hamilton, who’s been commissioned by the likes of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and motocross champ Axell Hodges, was recently tapped to create such a piece for the City of Rancho Mirage. “I’ve always seen the bighorn sheep around town as the mascot of Rancho Mirage,” he says. “I wanted to put my own spin on it.” The sculpture now hangs in Rancho Mirage City Hall.

Rancho Mirage Art Affaire, Nov. 9-10, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Rancho Mirage Community Park 71560 San Jacinto Drive, Rancho Mirage RanchoMirageArtAffaire.com