Dance performers at Rancho Mirage Festival of the Arts.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JENNIFER YOUNT PHOTOGRAPHY, COURTESY CITY OF RANCHO MIRAGE
As the city of Rancho Mirage celebrates its 50th anniversary, residents and visitors are invited to enjoy one of the community’s most beloved events: Rancho Mirage Festival of the Arts.
Now in its 21st year, the festival takes place the first weekend of November and kicks off a season of art events in the Coachella Valley. A two-day celebration of art in all forms, the gathering showcases everything from paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and textiles to live music and interactive installations. An emphasis on experimentation and exceptional craftsmanship brings eye-popping artwork outdoors amid the trees and the desert landscaping of Rancho Mirage Community Park. Artists will fill the grounds with installations and use their booths to show off work that represents their current state of mind or areas of expertise and experimentation.
Participating artists were selected and invited by the city’s Parks and Trails Commission City Staff, and by curator Bill Schinsky, executive director of the Coachella Valley Art Center in Indio. The festival will include a Commissioner Award, which determines the featured artist for the following year, as well as a Mayor’s Award, which includes a commission to create a piece for a nonprofit organization. Last year’s Commission Award winner, glass artist Blake Warner, is the featured artist for the 2023 event.
Festival attendees can browse through a variety of art and listen to live music in the evening.
An open-air dining area with libations and food offerings from popular local restaurants including Haus of Poké, Perfect Pint, Brandini Toffee, Babe’s BBQ and Brewery, Willie’s Modern Fare, Steve O’s Catering, and Wally’s Desert Turtle will anchor the event at the center of the park. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet the exhibiting artists and creators at their booths and also observe interactive installations. Artists will create new works in real time throughout the park.
At sunset, the focus shifts to the amphitheater for Jazz Under the Stars. Maria de la Vegas and the Wayward Five will entertain on Saturday night, November 4th to beautifully round out a weekend filled with art, passion, and inspiration.
The 21st annual festival is free to the public and takes place Nov. 4–5. For the most up-to-date event details and information, visit RMfestivalofthearts.com.
Meet the Artist
Featured festival artist Blake Warner won the first annual Commissioner Award in 2022.
Glass sculptures by Blake Warner.
Former landscape architect Blake Warner expresses the ethereal and changing nature of landscape, sky, wind, and water in her glass sculptures. An avid traveler, she uses a variety of locations for inspiration in her work. This past year, Warner’s geographical focus has been her own backyard in the Coachella Valley. She will unveil several new pieces at the 2023 event, one of which is a transparent glass “watercolor” of a Rancho Mirage sunset created by melting thousands of individual pieces of glass together to form a free-standing sculpture.