Now celebrating its 15th year, the Rancho Mirage Art Affaire (Nov. 7–8) has come to be regarded as the kickoff to the Coachella Valley’s art festival season.
More than 100 artists from all over the Southwest will display arts and crafts representing a wide range of media such as photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass, jewelry, and textiles.
photo courtesy of eric darius
Saxophonist Eric Darius.
Smooth jazz programs round out what’s sure to be a feast for the senses. Sponsored by radio station 103.9 The Breeze and produced by on-air personality Jim “Fitz” Fitzgerald, performances feature visionary saxophonist Eric Darius (Saturday, Nov. 7) and Danish-American contemporary saxophonist Michael Lington (Sunday, Nov. 8). Opening for these virtuosos is local teenage saxophonist Chase Huna, a sensation in his own right. Rancho Mirage High School musical students will play in a pre-headliner concert each afternoon.
All musical performances will be enhanced by the brand-new amphitheater — the crowning achievement of the Rancho Mirage Community Park yearlong renovation — which is now one of the valley’s most technically advanced outdoor performance venues. Boasting a 2,000-square-foot stage, complete with overhead canopy for maximum shade and acoustical benefits, it seats an audience of more than 600.
photo courtesy of michael lington
Saxophonist Michael Lington.
Food will be available for purchase both days from vendors representing Rancho Mirage restaurants. The Rotary Club–sponsored beer and wine garden will also be open for business. On Saturday at 2 p.m., the entire city council will be on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, ushering in a new era for Rancho Mirage Community Park. What better way to begin than with a weekend devoted to art and music? Plan on attending Rancho Mirage Art Affaire — one of this community’s signature events.
Artist Spotlight: Potter Elliott Newton
The fine pottery pieces featured on the cover of this month’s Guide are the creations of Elliott Newton, a gifted and imaginative La Quinta artist.
The onetime retailer decided to devote himself to creating art in the wake of a quadruple bypass surgery. During five years of ceramic studies, he became enamored of a high fire/slow cooling crystalline glaze process. It has become a hallmark of his work.
“I gradually drop the kiln temperature down from 2,300 degrees, and that’s when the crystals actually grow in the clay,” Newton says. “It’s like a dust particle coming out of the sky: Fog forms around it and you get a snowflake. I make my own glazes, and zinc, that’s my dust particle. It melts down and interacts with the other minerals.”
Many more examples of Newton’s Roman, Greek, and Asian–influenced pottery will be on display at the Rancho Mirage Art Affaire.
Rancho Mirage Art Affaire takes place Nov. 7 and 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Rancho Mirage Community Park, 71560 San Jacinto Drive, Rancho Mirage. Parking is available along San Jacinto Drive and at The River, with free shuttle service.
Visit www.ranchomirageca.gov/art-affaire for more information.