Where to See Art and Architecture in Greater Palm Springs

These theaters and galleries keep the culture going all summer long.

Alex Galbraith Arts & Entertainment, Attractions

Cool off with an indoor performance at Coachella Valley Repertory in Cathedral City. 

In this expansive and tranquil space, creatives are called to play to their passions, making this an uplifting region for all sorts of adventures in art and architecture.

A flair for the dramatic.

Find respite and a bounty of entertainment indoors by attending a community theater production. CV Rep in Cathedral City, Desert TheatreWorks in Indio, and Palm Canyon Theatre in Palm Springs offer summer programming featuring extraordinary talent from the Coachella Valley and beyond.


“Etherea” was first displayed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Find inspiration at an installation.

Public art abounds in Greater Palm Springs. A few of the massive artworks from the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival have been sited in Coachella, Indio, and La Quinta. Catch some of the vibe by doing a drive-by of installations, such as the wire mesh architectural work “Etherea” from the 2018 festival — the soaring, translucent structure now adds a touch of neoclassical and baroque magic to the corner of Cesar Chavez and Sixth streets in Coachella. If you missed Desert X, you can still see a few of the installations, including artist Jeffrey Gibson’s “ALIVE!”, which you can view from the sidewalk alongside Palm Springs Art Museum, and two murals by Armando Lerma in Coachella. Get directions to murals, sculptures, and other public art throughout the area by downloading the artsGPS app.


Duck indoors to CODA Gallery to view a variety of contemporary art.

Get your gallery on.

In Palm Desert, El Paseo offers a pleasant stroll with a variety of art destinations. Melissa Morgan Fine Art features a fine-tuned roster of contemporary artists, including Anthony James and Andy Moses, as well as a sculpture garden and a bookstore. Heather James Fine Art presents a museum-like space with works from the cream of impressionism alongside modern and contemporary art. Variety also prevails at Jones & Terwilliger Gallery and CODA  Gallery, which the American Art Awards  named as California’s Best Gallery. The Artists Center at The Galen, a nonprofit space, promotes the work of its local member artists, while the Coachella Valley Art Center in downtown Indio provides a sense of community for local artists, exhibiting their work and offering workshops.

Retro history on wheels.

Want to learn more about midcentury design? There’s an app for that! Dive deeper into the golden years with the Palm Springs Modernism Tour app, available on the App Store and Google Play. Use it to map out your own self-guided tour to see more than 80 locations while streaming audio and videos that elaborate on the desert’s most iconic properties. 


Palm Springs Art Museum’s Architecture and Design Center. 

Museums are having a moment.

A nose-diving car — a stunning art installation created by Gonzalo Lebrija — welcomes visitors to the Palm Springs Art Museum, the cultural hub of downtown. Expect surprises and moments of awe in its galleries featuring Native; early, midcentury, and contemporary California; and international treasures. On the lower level, the Annenberg Theater hosts a variety of music, film, and dance programs, as well as talks by renowned artists and other cultural figures. The museum’s nearby Architecture and Design Center exhibits the work of architects and designers from the midcentury to today through models, photographs, furnishings, objects, and other ephemera. In Cathedral City, the Museum of Ancient Wonders presents a loving tribute to the pioneering artists who called this city home, including Agnes Pelton and Samuel deWalt Arner. Many lived and painted in the neighborhood now known as Cathedral City Cove.


What are the most common architectural styles in Greater Palm Springs, and why are they significant?

Palm Springs has a rich amount of architecture. Long before it became a modernist mecca, Palm Springs was a paradise of the Spanish Colonial Revival style of architecture. Modern for their time, these homes were forerunners to the midcentury period of architecture that would follow in the 1950s.

Palm Springs is widely recognized as having the most intact array of midcentury- modern architecture anywhere in the country, or even the world. Midcentury- modern design has had a lasting impact on our culture due to its elegant simplicity.

Midcentury- modern buildings (both residential and commercial) were designed by leading architects including John Lautner, E. Stewart Williams, A. Quincy Jones, Hugh Kaptur, Donald Wexler, William Krisel, and others. They were drawn to the area because they were able to produce buildings using modern materials and create innovative, never-tried- before designs.

Lisa Vossler Smith, CEO, Modernism Week


Adam Enrique Rodriguez lays out a perfect day. 

A Day With adam 

Local artist Adam Enrique Rodriguez shares his picks for a getaway in Greater Palm Springs. Learn more about his story (and the stories of other local artists) in the Art & Sol video series.

Hit the East Valley for the horchata latte at my favorite coffee shop, Sixth Street Coffee in Coachella.

One of my favorite restaurants that I have been going to since I was a child is Rincon Norteño. Check out the historical murals in downtown Indio while you’re there.

My favorite spot to start the night is Truss & Twine for some handcrafted cocktails. If you get lucky, you’ll be able to catch their weekly pop-up of Mexican cuisine hosted by Hoja Blanca.