Palm Springs' Art Scene Thrives
New Installations and the return of Desert X
As Desert X returns to the Coachella Valley and new art installations arrive in the city, Palm Spring’s allure for art and architecture lovers is going from strength to strength. From artworks across the desert landscape and intriguing ‘giant babies’ to celebrations of modernism and renowned architecture, Palm Springs has it all.
Desert X - February 9th to April 21st 2019
This spring, the Coachella Valley will welcome back Desert X, a free bi-annual ‘site-specific’ art exhibition featuring work from artists from across the world. From February 9th to April 21st, the desert landscape between Palm Springs and Salton Sea will act as a canvas for contemporary artists to create installations that take cues from the surroundings. Produced by Desert Biennial, a not-for-profit organization, Desert X aims to bring some of the best international artists to the valley to create art which engages the viewer and truly draws attention to the environment. For contemporary art lovers, this is certainly one event not to miss!
Modernism Week - February 2019
One of the highlights of the Palm Springs calendar is Modernism Week, a celebration of mid-century design, architecture, culture and lifestyle taking place every February. With exclusive tours of renowned building designed by legendary architects such as Albert Frey and Donald Wexler, open houses, fascinating lectures, cocktail parties and the ever-popular Show & Sale, the 10-day event attracts visitors from around the world.
This year’s must-attend events include:
- Frank Sinatra’s Neighbourhood the Movie Colony tour; a fascinating look at the neighbourhood which blends Spanish Colonial Revival with mid-century modern design.
- NOD to MOD, a superb dinner event which sees guests transported in time with a diverse range of music, movies, commercials and musicals from the forties, fifties and sixties as they enjoy this five-course immersive dining experience at secret location ‘Club Rouge’
- Modernism’s Legacy: Discussing the future of Midcentury Architecture; a thought-provoking talk about the preservation, impact and long-term importance of mid-century modern architecture.
Those that can't make February's event won't be disappointed though, as October will see the return of Modernism Week Fall Preview, a four-day event offering a glimpse into what 2020's event has in store.
Downtown’s New Art Scene
The progression of the Downtown revitalisation project is seeing the city welcome a host of new art installations, including the much-talked-about ‘giant baby’ statues by David Cerny. The 10 eight-foot-tall, 200 to 300-pound sculptures currently reside in their very own ‘sand-box’ between the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs and the Palm Springs Art & Design Museum. The sculptures can be viewed from ground level, just above the ‘sand-box’, or for an impressive birds-eye view, visitors can head to the rooftop bar at the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs, to discuss the thought-provoking installation over a refreshing drink.
Downtown Palm Springs also welcomed a sculpture by renowned artist Julian Voss-Andreae titled ‘Isabelle’ in 2018. Located in front of the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs, ‘Isabelle’ took over one year to create and aims to showcase all that Palm Springs is known for. Capturing the desert sunlight during the day, the stainless-steel sculpture is illuminated by an integrated lighting system at night, in a shout out to the ‘glitz and glamour’ of the city’s nightlife.
In 2020, the brand-new Downtown Park is set to open, bringing with it a permanent home for the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Aluminaire House and the return of the wildly-popular 22 foot “Forever Marilyn” sculpture.
Established in 1938, the Palm Springs Art Museum plays a central role in the desert’s art community and is an ever-popular attraction for both visitors to the city and locals. Featuring compelling permanent exhibitions on contemporary and Native American art as well as architecture, design and photography, along with regular special exhibitions, a visit to the museum is highly-recommended.
For those with a keen interest in Palm Springs’ renowned architecture, the museum’s Architecture & Design Center hosts exhibitions, research space and educational programmes, that are perfect for discovering the architects that shaped the city.
On Thursday evenings from 4pm to 8pm, both the Art & Design Museum and the Architecture & Design Center offer free admission.