Museum Exhibits

Morongo Art Tours, the Desert Van Gogh and more

October 27-28, 2012, Weekend Two of the Hwy 62 Art Tours, is your chance to visit the backroad studios of dozens of high-desert artists in the Morongo Valley, Joshua Tree and beyond. You’ll have to search out the landscape artists amidst all the potters, jewelers and performance artists, but the landscape here is always the main attraction—along with the earthy ambience that stands in refreshing contrast to everything Palm Springs. Look for the Wonder Valley studio of Robert Arnett (see an article on Arnett on California Desert Art soon), one of the early colonizers of the remote area; and don’t…

Read more »

San Diego Landscapes, Desert Art Center, Joshua Tree Classes, David Greene

The Smoketree School is indebted to San Diego for the landscape painters who wandered through Ramona and Julian all the way to the desert country.  Two current exhibits at the San Diego History Center offer a chance to get acquainted with our shared heritage. In Landscapes Rediscovered: Depression-era San Diego Paintings, work unseen for 70 years is now on display. While in the collection of the San Diego Unified School District, the paintings had been dinged and exposed to the elements. With all their blemishes, works by artists such as Charles Reiffel and Maurice Braun (both painted the desert) are…

Read more »

Tony Foster, Carl Borg and More

With Desertscapes behind us for another year, the theme of desert-influenced art continues in these exhibits locally and elsewhere in the West. Sacred Places—Watercolour Diaries from the American Southwest opens  May 18, 2012 (through July 14) at Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe. British adventure artist Tony Foster models all the “best practices” for plein air painters. He travels far into the wilderness, hiking 12-14 miles a day, in the style of early exploration artists. He keeps an expedition-style log and annotates his paintings with journal entries, as well as quartz crystals, glass beads, quail feathers, arrowheads and sand–all collected…

Read more »

Desertscapes, Armentrout-Welch Collection, Swinnerton and more

March and April 2012 are packed with desert art events crowned by Desertscapes, the third annual Valleywide celebration of desert art. Participants include the City of Palm Desert, the Walter N. Marks Center for the Arts at College of the Desert, the Coachella Valley Watercolor Society, the Desert Art Center, the Palm Springs Art Museum, California Desert Art and others. Scroll to the end for more non-Desertscapes March and April events. For additional Desertcapes scheduling: http://desertscapes.net/ Desertscapes events: Opens April 2nd-28th, April 14th reception and Appraisal Day: the Historical Society of Palm Desert presents an exhibit of Jimmy Swinnerton and…

Read more »

Lockwood de Forest Exhibit Opens in Palm Springs

The Smoketree School abounds with colorful geniuses but we have not been able to claim an aristocratic all-star equivalent to a Thomas Moran or Albert Bierstadt. Thanks to the Palm Springs Art Museum and Sullivan Goss Gallery in Santa Barbara, we now have a candidate for this position in the early desert painter Lockwood de Forest. An exhibit of his works opens December 17th, 2011, at the Palm Springs Art Museum, with a members’ preview on December 16th. De Forest is linked to the prestigious Hudson River School; he explored Palm Springs on horseback as early as 1904. His desert…

Read more »

Desert Paintings Appraisal Day in Palm Desert

Desert Paintings Appraisal Day in Palm Desert

Readers of this site send me questions—Who is Ollie McDonald? Know anything about Larry Sitter? I usually refer them to a local dealer or the website AskArt. Next Saturday those of you in the Coachella Valley have a chance to bring your questions—and your paintings—to the real experts. On Art Appraisal Day at the Historical Society of Palm Desert–held in conjunction with the Valleywide celebration called Desertscapes–appraisers Kevin Stewart and Alissa Anderson will give informal, verbal valuations of desert and California paintings, prints and photos. If they don’t know your artist, they’ll steer you to someone who might. For every…

Read more »

Lin Moore’s “Lovely Rock” at Maturango Museum through May 4th

Lin Moore’s “Lovely Rock” at Maturango Museum through May 4th

Oregon photographer Lin Moore explores the properties of desert rock in an exhibit at Maturango Museum in Ridgecrest through May 4th: “This Goodly Frame: Reveries Among the Origins of Order.” Moore has written about the link between poetry and photography and is especially inspired by the poet Robinson Jeffers, who lived in a rock tower in Carmel and could not say enough about rock: Lovely rock Living rock Lonely rock Pure naked rock Starting with the basalt cliffs at Smith Rock near his central Oregon home, Moore graduated to the advanced academy of rock, the California desert. He had been…

Read more »

Inaugural Salton Sea Art Exhibit Opens April 1

Inaugural Salton Sea Art Exhibit Opens April 1

Many early artists painted the ancient lake in the desert, and recently a new parade of painters and photographers is trekking to the Sea. It was about time someone staged an exhibition celebrating this vibrant scene. The Salton Sea Museum–in the recently renovated North Shore Yacht Club–is doing just that, April 1-30th. See the full press release below. Read all the way to the end for special events;  see the Museum website and the Desertscapes website for updates. The Salton Sea exhibit is a part of the month-long Desertscapes event hosted by the City of Palm Desert and organizations valley…

Read more »

April is Desertscapes Month

April is Desertscapes Month

For the second year in a row, the City of Palm Desert and organizations valley wide are hosting a monthlong tribute to early and contemporary desert artists. The event, known as Desertscapes, takes place in April at venues around the Coachella Valley. For schedules and updates, check back at the soon-to-be-launched website www.Desertscapes.net A new event this year is an appraisal day. The public is invited to bring in paintings and desert artifacts for an informal opinion from experts. This Desert Roadshow is a great opportunity to bring in those old artworks stashed under your bed. Watch the schedule for…

Read more »

Fernand Lungren “The Desert Speaks” Exhibit in Los Olivos

Fernand Lungren “The Desert Speaks” Exhibit in Los Olivos

August 2, 2010–If you’re traveling anywhere near Santa Barbara before September 19th, consider detouring to Los Olivos to see works by Fernand Lungren, who’s been called the foremost desert painter of the early 1900s. Lungren, who was a resident of Santa Barbara for much of his life, has been undersung. He mistrusted art dealers and was reluctant to sell his work, so he remained less-known than more self-promoting artists. The show at the Wildling Art Museum should help to fix that. While the colorful deserts of Maynard Dixon or John Hilton may be more instantly accessible, Lungren’s deserts resemble what…

Read more »

NEWS

Subscribe

More News