Events

Charles Lummis, Louisa McElwain, Banning Centennial and More

Charles Lummis, Louisa McElwain, Banning Centennial and More

When you’re driving in from LA and hit Banning and the woolly San Gorgonio Pass, you’ve officially entered smoketree country. As Banning celebrates its 100th birthday this year, this atmospheric desert edge town is ramping up as a center for Western and desert art. The Banning Art Center Gallery, representing many fine Pass artists, recently moved into the Haven Sandwich Shop at Ramsey Street and San Gorgonio. See more here: https://www.facebook.com/BanningGallery And, on June 1st and 2nd, 2013, the Banning Centennial festivities feature a Cowboy Art Show at the Gilman Historic Ranch and Wagon Museum. The Gilman Ranch (where Willie…

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Early Desert Stash in Borrego, Terry Masters’ Grand Opening, California Watercolors in Pasadena

Early Desert Stash in Borrego, Terry Masters’ Grand Opening, California Watercolors in Pasadena

Bunnie Hamilton had operated her small gallery in Borrego Springs—the Galleria at the Palms at Indian Head–for less than a year when a jaw-dropping collection of desert art fell in her lap. An unnamed collector gave her his comprehensive collection—65 ocotillos, yuccas, smoke trees and dunescapes– by big name desert artists to be sold at auction prices. The all-star team includes John Hilton, Jimmy Swinnerton, Fred Chisnall, Wilton McCoy, Charles Fries, Paul Grimm, Sam Hyde Harris, Darwin Duncan, George Bickerstaff, William Darling, Joane Cromwell and others. A few contemporary artists are included, and there are some seascapes amidst the many…

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Visit Agnes Pelton Home, Become a Desert Painter, Appraisal Day in Palm Desert

Visit Agnes Pelton Home, Become a Desert Painter, Appraisal Day in Palm Desert

Get a look at Agnes Pelton’s former home this Sunday, February 10, 2013, on the Cathedral City Historical Society’s Home Tour of Working Artists. The tour spotlights the homes and studios of artists working in the Cathedral City Cove, including photographer Peter Palladino and choreographer and dancer Simeon Den, owners of the Pelton house. The couple is maintaining Pelton’s home—where she painted her most transcendent works–as a shrine to the desert painter. You can see the exterior, at least, on Sunday and see the rest of the home during a major Agnes Pelton celebration April 6th and 7th. Sunday’s home…

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Women Artists in Flagstaff, Mystery Painting, Paul Landacre, Desertscapes

Women Artists in Flagstaff, Mystery Painting, Paul Landacre, Desertscapes

Arizona’s Pioneering Women Artists To explore the edges of California desert art, you sometimes have to leave the state. After all, the artists who painted Mt. San Jacinto didn’t pay much allegiance to state lines and many wandered over into Arizona. Arizona’s Pioneering Women Artists at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff (now through May 12, 2013) introduces ten women who roamed the West from 1905-1940. Among them: Lillian Wilhelm Smith, illustrator of Zane Grey novels, and our own stagecoach artist Marjorie Reed. Exhibit collaborators Lonnie Pierson Dunbier, Betsy Fahlman and Fran Elliott have done tireless detective work to…

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Terry Masters’ New Gallery, Mark Kerckhoff Classes, Desert Art Center Lectures

UPDATE: This just in from Terry: “I’m now open Thur-Sun noon to 8pm at least and the doors are usually open when I’m working in the space. Please come by soon. The new studio # is 778-8855.” I’ve been lurking around the original Las Casuelas restaurant on South Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. Peeking in windows and pacing the sidewalk, I may look suspicious–but really it’s for a good reason. The desert’s elusive master painter, aptly named Terry Masters, is opening a new desert art gallery at 370 N. Palm Canyon, next door to the popular Mexican café. In…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Terry Masters Reception February 11th

Terry Masters Reception February 11th

Terry Masters is the most respected name in desert art, but it’s not always easy to locate either the man or his work. While other artists rush to openings or mingle over martinis,  he’s likely to be off alone painting a rocky crag in the moonlight. So don’t miss the chance to finally meet the elusive master and see his new show at Howard Schepp Fine Art on El Paseo in Palm Desert. The exhibit opens February 1st, with a reception for the artist on February 11th. Masters is the Coachella Valley painter most aligned with the spirit of the…

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