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Faces of the Frontier in San Diego

Faces of the Frontier in San Diego

A photo exhibit at the San Diego History Center through June 6th explores themes important to the development of art in the Coachella Valley, including the coming of the railroad and the exploits of surveyors  who first captured the desert on film and canvas. Faces of the Frontier: Photographic Portraits from the American West, 1845-1924, is a traveling exhibit curated by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. This is your only chance to see the exhibit in the West. Included are more than 100 photographs of figures like Sitting Bull, Kit Carson, Jesse James, Geronimo, Annie Oakley and Brigham Young, some…

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Smoketree Painters Included in Grand Canyon Exhibit

Smoketree Painters Included in Grand Canyon Exhibit

The Blue Coyote Gallery (Gary Fillmore’s gallery in Cave Creek, Arizona) and the Grand Canyon Association collaborate to present Canyon Magic, an artistic appreciation of “the world’s best known chasm”, now through June 10, 2010. The show is at the historic Kolb Studios on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The studio, dating to 1904, was home to the river-rafting photographers, brothers Emery and Ellsworth Kolb. Canyon Magic will appeal to readers of California Desert Art because many of “our” painters also ventured to the Grand Canyon—Paul Grimm, Edgar Payne, John Hilton, Hanson Puthuff and Jimmy Swinnerton, among…

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Desert Art Center: Clubhouse of the Legends

Desert Art Center: Clubhouse of the Legends

An institution that nurtured generations of Smoketree painters—the Desert Art Center—celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. This is not some moldy shrine to art history; it’s a working co-op gallery in downtown Palm Springs. Located at 550 North Palm Canyon, the center is a warm, light-filled space housed in the old Frances Stevens School. You can go next time you’re in town and see works by contemporary artists while soaking up the vibe of the early giants. The gallery nurtured the All-Stars of desert art including Carl Bray, Wilton McCoy, Darwin Duncan, R. Brownell McGrew, Jimmy Swinnerton, John Hilton, Bill…

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Gary Fillmore Speaks in Palm Desert

Gary Fillmore Speaks in Palm Desert

Gary Fillmore, a well-known authority on Arizona and Western art, comes to Palm Desert on Friday,  April 23rd to speak on the painters Marjorie Reed, John Hilton and Jimmy Swinnerton. All three once lived and painted in the Coachella Valley. Fillmore, owner of the Blue Coyote Gallery in Cave Creek, Arizona (near Phoenix), is the author of an acclaimed biography on Reed “All Aboard: The Life and Work of Marjorie Reed” as well a book on Swinnerton: “Desert Horizons: Images of Jimmy Swinnerton’s Southwest”. Fillmore will be speaking at a location essential to the history of desert art. LG’s Prime…

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Desertscapes, a Celebration of Early Desert Artists in Palm Desert

The City of Palm Desert is joining with organizations Valleywide (including the Palm Springs Art Museum, the Living Desert and Edenhurst Gallery) to present Desertscapes, a monthlong celebration of the early desert artists and contemporary artists who are continuing the tradition.

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North Shore Salton Sea Artists Get Exhibit

Ed Ainsworth (see previous post) was the ringleader of a small arts colony on the North Shore of the Salton Sea.

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Carl Bray Notecards

Carl Bray Notecards

The Indian Wells Historic Preservation Foundation is selling note cards featuring Carl Bray paintings of classic desert scenes. The price is $10 for a box of 5 cards.

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Desert Art Center Paint-Outs and Classes

Desert Art Center Paint-Outs and Classes

The dedicated and talented painter Elaine Mathews leads the Paint-Outs for the Desert Art Center in Palm Springs through May.

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Artist Edna Hollinger

The Coachella Valley lost an important figure in desert painting in July with the death of Edna Hollinger.

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Artist Jay Von Werlhoff

In another loss, the desert archaeologist and artist Jay von Werlhof of Ocotillo died on December 10, 2009.

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