Branding experts make big bucks dreaming up campaigns to sell communities, yet one of the simplest ways to build an identity is to promote a beloved artist. It worked for Santa Fe, in the case of Georgia O’Keeffe, and it’s working for Cathedral City, as City leaders increasingly embrace hometown mystic Agnes Pelton. In the latest effort to bolster the brand, the City unveiled new street signage on F Street (the site of Pelton’s former home): Agnes Pelton Way.
In contrast, the city of Indian Wells could write the “What Not to Do” book when it comes to promoting local artists. Despite public outcry, town fathers demolished Carl Bray’s home and studio in 2010; and so far they have reneged on promises to install a memorial at the site of his home.
Driving down the glossy stretch of 111 where many of us once visited the artist, Bray fans look wistfully at the long-vacant mound of dirt.
Artistic preservation scorecard: Cathedral City: 1. Indian Wells: O.
Go Off-Road For Art in Morongo
There’s still time to get in on the final weekend of the Highway 62 Art Tours, October 26 and 27, 2013. The dual weekend event is really an excuse to wander the high desert dirt roads and pop into strangers’ homes. The plentiful art inspired by the wild and lonely Mojave is a bonus.
Desert Art Center Paint-Out Schedule 2013-2014
Elaine Mathews, kingpin of the Desert Art Center paint-outs, sent on her schedule for this season. As always, anyone is welcome, including novice artists and observers. The paint-outs are always an uplifting way to spend a day–hang out, join in, learn to draw or just roam about.
Nov. 7 Whitewater Preserve
Nov. 23 Big Morongo
Dec. 5 Box Canyon
Jan. 2 Mission Creek
Jan. 4 Coachella Preserve
Feb. 6 Snow Creek?
Feb. 22 Indian Canyons
Mar. 6 Coachella Preserve
Mar. 29 Joshua Tree Monument/ Hidden Valley
April 3 Indian Canyons
May 1 Hwy. 74 T.Indian Lookout
For info: Elaineartist@yahoo.com
Flora and Fauna in Borrego
The Borrego Art Institute is poised to be a major player in California art. Their first exhibit this season, Flora and Fauna, runs through November 24, 2013.
Death Valley 49ers Art Show
The 64th annual Death Valley 49ers Art Show (November 7-10) is a venerable tradition of the Smoke Tree School, as many of our favorite artists–Bill Bender, John Hilton, Clyde Forsythe–were involved in founding the show. This November 6th, 2013, join Jim Trolinger in a paint-out at Zabriskie Point. In his enthusiasm for Death Valley and plein air painting, Trolinger has singlehandedly triggered a boom in painting on the playas.
The Case of the Mistaken Desert Artist
It’s not everyday you come across a mistaken identity yarn involving desert painters. Daniel Rohlfing at Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery unearthed a good one recently, with his tale of two women—Frances Upson Young and Florence Young–who both painted the desert. The saga includes an appearance by Pasadena art scholar Maurine St. Gaudens. The article is a just a taste of the treasures found each month in Dan’s newsletter.