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 desert scenes. Hamilton has been somewhat overwhelmed by the task of sorting and labeling, and says: “We’re putting up everything as-is.”
The exhibit opens Sunday February 24, 2013, with a reception from 3-6 pm. For exhibit information contact Bunnie Hamilton: (760) 419-8105.
For hotel info (the affiliated Galleria has no website as yet) see: http://www.thepalmsatindianhead.com/
The New Borrego Art Institute is Open and Seeking Latino Artists
While you’re in Borrego Springs be sure to visit the newly-opened Borrego Art Institute gallery, probably the most impressive stage for desert art in the Southland. Board member Kay Levie says: “Visitor traffic is tremendous as are art sales, so we are very encouraged.”
Along with a plein air invitational coming up March 4-9, the BAI is hosting a show of Latino Art beginning April 6th. For that exhibit, they are currently seeking fine art by artists of Latino heritage. For information contact Kay Levie: (760) 767-5252 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Masters’ Desert Painter Gallery Grand Opening March 9th
In his usual understated way, Terry Masters has been operating the best new art gallery in the Coachella Valley for months now, all the while remaining slightly under the radar. His Grand Opening will be equally casual, as he writes simply: “Join us for fellowship, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails March 9, 2013 from 6-9 pm.”
The event also celebrates one of the gallery’s artists, Elaine Mathews, who was recently selected as an Artist Member of the prestigious California Art Club, established in 1909. Desert Painter gallery, 370 N. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. (760) 778-8855.
Early California Watercolors in Pasadena
Collectors Mark and Janet Hilbert are part-time residents of Palm Springs and owners of the former deBrabant house in the Movie Colony, the scene of early art gatherings in the desert. The Hilberts have loaned many pieces from their extensive collection of California watercolors for an exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, opening March 10-July 28, 2013.
The scene painting movement, fueled by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), documented working people and scenes of everyday life. The paintings in this style are inherently likeable, require no art theory education to appreciate, and tell good stories. Many of the artists featured–such as Rex Brandt and Millard Sheets–also painted the California desert.
California Scene Paintings from 1930 to 1960
March 10-July 28, 2013
For more information: http://www.pmcaonline.org/