Fresh off a month of wildly successful film and writers festivals, the desert braces for a February packed with art and architecture. Modernism Week and Art Palm Springs top the bill, serving up a robust schedule of exhibitions, lectures, tours, openings, screenings, readings, parties, and much more. Here are recommendations from the staff of the California Desert Arts Council:
ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN
ALL IN FOR MODERNISM: A month of events, peaking with Modernism Week, celebrates the prevailing architectural style of the desert. Here are other events to mark on your calendar:
• In Conversation: Alma Allen and J.B. Blunk (Feb. 3)
• La Quinta Midcentury Modern Home Tour (Feb. 8)
• Cathedral City Cove Tour of Artists’ and Historic Homes (Feb. 11)
• Visual Acoustics, a documentary about Julius Shulman (Feb. 15)
• Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale (Feb. 16-19)
• Home as Art, Art as Home: Panel Discussion on Blunk Residence (Feb. 18)
• Albert Frey’s Architecture: Technology and Nature in Harmony (Feb. 22)
• Architecture and Design Art Film Festival (Feb. 23)
ART PALM SPRINGS: The art fair returns to Palm Springs Convention Center for its eighth edition Feb. 16-19 with more than 60 galleries from around the country (and a few from abroad) exhibiting a variety of postwar and contemporary art. The fair honors Andy (shown, top) and the late Ed Moses as artists of the year and features panels on Desert X and Materiality & Visual Language, as well as artist talks with Danny Heller, Ali Cavanaugh, Michael Childers, and others.
WALK FOR ART: El Paseo Art Walk (Feb. 2) in Palm Desert features openings for Mark Davis and Jamie Perry (CODA Gallery), Eric C. Johnson (Ramey Fine Art), Daniel Phill (Filsinger Fine Art), and a group of L.A.-based artists Justin Bowers, Ned Evans, Jimi Gleason, Anthony James, and Andy Moses (Melissa Morgan Fine Art). Other art walks take place at Backstreet Art District (Feb. 7) in Palm Springs, The Art Place (Feb. 7) in Palm Desert, and Cathedral City’s Perez Road Art District (Feb. 10).
HIGH DESERT ART: BoxoProjects in Joshua Tree hosts open houses for The Collab Project (Feb. 3) and Julie Weiman: Saturate (Feb. 10); Taylor Junction opens Friends 4 EVER: Paintings by Mary Hidalgo (Feb. 10); the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Museum of Assemblage Art celebrates the artist’s centennial with docent-led tours (Feb. 17). Add to any of these excursions stops at Andrea Zittel’s Planar Pavilions, Art Queen, and Shari Elf’s World Famous Crochet Museum (all situated along Highway 62 in Joshua Tree).
THEATER & STAGE
ROMANCE/ROMANCE: Two one-act musicals (through Feb. 11) take varied looks at romance seekers at CV Rep in Rancho Mirage. The first is a romp through the sexual ennui of turn-of-the-century Vienna based on Schnitzler’s The Little Comedy. Act 2 is a modern look at affection and disaffection in a two-couple summerhouse in the Hamptons based on the Jules Renard play Summer Share.
HELLO, DOLLY!: The Broadway hit bursts with humor, romance, high-energy dancing, and some of the greatest songs in musical theater history (through Feb. 11) at Palm Canyon Theatre in Palm Springs.
OTHER DESERT STAGES: The month of staged performances includes Kinky Boots at McCallum Theatre and Dirty Blonde at Camelot Theatres (Feb. 3), Keigwin + Company Celebrates Bernstein at McCallum Theatre (Feb. 5), On Golden Pond at Indio Performing Arts Center (Feb. 15), Importance of Being Earnest at Palm Canyon Theatre (Feb. 22), and Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery at McCallum Theatre (Feb. 27).
AUTHORS SPEAK: Allisson Lenor Annalora is the featured writer Feb. 1 for the Meet Your Local Author Series at Desert Hot Springs Senior Center. Deepak Chopra comes to Palm Springs Cultural Center (formerly Camelot Theatres) Feb. 3 as part of the Palm Springs Speaks series. And Janet Fitch, whose first novels, White Oleander and Paint it Black, were bestsellers and made into feature films, speaks Feb. 7 at UCR Palm Desert.
HERITAGE & FESTIVALS
TASTE OF JALISCO: Cathedral City celebrates its Mexican sister city Feb. 10 with a festival on the Downtown Lawn. Grupo Folkorico Son de Mexico starts the action on stage at 11 a.m., followed by a lineup of Aztec dancers, mariachi performers, Nacho Bustillos y su Quinto Menguante, and Los Tiranos del Norte. The fireworks finale starts at 9 p.m.
RIVERSIDE COUNTRY FAIR & NATIONAL DATE FESTIVAL: Since 1947, the annual festival celebrates the harvest of dates. Enjoy art exhibits, rides, and attractions, as well as musical entertainment Feb. 16-25 at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio.
SPIRIT OF THE POTTERS: Agua Caliente Cultural Museum presents a yearlong exhibition featurings contemporary pottery by Tony Soares (Metis/Azore Island Portuguese), who, along with Cahuilla potter, David Largo, has been restoring Cahuilla pottery since the 1990s.