Skip to content

Arts News Digest – March 2019

After a long legal battle, Kenny Irwin’s controversial RoboLights will leave Palm Springs for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit. Photo courtesy Kenny Irwin

 

FILM

Native Film Fest shrinks to two days of screenings (The Desert Sun)
Joely Proudfit is dedicated to bringing Native American and other indigenous stories to the big screen with Native American actors telling tales by Native American writers, directors and producers, but she’s frustrated by the lack of access that Native American and indigenous filmmakers have to Hollywood.

Greg Cannom of La Quinta wins fifth Oscar (Palm Springs Life)
La Quinta resident Greg Cannom took home the coveted Oscar for Best Achievement for Makeup and Hairstyling for his work on Vice. He previously won awards for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2009), Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), and Mrs. Doubtfire (1993).

 

MUSIC

Gisella Woo and the Night Owls never give up (CV Weekly)
The Coachella Valley’s “Mayor of Music” and her band of Night Owls are currently riding the high after being chosen to perform at this year’s ¡CHELLA! along with Mexican norteño band Los Tucanes de Tijuana, Chilean singer-songwriter and actress Mon Laferte, and multi-instrumentalist and singer Cola Boyy.

Sunnylands offers free Music in the Greens (Cactus Hugs)
Free-to-the-public performances — including jazz, soul, blues, and Celtic — take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Sunday in March. Those who attend can also see the Desert X installation by Iman Issa.

Ode to Sinatra (Palm Springs Life)
Trisha Yearwood delves into the Frank Sinatra songbook in Let’s Be Frank, a new album that brought her to Palm Springs to visit the singer’s iconic estate.

 

THEATER

CV Rep makes history with opening of Cathedral City theater (The Desert Sun)
The 11-year-old theater company has left its home at The Atrium in Rancho Mirage amid a wave of theater appreciation that propelled its fundraising to buy and renovate the old IMAX theater.

‘White Guy on the Bus’ stuns with unexpected turns, fine acting (CV Independent)
Reviewer VJ Hume finds many reasons to call Bruce Graham’s play about race absolutely brilliant.

 

VISUAL ART

RobolLights en route to Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (ARTnews)
Kenny Irwin’s sprawling art installation at his family’s residence in Palm Springs has drawn tens of thousands of fans but also consternation from some neighbors. Now, following a long legal tussle, the colorful, larger-than-life sculptures are going on the road.

Armando Lerma is adding inspiration to his hometown of Coachella (Desert Magazine)
The only locally based artist in Desert X — and the exhibition’s only returning talent from the inaugural 2017 exhibition — is the founder of the Coachella Walls mural project and an inspiration to younger artists in the eastern Coachella Valley.

This land is my land (Palm Springs Life)
In the style of the early California impressionists, Rancho Mirage artist Elaine Mathews paints the Coachella Valley with love, passion, and precision.

‘Etherea,’ Desert X, new murals bring art to Coachella (Desert Sun)
The Coachella Walls mural project headed by Armando Lerma, who created his largest mural yet in Coachella for Desert X, is being joined in the city by other public art, including a large-scale sculpture by Eduordo Tresoldi and mural by Kelsey Montague.

‘I drove 198 miles to see 19 artists’ work. Here’s the best’ (Los Angeles Times)
Curators Neville Wakefield, Amanda Hunt, and Matthew Schum have mostly chosen well, and several good projects are grouped in relative proximity, says art critic Christopher Knight. “With two unusually strong outings under its belt, look for a third Desert X to materialize in 2021.”

Is this Southern California’s most innovative art space? (Los Angeles Times)
Santa Ana’s Grand Central Art Center celebrates 20 years offering performance and exhibition spaces, as well as free office space to cultural organizations. Its innovative residency program has drawn artists from all over the region and the world.

Survey of 300 art critics reveals a field undergoing profound of change (Nieman)
At a time when we are increasingly understanding the world through art and images, the journalists who make sense of visual culture are facing a critical moment of generational change and insecurity.

 

LITERARY

5 must-reads about the desert experience (Desert Magazine)
The literature of the California desert is a diverse mix of memoir, fiction, oral history and creative nonfiction. From the earliest pioneer observations to rapid-fire true crime, these five books explore the breadth of the desert experience, in all of its hardscrabble weirdness — full of outlaws, seekers and innovators.

 

ISSUES & IDEAS

How the arts help struggling students do better (Pacific Standard)
A new study finds that incorporating music and drawing during lessons can help kids retain what they’ve learned.

The price of fun (1843 Magazine)
Tickets to Broadway musicals have gone up by more than a third since 2008. Real average prices for tickets to the theater, pop concerts, and football games have surged by 15 to 30% in the same period. Even cinemas are charging more, despite the vast libraries of movies and TV that we can stream at home.

Thomas Krens (seriously) thinks museums should be more like theme parks (Hyperallergic)
The former Guggenheim director has launched an ambitious and sprawling plan to reinvent a Massachusetts town, drawing massive amounts of tourism to the region with new, for-profit cultural spaces.

Scroll To Top