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Arts News Digest – July 2019

ART

The desert feels the transformational power of public art (Palm Springs Life)
From David Černý’s Babies in Palm Springs to Edoardo Tresoldi’s Etherea in Coachella, large-scale public artworks are adding aesthetic beauty, attracting tourism, stimulating walking traffic, inspiring, educating, and promoting pride in place in communities across the Coachella Valley.

New museum director will challenge curators, grow collection (The Desert Sun)
Louis Grachos, the new executive director and CEO of Palm Springs Art Museum, sees his arrival as a return to his first love: nurturing and building a museum collection.

Wonder Valley sonic artist captures ‘silence’ of the California desert (Desert Magazine)
High desert artist Kate Lee Short’s last two projects, “Mojave Sound Art” and “Incantations,” are radical, thought-provoking explorations into the world of desert landscapes, structural experiments, and the concepts of sound in rural, barren places.

‘Birds of Sunnylands’ now at Indio museum (The Desert Sun)
Flight Plan: The Birds of Sunnylands, an exhibition of 52 photographs by National Geographic lensman Tim Laman that became a popular attraction at Sunnylands Center and Gardens, has been reinstalled at the Coachella Valley History Museum in Indio.

Hands-on art experiences draw visitors to Westfield Palm Desert (Palm Springs Life)
Flat Black art supply and Westfield Palm Desert have partnered to create the Art Lab, a hands-on, all-ages artmaking workshop held every Sunday afternoon, as well as a monthly Art Walk.

Grant will support children’s programs and renovations at CREATE Center (CV Independent)
The CREATE Center for the Arts in Palm Desert has received a $10,000 grant from the Berger Foundation to expand summer children’s programs and pursue renovations. The center also has plans to add woodworking and metal-crafts studios and enhance its digital media program.

Highlights from the Bombay Beach Biennale (Cool Hunting)
The gathering of artists, musicians, and philosophers serves as an unveiling of sorts for new art installations that are built to become part of the cultural fabric of the community.

 

BOOKS & FILM

ShortFest director discusses the value of short films (The Desert Sun)
On the final day of the Palm Springs International ShortFest, artistic director Lili Rodriguez discussed the potential impacts of short films.

So you want to be a gangster? (Palm Springs Life)
Writer Maggie Downs catches up with Indio author and UCR creative writing professor Tod Golberg (Gangsterland and Gangster Nation) while he’s at work on a book of short stories set in the same world, Gang Related.

 

HERITAGE

Wagonmaster: the backcountry adventures of George Service (californiadesertart.com)
There’s little chance you know his work or his cinematic story of George Service, a Pinyon resident who died in August 2018, but for a time he was the leading nature photographer in the desert.

A conversation with Joy Harjo, the frst Native American poet laureate (WBUR)
A member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Harjo is the first Native American to serve as a poet laureate of the United States. Her latest collection of poetry, An American Sunrise, is set to be published in August.

 

MUSIC & STAGE

CVRep forms partnership with Nickerson-Rossi Dance (Performing Arts Live)
The Michael Nickerson-Rossi Dance Company will make CVRep’s new state-of-the-art sprung dance floor its home base in the Coachella Valley. A celebration, including a dance performance, is set for Aug. 4 at the new CVRep Playhouse in Cathedral City.

AMP announces fifth annual youth music camp lineup (CV Weekly)
The Academy of Musical Performance youth summer camp features the Coachella Valley’s top musicians teaching performance and concert production skills. The program ends July 27 with a fundraising showcase performance in Palm Desert.

The desert’s best cover band (CV Weekly)
In the afterglow of their sixth Coachella Valley Music Award for Best Cover Band, members of Long Duk Dong talk to CV Weekly about ’80s music and becoming local legends.

Splash House announces August lineup (The Desert Sun)
Splash House has announced its Aug. 9-11 lineup, which includes such Toro Y Moi and Keys N Krates, both playing DJ sets, plus Snakehips, Chris Malinchak, Luttrell and others at The Renaissance, Riviera, and Saguaro hotels.

 

ISSUES & IDEAS

With new arena, Live Nation joins AEG in Palm Springs market (The Desert Sun)
The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians’ plans for a downtown Palm Springs arena by fall 2021 include a partnership with Live Nation Entertainment, adding a leading global event producer to the west end of a valley already anchored in the east by Anschutz Entertainment Group.

California sees largest spike in arts funding in a generation (Californians for the Arts)
The 2019-20 budget Gov. Newsom signed includes an ongoing $10 million increase in the general fund to the California Arts Council, the state arts agency. This represents an increase in state funding for the arts from $16 million to $26 million, the largest increase in funding since 1999.

Does landmarking buildings help or hurt a neighborhood? (Pacific Standard Time)
According to Ingrid Gould Ellen, a professor of urban policy at New York University, there are three main schools of criticism levied against historic preservation initiatives.

 

Above: For the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Berlin-based architect Francis Kéré created teepeelike structures that soar up to 60 feet tall. Some could be permanently installed in the East Valley. Photograph by Steven Biller.

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