Arts + Culture Itinerary – February 2020

Two locally based artists, Jim Isermann (above) and Gerald Clarke, have solo exhibitions at Palm Springs Art Museum; Modernism Week presents 11 days of tours, lectures, and parties; art fairs and festivals unfold in cities across the Coachella Valley; and musical and theatrical performances fill area stages. Throw in film screenings and literary events, and you’ve got what we call “high season.” Here are our recommendations for your arts and culture calendar in February.

Above: Jim Isermann: Copy. Pattern. Repeat runs February 8 through May 31 at the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center in downtown Palm Springs. Photographs courtesy Palm Springs Art Museum.



MODERNISM WEEK: Literally hundreds of home tours, lectures, parties, and the Modernism Show & Sale fill 11 days of the cultural juggernaut the desert known as Modernism Week, February 13–23 at various locations. Info

ALEXANDER GIRARD: A Designer’s Universe features more than 400 textiles, drawings, furniture, graphics, and folk art — as well as full-scale one of his best known interiors, the 1957 Miller House in Columbus, Indiana — continues through March 1 at Palm Springs Art Museum. Info

TOUR THE WALKER: Tour the replica Paul Rudolph’s Walker Guest House in “the pit” in downtown Palm Springs before the structure goes to the auction block this spring. Info



COPY.PATTERN.REPEAT: For longer than 30 years, Palm Springs–based artist Jim Isermann has powered his artwork with the colors and contours of midcentury design. On February 8, he opens an exhibition at Palm Springs Art Museum’s Architecture and Design Center. Info

FALLING ROCK: Cahuilla artist Gerald Clarke’s exhibition at Palm Springs Art Museum (through May 31) features more than 75 poignant and often humorous artworks addressing Native American identity and its intersection with mainstream U.S. culture and politics. Info

ART ON MAIN: The city of La Quinta presents Art on Main Street on February 1 and 15 in Old Town La Quinta. The events feature artists showing and selling their paintings, jewelry, mixed media, photography, ceramics, glass, woodwork, textiles, and sculptures. Info

TWO FOR THE SHOW: Barbara Drucker and Barbara Spiller unveil their new work in side-by-side exhibitions opening February 8 at Joshua Tree Art Gallery in conjunction with the Joshua Tree Art Walk. Info

ARTISANS AT THE PUEBLO: On February 9, Cabot’s Pueblo Museum in Desert Hot Springs welcomes artisans Ellen Finnan, Bruce Hearn, Maria Hunt, and Sergio Naduville plus the Desert Weavers. Info

WATERCOLOR: The Coachella Valley Watercolor Society presents its 31st annual Watercolor Show and Sale from February 12 to 15 at Hope Lutheran Church in Palm Desert. The event, which is free to the public, includes artist demonstrations. Info

ART PALM SPRINGS: More than 60 modern and contemporary art galleries from around the United States present their top artists February 13 to 17 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Info

ART UNDER THE EAVES: Members of the Desert Art Center display and sell their artwork February 16 under the eaves outside the gallery in Palm Springs. Info

AGNES PELTON: Visit the historic Cathedral City home of the transcendentalist painter February 23 during The Agnes Pelton House Museum Day. Info

REACH FOR THE SKY: Sunnylands Center & Gardens in Rancho Mirage presents Reach for the Sky: Tradition + Inspiration, featuring totems by the Hunt family of Canadian First Nations artists and the musician and artist Herb Alpert, throughout the season. Info



ROCK ART: Learn about the enigmatic symbols left behind by the Indigenous Peoples with archaeologist Daniel McCarthy in one-day field class, Rock Art of Southern California: From Palms to Pines Spring 2020, on February 16. Info

SALTON SEA STORIES: Experience the heyday of the Salton Sea through the 1962 photographs of George Mann and the story of Helen Burns, “Queen of the Salton Sea.” The exhibit continues through March 28 at La Quinta Museum. Info

CORAZON DE MEXICO: Visit the 1926 Smiley-Tyler Adobe House and peruse the exhibition Corazon de Mexico, featuring the Coachella Valley History Museum’s new eclectic collection of Mexican folk art, including textiles, pottery, costumes, and wooden toys. Info 



OBEY GIANT: The documentary detailing the life, career, and controversies of fame street artist Shepard Fairey screens February 20 at UCR Palm Desert. Info



BOOK FEST: La Quinta Book Fest on February 1 is free to the public and features authors and speakers including Sean R. Corbin, Rachelle Cruz, Ezra Claytan Daniels, Aminder Dhaliwal, Aja Gabel, Allyson Jeffredo, Liza Palmer, Isabel Quintero, Aminah Mae Safi, and John F. Szabo. Info



THE CARPENTERS: Top of The World performs hits from the sister/brother duo popular in the 1970s and ’80s, including “Close to You” and “We’ve Only Just Begun,” February 6 at McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert. Info

BENEFIT CONCERT: California Desert Chorale performs the seventh annual Eisenhower Memory Care Benefit Concert on February 9 at the Helene Galen Auditorium, located at the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower in Rancho Mirage. Info

CLASSICAL CONCERT: Pianist Estela Olevsky performs “Piano Gems From the Americas” February 9 as part of the free Desert Hot Springs Classical Concerts series at Grace Church. Info

TONY YAZBECK: Before The Tony Award–winning actor’s new musical opens in March at Lincoln Center Theater, he’ll performFebruary 15 at Annenberg Theater in Palm Springs. Info

DUO YUMENO: At Lou Harrison House in Joshua Tree on February 20, Yoko Reikano Kimura and Hikaru Tamaki perform two works by Harrison as well as the duo’s commissioned works, followed by a Q&A session with the performers. Info



A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2: In the final scene of Ibsen’s 1879 masterwork, Nora Helmer leaves her husband and children to begin a life on her own. In A Doll’s House, Part 2, Nora returns. You don’t need to know the original story to enjoy the irreverent sequel, February 7–16 at Palm Springs Cultural Center. Info

RUMORS: The wedding anniversary party never begins as the host shoots himself and the wife goes missing in Desert TheatreWorks’ production of Neil Simon’s Rumors from February 7 to March 1 at the Indio Performing Arts Center. Info

BALLROOM: The reimagined revival of the 1978 Broadway musical tells the moving story of aging widow Bea Asher, who having lost her beloved Morrie begins life anew at the Stardust Ballroom. Performances run through February 16 at CVRep in Cathedral City. Info