Two La Quinta-based artists, Gideon Cohn and Lauretta Lowell, have won grants from the California Desert Arts Council (CDAC), whose Keep Art Alive fund is offering financial relief to Coachella Valley artists and arts organizations affected by COVID-19-related cancellations of art exhibitions and performances of all kinds.

CDAC and affiliate La Quinta Arts Foundation established a $50,000 fund to provide one-time grants of $500 to individual artists and $1,500 to nonprofit arts organizations who create thoughtful, inspiring, and relevant works responding to the pandemic. Applications are open through June 1, 2020.

Inspired by new-normal conditions such as social distancing, isolation, and wearing masks, Cohn created an oil painting on 3-D-formed panel (shown, above) depicting a couple holding hands and strolling on a trail in a sunflower field. “Distanced from the rest of the world,” the artist explains, “they’re walking toward the light, where they hope to find a brighter, more assuring day. It is a happy painting, full of hope in a time of uncertainty.”

Meanwhile, Lowell says she created Everyone Needs a Guardian Angel (shown, left) — constructed with an antique doll head and the artist’s hand-worked body, bustier, and wings and hand-painted backboard — to “watch over her owner and keep her safe from illness or strife.”

“I have always been a collector of unique oddities from the past,” Lowell says. “I have an attachment to old, damaged, forgotten, and discarded vintage and antique items. They talk to me. Using my gift of building, painting, design, humor, and fearlessness, I put the items together to tell a story.“

Visit Gideon Cohn at and Lauretta Lowell