John Cuevas Makes Art to Help Restaurants, Wins CDAC Grant

During the COVID-19 shutdown, muralist John Cuevas set out to help local restaurants adapting their operations to continue feeding their communities — and his efforts earned him a $500 grant to “Keep Art Alive” from the California Desert Arts Council (CDAC).

CDAC and affiliate La Quinta Arts Foundation established a $50,000 Keep Art Alive fund to award grants to Coachella Valley artists and arts organizations who create thoughtful, inspiring, and relevant works responding to the crisis.

“I’ve been helping local business create sharp banners and promo items for curbside pickup and takeout service,” says the Palm Desert-based artist, who also designed a graphic for CDAC’s Keep Art Alive initiative (shown above). “I had this fun idea and knocked it out. It feels similar in style to a campaign called ‘Unite’ that I’m working on for the city of Palm Desert.”

Cuevas has also been working on a new painting of the view from his living room during the shelter-at-home period. “I’ve kept a sketchbook to remember the James Ensor painting happening just outside my window every day,” he says. “Pedestrians, vehicles, drivers, dogs, golf carts, and mountains will all be in it.

The painting will be part of a larger body of work he hopes to exhibit in a solo or group show after the COVID-19 restrictions ease.

Cuevas earned his bachelor of fine arts degree from Art Center College of Design and has painted murals and exhibited in Los Angeles, La Quinta, and Palm Desert.

Visit John Cuevas online at