The Desert realm around Palm Springs, California is an awe inspiring living work of art…but I never expected to find truly world-class art within the museums and galleries of Coachella Valley. So I was stopped in my tracks when I walked in to the Palm Springs Art Museum and its cool satellite facility in Palm Desert. Reading between the lines, I realized that some of incredible art came to repose in Palm Springs due to the inordinate number of captains of industry, Hollywood luminaries and recording stars who have claimed domiciles in the desert realm for decades and bequest their collections to the local museums in their wills, as well as funding endowments.
The Art Museum in Palm Desert is a satellite of the Palm Springs mother ship. It opened in 2012 to provide convenient access for Coachella Valley communities like Indio, Palm Desert, La Quinta, and Rancho Mirage. The 8,400 square-foot-facility was the first Silver rated Leed Certified “green” structure approved in Southern California. In addition to curatorial lectures, school tours, and family events, the Museum functions in many respects as a community center, and hosts ongoing live musical performances in their four-acre outdoor sculpture garden in addition to permanent and rotating art shows within the gallery.
Art in the city of Palm Desert is by no means limited to installations within the confines of the Museum, as the city established a Public Arts Project, the first city in Riverside County to officially mandate art in public venues way back in 1986. Keep your eyes out as you traipse around town as there are more than 150 sculptures nestled throughout the city landscape. I’m correspondent, Tom Wilmer, come along and join me at the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert for a conversation with the Museum’s Managing Director, Arlene Amick.
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