Greater Palm Springs is a mecca for art lovers, with numerous shows and festivals throughout the season and across the valley. Whether you’re a serious collector or just looking for a special piece for your living room, you will be inspired and impressed by the high quality of creativity on show. Nearly every weekend in high season, there’s an art event to enjoy. Many take place in downtown areas where shops and restaurants rub shoulders with artists’ booths, or they are held in scenic parks where artworks are complemented by live music and good food.
Palm Springs has hosted the Desert Arts Festivals since 1985, held on six weekends from Thanksgiving through late March and benefiting non-profit arts related organizations. More than 80 juried artists gather at the central Frances Stevens Park, bordered by Palm Canyon and Indian Canyon Drives. The festivals feature a diverse range of innovative works in all styles and all media by an ever-changing group of artists. Weekend shows are open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Cathedral City’s Town Square Park adjacent to City Hall on Hwy 111, is host to The Town Square Art Affair January 21-22, 2017. The festival includes a large number of diverse exhibiting artists, offering something for everyone.
Indio’s celebrated Empire Polo Grounds plays host to the Southwest Arts Festival January 26-29, 2017, giving visitors a colorful way to get over those post-holiday blues. The festival is known to attract a high caliber of talented artists showcasing work that includes pottery, glass blowing and fine art.
From February 16-19, as a complement to the world-renowned Modernism Week, Art Palm Springs takes over the Palm Springs Convention Center. The massive fair brings together galleries from all over the world exhibiting modern and contemporary art in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, photography and mixed media.
Since 2012, Artwalk at Indian Wells has featured over 50 artists displaying original work in various mediums. It’s held at the Village Business Park at the corner of Cook and Hwy 111 from February 25-26, 2017, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
La Quinta’s flagship event is the annual La Quinta Arts Festival, ranked #1 in the nation and attracting thousands of visitors to the Civic Center Park to enjoy art, entertainment and gourmet food at the festival’s Restaurant Row. Now in its 35th year, the three-day show runs from March 2–5, 2017. The juried show selects 220 applicants from more than 1,000 entries worldwide, with new artists at each festival. Artworks are in every conceivable medium, from pencil drawings to fiber and feathers.
Indian Wells boasts the second annual prestigious Spectrum Art Show March 16-19, 2017 at the Renaissance Esmeralda, to coincide with the second week of the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament. Spectrum’s focus is on contemporary art selected by fine art experts; it features international artists and galleries.
Ranked among the Top 100 art fairs in the USA, the annual Indian Wells Arts Festival runs March 31–April 2, 2017. Nearly 200 juried artists from more than 25 countries make this an international event, transforming the Indian Wells Tennis Garden into an artisan village and outdoor marketplace. The Tennis Garden provides plenty of shady spots to relax, listen to live jazz and sip refreshments at the Champagne Circle Bar and the RumChata Bar. The 2017 event features ‘Eggs & Champagne in The Gardens’ brunch on Saturday and Sunday, and the venue’s top restaurants open for lunch.
Each October, Art on Main Street comes to the City of La Quinta for designated weekends through spring. Held in Old Town, a distinctive hub of entrepreneurs, artists, designers, and artisanal food sellers amongst timeless architectural charm, the show features local artists and their regional creations.
Every year, Rancho Mirage kicks off the art high season on the first weekend of November with Art Affaire now in its 17th year, held in Rancho Mirage Community Park. This two-day, juried fine art festival showcases more than 100 artists displaying and selling work in every medium from painting to photography, metalwork, glassware and more. Musical performances also take place throughout the day.