Desert Art Festival Brings Artists and Shoppers to Palm Springs

The Desert Art Festival is a Coachella Valley institution. These six weekends, at the height of the winter season, bring well-known local and national artists together for a fabulous art market under our warm desert skies.

From Thanksgiving through the end of March, West Coast Artists stages the art festival once a month in Palm Springs' Frances Stevens Park, with the exception of one weekend, the ARTWALK, which takes place in Indian Wells. The month of February features a four-day show that brings about 135 artists to Palm Springs. Over the season, more than 10,000 locals and visitors will attend the art shows.

Every type of original art can be found at the festival, from wood, stone and metal sculptures, to oil and acrylic paintings, photography, mixed media and digital art, blown, fused and etched glass, functional and decorative clay and ceramic pieces, and artisanal jewelry in gold and silver with precious and semi-precious stones.

Well-known local artists include muralist John Weidenhamer, who lives in Indio, photographer Dean Mayo, and sculptor Merrill Orr, who shows his large scale steel sculptures.

The festival has a 30-year tradition in the Palm Springs area, says Ronda Mills, who, with her husband Curtis, stages the Desert Art Festival and many other art shows all around Southern California through their company West Coast Artists. And when you shop at the show, you're also doing some local good: Every year, West Coast Artists donates to the Deserts Art Center and the Palm Canyon Theater. In 2012, the two civic organizations received $12,000. 

It's easy to make a day of it: People shop the show, which is about the size of a good city block, and then head off to a local restaurant or more shopping on Palm Canyon. The Rainmaker Fountain in the park provides a cooling little break. There are also food vendors at the festival. Admission and parking are free.

The last Desert Art Festival this spring will be March 22-23, 2014. They start again November 28-30 in Palm Springs. For more information and a 2014-2015 schedule, visit West Coasts Artists or call 818 813-4478.

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