The Chaparral

X marks the spot: Desert X update

BY ANDREW VERDUZCO

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

Claudia Comte’s – Curves and Zig Zags
Photo Courtesy of Laurilie Jackson

The valley is currently hosting the third annual art exhibition, Desert X. The first of many installations arose on Feb. 25 and will continue through April 30.

Desert X aims to produce massive “site-specific” pieces of art centered around the valley’s culture, topography and essentially all things “Coachella Valley” inspired.

Curated by Neville Wakefield and produced by non-profit group, Desert Biennial, the pair of curators brought 14 total installations to the Coachella Valley spreading from Desert Hot Springs to Coachella.

According to Desertx.org, “PROJECTS WILL AMPLIFY AND ARTICULATE GLOBAL AND LOCAL ISSUES THAT MAY RANGE FROM CLIMATE CHANGE TO STARRY SKIES, FROM TRIBAL CULTURE AND IMMIGRATION TO TOURISM, GAMING AND GOLF.”

Both Neville and his partner, Executive Director Elizabeth Betinski, want to express the valley as an “open canvas” and be able to support “abstract art” in the artist’s own creative way. Emerging and established artists chose “site-specific” characteristics to present the desert’s geography in a presentation unique to to the valley.

Phillip K. Smith III and 13 other internationally known artists produced their pieces with one goal in mind, to bring out the Coachella Valley and its characteristics through their presentations. Phillip’s piece is solely based on reflection of his chosen site on the corner of Frank Sinatra and Portola. Phillip uses 300 geometric mirrored pillars that are placed in the ground angled at 10 degrees. The reflection captures another level of scenic views that is worth the trip.

All 14 installations stand throughout the busiest months. Alongside Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and Stagecoach, the Desert X project hopes to bring in numbers of tourists and spectators from all over the world.

Desert X is looking to engage views and creativity by bringing the desert’s landscape to life through abstract art. The cost to see the art is free. For more information visit the Desert X’s hub station located at ACE Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs, Calif.

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