Marks Art Center hosts Jenny Holzer: Desert X Parallel Projects

BY CARLOS GARCIA

A & E EDITOR

Photo courtesy The Chaparral. Attendees at the courtyard of the event enjoying food and live music.

College of the Desert’s Marks Art Center (MAC) is host to Jenny Holzer’s 54 pieces of artwork ranging from lithographic prints and signs to a carved bench. In her work, Holzer represents stereotypical laments, astringent observations, social commentary and slyly humorous aphorisms on subjects ranging from war, racism and private/corporate greed. This installation is part of the Desert X Exhibition.

The exhibit hosted by MAC is called “Jenny Holzer: The Power of Words From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation.” It’s part of the Desert X Parallel Projects. The exhibition opened  Feb. 11 and runs through April 4, 2019, at the Marks Art Center. The installation features artwork from the international artist, Jenny Holzer, who for more than 40 years, has created unique pieces to urge positive social action.

Schnitzer himself started collecting art in 1988. He built a self-proclaimed foundation that boasts a collection exceeding more than 13,000 pieces. The foundation has become one of the countries largest private print collections organizing over 110 exhibitions and art in over 150 museums.

“Inflammatory Essay” by Jenny Holzer displayed at the event.

An opening reception was held at MAC on Feb. 20. The exhibition showcases works of art such as ‘Truisms,’ ‘Inflammatory Essays,’ and the carved bench titled, ‘In a Dream, You Saw a Way.’ The exhibition is attracting more than students. Jeremy Gray, a resident of Palm Desert for over 43 years said, “I found out about this event because of the Desert Sun. And I am so glad I did. This exhibit is extremely beautiful. I have been to at least 50 art exhibits in my life, and this one is definitely in my top 5.” Gray said that ‘Truisms’ was his favorite piece of the gallery, “I love this piece because it is very complex to come up with. The best part about this is that everything on it is true.”

Mr. Schnitzer gave a heartfelt speech to the crowd at the reception. He explained his background and his foundation. He also spoke about his passion for art to the students who love it as well. “I walked into the gallery and saw all these students looking at the art, and my heart soared because this is what it is all about. It’s about the art and the audience,” says Schnitzer.

Schnitzer left the audience with these words, “In terms of our collection, we serve the museum. We are lucky to have all these thousands of prints. But really, we are the most honored to get the work out. And I tell you, as wonderful as it is that you all are here, nothing compares to walking in the gallery and seeing those kids.” He also said, “Arts are under siege, and at a time when nothing is more important in young people and all of us being trained to think creatively, it’s the one area with the soft belly, that are getting cut back.”

The opening reception was a night to remember featuring excellent food, catered by Acqua California Bistro, and a performance from a live band, Avenida Music. There were even fresh non-alcoholic beverages such as “Pom Canyon,” and “Very Berry Mojito.” Last but not least all surrounded by several heater umbrellas to stay warm and cozy all through the night.

The gallery is open between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and by appointment. For more information, please contact the Marks Art Center at 760-776-7278 or visit the center on Facebook @marksartcenterCOD or Instagram @marksartcenter.

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