Desert Dazzle: Indian Wells Arts Festival

The 14th annual outing has the sunbeams, the sculptures and paintings, and the good, look-around vibes.

THE DESERT IN SPRINGTIME... has many colorful and quaint surprises to share, from the tomato-red blossoms that pop up on the tops of the ocotillo spines to the emergence of the desert tortoises as they wrap up their wintry, burrow-snug stays. There are the concerts, too, the big ones, from Stagecoach to Coachella, and all of the attendant pool parties and cocktail soirees and scene-making gatherings. But let us also pay tribute to the arts end of the desert resort lifestyle, and how it, too, seems to flower come the spring, like so many ocotillo blossoms. One of the largest art-oriented happenings on the Palm Springs-area calendar happens in Indian Wells each spring, at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. It's the...

THE 14TH ANNUAL INDIAN WELLS ARTS FESTIVAL, "a colorful and diverse ecosystem of art with more than 200 juried artists..." from points all over the globe (think Japan, the UK, and locally, plus many cities beyond). The gamut of displayed and buyable pieces definitely includes paintings, as well as just about every other type of visual artwork to be found under the (very bright 'n warm) sun. Textiles, jewelry, sculptures, photography, and crafts of all kinds can be found in the many booths, alongside, quite often, the artist who first fashioned them.

LIVE JAZZ and good eats and nice wines are also part of the three-day, convivial-of-heart, big-of-mind weekend, a weekend that opens on Friday, April 1 (no fooling). As for tickets? You can get them at the gate, for thirteen bucks. As for kids ages 12 and under? They get in free. As for art festivals of the spring-nice, spread-out nature? There are a few of them around California, but the desert centerpiece flowers, like a stunning ocotillo blossom, in Indian Wells each year.

Pictured: "The Spirit of Indian Wells" by Marna Schindler is the official poster painting for the 2016 Indian Wells Art Festival

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