30th Annual Southwest Arts Festival

The Southwest Arts Festival, Indio 2016, which takes place at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California from Friday, January 29 through Sunday, January 31, 2016, will feature traditional, contemporary, and abstract fine works of art by more than 250 acclaimed artists.

One of the area’s largest and longest running juried art festivals, submissions will be judged in the categories of clay, drawing, glass, jewelry, metal, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, textile, and other arts. Highly accomplished artists from around the country relish this opportunity to showcase their finest work at the spectacular outdoor venue, and their backgrounds and techniques are as varied and interesting as their extraordinary artwork.

Painters comprise a large number of artists exhibiting at the 30th annual Southwest Arts Festival, including two Los Angeles area artists with ties to the City’s ubiquitous film industry. The work of Los Angeles artist Stephen Schubert, a former actor and film lover whose abstracts on birch panels vibrate with great depth of color and surprising imagery, was prominently featured in the Steve Carrell film “Dinner for Schmucks.” David Palmer, a Pasadena-based artist who combines the vocabulary of Pop Art with an Italian Renaissance sensibility to create works reminiscent of aging frescoes and peeling billboards, has also created digital effects for more than a dozen feature films, including Spider-Man 3 and the first Harry Potter movie.

East of Los Angeles, Elaine Trei uses watercolors and oils to showcase her love of nature and color, creating intensely colorful, engaging and slightly impressionistic paintings at her studio in Big Bear Lake. The works of plein air artists and La Quinta, CA residents Diane McClary and Silvio Silvestri have been influenced by their studies with other painters. McClary, who trained with the brilliant Russian impressionist Sergei Bongart, focuses on the color of the light that she sees in the scene to create landscapes, still life and figurative studies. Silvestri, the descendant of a long linage of artists, minored in art during college and began winning awards for his paintings in the early 1990s after studying with a number of prominent painters. Terry Sauve of Sebastopol, CA painted “for the joy of it” for most of her life until formal training at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco helped hone her craft of landscape painting by studying with some of the area’s best painters.

“The Southwest Arts Festival continues to attract top artists from around the country,” stated Joshua Bonner, President/CEO of the Indio Chamber Commerce. “Last year it was ranked as one of the top 100 events in North America, thanks in large part to the quality of art we display. Every year hundreds of artists apply for the show, and only the very best are accepted.”

Returning from Utah is artist Sue Kroll, who primarily created acrylic paintings until she discovered her newest passion, Scratch Board Art, which offers a promise of detail that is difficult to achieve with paint. The jewelry art of Palm Desert, CA resident Gunn Trigere has also undergone a transition over the years, from sterling silver and hand-wrought pieces that were made to be worn, to colorful glass “wall jewelry” big enough to hang on a wall or rest on a stand or an easel. California Central Coast artist Georganna Dean, whose stunning photograph “Agave Temple” was selected as the signature poster of the 2016 Festival, converted from a traditional “wet” darkroom to digital photography and printing in 2000.

Artist Richard Curtner of Cathedral City, CA uses an X-Acto knife to cut colors, words and phrases from high quality magazines, which he carefully glues together and varnishes to create detailed collages. Former biologist Mark Doolittle works with hand tools at his studio in Joshua Tree, CA to intricately carve gourds, exotic hardwoods and burls from around the world into unique designs, and life-long woodworker Walter Wogee builds beautiful ergonomic rockers – each a unique piece of functional art – and other furniture at his home in Sky Forest, CA.

These artists and many more will be featured at the Southwest Arts Festival, which the American Bus Association named one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2015. New this year is the addition of the popular Objet Trouvé Found Art Festival, representing an artistic style that uses everyday objects and ‘found’ materials to create stimulating visual displays. In addition to the art exhibition and sale, the Festival will also feature a variety of al fresco dining options and entertainment by talented local jazz musicians. The Desert Sun and CBS Local 2 are Title Sponsors of the event.

The three-day family friendly festival will be open from 10 AM – 5 PM daily, and admission is Seniors – $8, General – $10, Three-Day Pass – $12, and Children 14 & under – Free. Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling the Indio Visitors Bureau at 760-347-0676.

For more information visit www.southwestartsfest.com



COPA Palm Springs Presents Frenchie Davis and Melinda Doolittle

Broadway powerhouse Frenchie Davis and American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle bring their soulful and powerful vocals to Copa Palm Springs for a couple of great evenings of music on Jan 16 & 17 and Jan 22 & 23 respectively.

Frenchie Davis

Songbird Frenchie Davis started her musical journey performing in plays throughout her school years, eventually auditioning for Season 2 of American Idol. She moved on to join the Broadway casts of “Rent” and “Dreamgirls”, leading to four years on Broadway, eventually earning a Grammy-nomination for her involvement in the revival of “Ain’t Misbehavin’”.

Recently, she joined Team Christina on NBC’s “The Voice”, becoming one of the Top Four Finalists.

“I want to live my life to inspire people to be brave and courageous,” says Frenchie, “to believe in themselves and never take no for answer.”


Melinda Doolittle

Melinda Doolittle became a household name on season six of American Idol, and continues to thrill audiences with her powerhouse vocals and charm.

The New York Times hailed Melinda as one of the most “phenomenally gifted” singers in years.

Tone deaf as a child, Melinda’s choir teacher would plead with her not to sing, but just silently move her mouth. Undaunted, her love of singing drove her to enter a talent show in the 7th grade, and after much practice and prayer, she stunned the audience with her miraculously spot-on vocals and beautiful voice. She never looked back!

Frenchie Davis I January 16 at 8PM and January 17 at 7:30PM

Melinda Doolittle I January 22 and 23 at 8PM

Tickets are available at CopaPalmSprings.com or by calling 760.322.3554

Copa is located at 244 E. Amado Road Palm Springs