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18 Jun 2013

Desert Arts: The Art Place in Palm Desert Is a Hidden Gem for Lovers of Design and Décor

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Large ceramic works take center stage at Jake Dent Gallery. Large ceramic works take center stage at Jake Dent Gallery. www.theartplacepd.com

For more than a decade, The Art Place in Palm Desert has been a hub for galleries and boutiques that offer original home décor and accessories to the public.

I recently visited The Art Place—located at 41801 Corporate Way, just off Hovley Lane west of Cook Street—to review the center for an upcoming art tour. For years, decorators and designers have frequented these vendors in search of something special for their clients’ dwellings. Some of these studio-galleries have an artist in residence working on wares that can be specially ordered or customized to please a discerning eye.

At Nikko Contemporary, owners Nancy Lee and Hans Ladislaus offer a collection of original, aesthetically clean contemporary paintings and modern sculptures. These are a must for all art-lovers to see.

Another popular space is the Jake Dent Gallery, where large ceramic creations are the star. These beautiful works vary in size and can be used as working decorative fountains or simply stand-alone sculpture. All vary in texture, color and size. Meanwhile, one can usually find Jake working on his paintings.

Desert Wolff’s owner, Lucien Wolff, is a longtime tenant at The Art Place. His showroom offers unique decorative wares and home décor, but also features a variety of decorative art displayed throughout the store's two floors. Interesting works and masks will remind you of an international market place for curios and unusual items. Many are handcrafted and may remind you of primitive crafts from far-off places.

What interior-design center would be complete without a consignment store with furniture and art? Patrick Harkins is the desert’s connoisseur of consignment, and his Desert Art Source has cornered this market with two locations. One can search for antiques and other fine furniture form all over the world.

Don’t miss The Gallery Soho, where owner Louise Lawrence operates from Tuesday to Friday and also by appointment. Louise offers art in various mediums and styles, and specializes in decorative art and prints from different genres. The loft-like two-story space is full of works from floor to ceiling that range from wood sculptures to ceramics to mirrors. Louise has been a designers’ resource for more than 15 years thanks to her award-winning expertise.

A newcomer to the center is Venus Studios, where owner Debra Ann Mumm features eclectic offerings that include art supplies and original art—some of which is created by the students who take art classes in the building. Debra has various local artists teaching different genres, from plein air to contemporary and abstract.

An established presence at The Art Place is The Interior’s Designer (Accoutrements) owned and operated by Marsha Joy Young. Marsha has an eclectic combination of items for the home, specializing in home interior and plant-scape design. Her talented hands also create holiday décor for her clients. You can find an array of goodies for your abode, from chandeliers to desks and chairs—and even beautifully created silk orchids and flowers. A touch of rustic fills the space.

At Jolie Maison, the polished showroom offers exclusive bedding and decorative items and accessories. A varied collection of decorative art and mirrors joins an outstanding display of chandeliers—especially the glass works inspired by Dale Chihuly—as well as tabletop accessories offering a European essence.

Design Place Fabrics, owned by Carroll Hassell, is a wholesale purveyor distributor of fine textiles serving the home-furnishing industry. Call for an appointment.

Finally, there is McDonald and Benedict Collections, featuring furnishings and elegant accessories. Jim McDonald and Paul Benedict combine talents to offer impeccable design service to a clientele all over the United States and China. Custom-glass fabrications and beautiful plant-scapes are found throughout the dazzling showroom.

If you love art and design, visit soon; check The Art Place website for hours, and calling ahead (especially during the summer) is always recommended.

Richard Almada is the CEO and president of Artistic Relations and heads up Desert Art Tours. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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