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Visual Arts

18 Nov 2013
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At Stephen Archdeacon Gallery’s season-opening show, the gallery is shining the spotlight on five gallery artists: Joe Novak, Eric Nash, Sarah Stockstill, Paul Lorenz and Martin Duvander. The works of Nash and Stockstill stand out. They both have strong ties to the desert, and they appear comfortable with the evolution of their art. In his two paintings—“Western Horizon 1” and “Western Moon”—Nash creates mood through shading and the interplay of light and dark. His large oils on canvas (72 by 96 inches) afford him the opportunity to employ a limited palette while giving the viewer a tremendous sense of depth and perspective. Nash creates mood through his dark colors, limited use of white and off-white, exacting brushwork and subtle shading. The “Western Moon,” the moon is off-center, partial and bright; it hangs over a dark, brown-black sky. There are also hints of deep purple. Nash creates the appearance of a…
13 Nov 2013
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The busy season is here—and to celebrate, the city of Palm Desert has moved its El Paseo Art Walks from Thursday to Friday, as part of an expanded “First Weekend” arts and culture celebration. I went down to the season’s first El Paseo Art Walk on Friday, Nov. 1, to check out the scene. The event will happen every first Friday through May. “This was a very positive change to the Art Walk schedule—and with a great turnout,” said Rick Royale, of Royale Projects: Contemporary Art, where the gallery celebrated the opening of Gustavo Godoy: Fast-Formal Metal Constructions. “It’s bringing a good many people interested in art—and also in the social aspect that this event brings to everyone.” Royale relocated the gallery from Indian Wells earlier this year, so he’s kicking off his first full season at 73190 El Paseo, Suite 3 (760-742-5182; “This location offers greater convenience for…
29 Oct 2013
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Girard Louis Drouillard's paintings are powerful. Strong. Dramatic. He strives to create drama and power in his compositions—while instilling a Zen-like quality at the same time. He creates art that is aesthetically pleasing, mentally provocative and spiritually challenging. His primary focus is not aesthetics, but metaphysics, philosophy and spirituality. “Each of my paintings has a common formula where black is ever-present. This is a suggestion of the negative that exists all around us,” he recently told me. He uses reds as well as silvers and metallic hues—but never more than two primary colors in his palette. Organic and industrial materials are often blended into his canvas—which is now made of wood, as he’s creating large, box-like structures simply to hold the sometimes-heavy compositions. I was admiring one of these structure-paintings as it was being prepared for its final coat of varnish. I noticed something that looked and felt like concrete…
22 Oct 2013
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When one first walks into Lon Michels Gallery, a person may feel a bit overwhelmed, and perhaps even claustrophobic. However, those feelings quickly dissipate. The rooms of the small Palm Canyon Drive gallery are filled, almost frame to frame, with art. Those works quickly become welcoming friends. After wintering in the Coachella Valley for six years, Lon Michels and his husband, Todd Olson, recently decided to make the desert their year-round home. “The desert is an artist’s paradise,” Michels says. “The colors are always changing. It’s more than just the sky; it is also about the mountains. The mountains produce such wonderful shadows and textures.” Michels has been painting for more than 40 years and demonstrates a unique style; it reflects his education, influences, travels—and a life-changing event. At the age of 30, while living in Key West, a viral infection attacked his optic nerves. He was left blind, he…
09 Oct 2013
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Jewelry is often referred to as “wearable art”—and Michael Kneebone creates incredible wearable art via Michael K Jewels. His one-of-a-kind pieces go far beyond the ordinary thanks to Michael’s keen eye, steady hand and vision for style and quality that has served him well for decades, ever since he studied at Northern Illinois University and earned a degree in jewelry design. Early on, an instructor recognized his talent and recommended him for an apprenticeship position, where he honed in his skills in casting and refined fabrication. He even mastered the almost-lost art of enameling. Today, only a handful of jewelry artisans are true specialists in the enameling process. When you meet Michael, you immediately sense his dedication and demand for quality. His jewelry is always one-of-a-kind; his clients know that each piece is unique and personal. Nothing is ever duplicated. Early in his career, his line was represented exclusively at…
07 Oct 2013
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Is it possible for two curators—Laurie Weitz and Eddie Donaldson—to put together a street-art exhibition at an established gallery that lets the participating artists retain their street credibility? The 5th Element: The Golden Era of Street Art, now on display at Gallery 446 in Palm Springs, essentially achieves this goal by spotlighting 10 artists who work on canvas, board, paper and/or metal. Irrespective of their basic style (e.g., abstract, realism), each artist demonstrates the street-art tradition. Mear One’s tall vertical painting “Ascension (Surrender),” greets gallery visitors. This tall, vertical painting reminds of Picasso’s blue period. In shades of blue, blue-black and black, with the spare use of white, his androgynous figure soars upward, reaching for and through a swirl of zodiac signs. A group of black birds, parallel to the subject, fly upward; they enhance the experience of dimensionality and movement. Other Mear One works are also rooted in the…