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Visual Arts

11 Sep 2014
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Shari Belafonte is best known as an actress, but she’s also done modeling and singing—and now she’s focusing on photography. On Saturday, Sept. 20, she’ll be celebrating her 60th birthday at Gallery 446 in Palm Springs as part of the Face Off Exhibition. The evening will serve as a benefit for the Lili Claire Foundation, a charity that helps children living with neurogenetic conditions. The daughter of singer-songwriter and actor Harry Belafonte, Shari explained how she was first exposed to photography. “It’s something I’ve always done,” Belafonte said about photography during a recent phone interview. “My grandmother gave me my first camera when I was 4 years old. I was an attention deficit hyperactive child, and we didn’t know that’s what the term was, given that was 55 years ago. “I’ve been taking pictures for about 55 years now. Most of my high school years were spent in the dark…
19 Aug 2014
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Coachella Valley artist Cynthia King keeps things simple. Her website puts it succinctly: She “currently works in the simplest of mediums, black ink on a white ground, to create intricately detailed representational works of art. She creates fine lines and weaves them into an often familiar yet complex vision of reality. Familiar shapes are drawn, scratched off, and then reworked on clayboard numerous times until Cynthia is satisfied with the resulting image. Often parts of the image remain unanchored and unfinished, leaving the viewer to fill in the negative spaces.” Born in Ohio, Cynthia—she is often called Cindy—grew up and was educated in the Los Angeles area, graduating from UCLA. She lived in Yucca Valley before moving to Palm Springs in 2010. The Independent recently spoke to her about her art. What caused you to become an artist? I’ve always wanted to be an artist. Being pretty much a vocal…
18 Jul 2014
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Patrick Blythe’s large studio, located inside Indio’s Coachella Valley Art Center, includes four separate spaces. It’s clear that each space has its own distinct purpose. Design and model-marking. Mold-making and stone-carving. A kiln room for heating and forming glass. And a “cold room,” where glass is carved and polished. In the studio of the internationally recognized glass artist, our conversation moved into Blythe’s aesthetic, his creative process and his future. Have you always been an artist? Art has always been my passion; however, sculpting glass, metal and stone is my second career. I relocated to the desert after retiring from a very successful 30-year stint in public finance. In 2000, creating art became and remains my career. Why glass? I began this studio because of my fascination with the medium’s unique qualities. Unlike (sculptors using) opaque materials, like metal and stone, glass sculptors can create a world where light is…
18 Jun 2014
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Meet artist Alex Koleszar, who became a full-time desert resident about two years ago, several years after the death of his partner, Dr. Scott Hitt. Koleszar is a Michigan native who, upon completing his undergraduate work at University of Arizona, moved with Hitt to Los Angeles. There, Koleszar completed his MBA, and founded a highly successful consulting firm. However, he eventually decided that his consulting business was not satisfying enough for him. That revelation, as well as a series of challenges and hardships in his life, led to him becoming an artist. Much of our conversation occurred in the artist’s Palm Springs studio, where he spoke candidly about his art, and the challenges he faces with this second career. When did you first begin to paint? Actually, I began to paint twice. Between ages of 11 and 14, I completed some 30 canvases, several of which were hung in my…
06 Jun 2014
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When I first walked into Peggy Vermeer’s home in Palm Springs, I was immediately impressed: At 89 years old, she’s still sharp as a knife—and the artwork on the walls is simply mesmerizing. Vermeer has quite a history as a local artist. She’s well-known for her assemblage art, although she has also done some abstract painting and papercraft. However, she’s best known for what she has given to others: She was the very first teacher at the Palm Springs Art Museum and was the founder of the children’s art program. In fact, she’s still a docent at the Palm Springs Art Museum. Peggy said she’s often recognized around town due to her time as the children’s art teacher at the museum. “I had a man who came up to me and said, ‘Oh, Peggy. I was in your art class, and I’m 41 now.’ I said, ‘Thank you very much!’”…
19 May 2014
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“California Dreamin’,” the iconic song of the 1960s, conjures up images of the peace and love movement for many. Today, however, the Palm Springs Art Museum is offering its own take on the phrase. The exhibit California Dreamin’: Thirty Years of Collecting shows off the works of artists who worked in or were influenced by California over the last three decades. California Dreamin’ marks the first time these pieces, all museum-owned, have been exhibited at the same time. Movements represented include Bay Area Figurative Art; Funk Art; Assemblage; Light and Space; Hard Edge and Geometric Abstraction; and Latino. Christopher Brown’s painting “800 Hours” (bottom) evokes the same sense of loneliness and isolation created by Edward Hopper a century before. In contrast to Hopper and his recognizable figures, Brown paints forms that are concurrently figurative and abstract; he enhances the sense of anomie by creating humanoid forms devoid of facial features.…