|There are many ways in which government can get involved in art, aside from their involvement in the creation of public art. I had two such significant encounters in the last month, one negative and three positive.
The first positive encounter was somewhat by proxy. Ontario Airport has a few display cases in the concourse where the art of regional artists is displayed. I was very happy to be informed recently that my application to show work there was approved and on Feb 19th five of my paintings were installed via the intermediary of Chaffey Community Museum of Art. The paintings will be there until mid August.
Art fair promoters have to work with local authorities on the locations for art fairs and any permits that are required, rules to be followed and registrations of individual artists to be processed. I’ve done hundreds of fairs over the last decade and one of my favorites is in Palm Springs. A few years back we had an issue where the city decided to move our venue from the center of town (loads of foot traffic and drive-bys to supplement our other advertising) to the civic center for the following season. We appealed to the council and they relented.
A few weeks ago our promoter commented that the permits for the two March shows hadn’t been approved yet. We protested further and pointed out that the reason they’d given was no longer an issue. Then more burning hoops were given. This from an eblast from West Coast Artists:
After meeting with the City of Palm Springs’ Special Event Team today here are the new requirements for the Desert Art Festivals.
Loading: We are allowed to reserve 7 parking spaces in the small parking lot for loading at the end of the event. We are to stagger the loading process so that all of the 60 artists use those 7 spaces. There is no parking on Alejo and no parking on Palm Canyon Drive for the purpose of loading. We are not allowed to close the parking lot for loading or unloading.
Cross Walks: We are to have crossing guards at the crosswalks because some people neglect to push the button for the crosswalk. This is perhaps a safety issue?
Parking Attendants: We had contracted with the property owner across the street from the park, 4 acres, and we must have Community Service Officers patrolling the lot and showing people how to park during the event. Two officers at $55.00 an hour.
Police Presence: We are required to have 2 Palm Springs Police officers at the event on Saturday morning for a minimum of 4 hours to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Traffic Plan: We are required to have a Traffic Plan for the parking lot across from the park where we intended to have Patrons park. The spaces in the dirt lot should be delineated so that people know how to park….
After all of these new requirements and the fact that the City Manager, Mayor, and several of the City Council Members have made untrue, disparaging remarks regarding the event to the public, I can’t help but feel like they do not want the Desert Art Festivals in Palm Springs any longer.
After the meeting in Palm Springs, I attended the meeting in Rancho Mirage. They have welcomed us with open arms and are going to push the Permit application through the City at an accelerated pace.
At The River in Rancho Mirage management had very few requirements. They have opened up their facility and are very excited to welcome our events. Our events are actually WANTED in the City of Rancho Mirage. The comment was “We would love to take the events from Palm Springs!”
Later on it became apparent that The River were not able to accommodate us on the 21st/22nd due to an existing event scheduled, but Indian Wells welcomed us back too, for that weekend. Not all cities are the same!
Here’s my schedule for the month:
Mar 7th: 29 Palms Art Gallery Spring Art and Craft Fair, 29 Palms, CA.
Mar 14th: “Art on Main St“, Old Town La Quinta, CA
Mar 21-22nd: Desert Art Festivals, Indian Wells, CA (Their website might not be up to date yet, it’s on the corner of Cook and 111).
Mar 28th: “Art on Main St“, Old Town La Quinta, CA
Feb 2020-Aug 2020 Ontario Airport. Show case at terminal displaying 5 mixed media paintings.
Mar 2nd-26th: Artists 55+. Walter N. Marks Center for the Arts, College of the Desert, Palm Desert, CA. Reception March 10th 5-7pm
Mar 5th-22nd: 29 Palms Guild Members Juried Exhibition. <29 Palms, CA. Reception March 7th, 5-7pm.
Mar 19th: Painting for Absolute Beginners, Borrego Art Institute. $110. Contact me to book.