By Angela Romeo

The New Year is here and art continues to thrive in the Coachella Valley and the High Desert. With its usual fanfare The Palm Springs International Film Festival is in full swing. This festival runs through January 15th. Showcasing works from around the globe the festival is seen as a barometer to Cannes Film Festival and the Academy of Arts OSCAR® awards. All information is available at

Fusion Art has two open calls for artists. Fusion Art will host its third annual Artist Spotlight juried art competition. This competition happens four times per year and from each competition nine artists are selected. While there is no theme or media restriction, artists must have a cohesive body of work with a minimum of five and a maximum of twenty pieces of art. Artist Spotlight is designed to highlight those artists who have a cohesive, quality, and body of work to showcase. The Artist Spotlight applications will close on January 20, 2018. Nine winners will be selected and notified of their acceptance as an Artist Spotlight winner by January 22, 2018. The Artist Spotlight exhibitions will open on February 1, 2018 and continue for three months.

In addition, Fusion Art is hosting submissions for its 3rd Annual Leaves & Petals online juried art exhibition for the month of February 2018. Artists are encouraged to share their artistic vision and interpretation of flowers, leaves, herbs, plants, shrubs, bushes, hedges and other botanical or floral subjects. The artwork can range from realism to surrealism to abstraction. Awards will be given in awards in two categories – “Traditional” Art and “Photography & Digital” Art.

Information on these competitions is available at

JTAG Gallery continues its tradition of bringing unique art to the High Desert. In January JTAG will present new work by Artist Blake Baxter. Entitled Form and Void Baxter’s work will feature a series of sand-based paintings in which black and white are the only paint colors used. The artist stated that “(T) these pieces are constructed with minimal materials: washed sand, acrylic paint, polymer, & varnish. I follow a repeatable process of sequenced steps that yields variation regardless of my efforts to minimize the same. This variety evidences a reliable pattern of change. The result is a communication of unstructured data, which, when met by perception, seeks to establish form. The values in the data, like the materials, are minimal: color, geometric composition, texture, reflectivity, size. Defining the relationship of these values requires some interpretative consideration. One might see a single piece recreated over and over, or individual pieces grouped by common values (whole field vs. broken field compositions, for example), or wholly unique objects defined by their relative distances from each other in time and space. As such, these are exercises in the interpretative power of consciousness; through mindful observation, one might be left to question the supposition that seeing is indeed, believing.”

Information on this and upcoming JTAG Shows is available at

The Palm Springs Public Art Commission is accepting entries for its yearly Adult Art show. This year’s theme is Bold & Bright. The prospectus states that the juried show is looking for work that is “not timid. Instead, works that boldly declare a creative vision and challenges the viewer to wake up, rise to their feet, activate levels of energy, and view the world in bright, vivid, exciting Technicolor — even if the art is created in black and white.”

Entries are due on Monday January 29. Application and other information is available at

Art continues to make the Coachella Valley a destination. The year 2018 already shows that we will not be disappointed.