By Angela Romeo

As the dust settles from the Coachella and Stagecoach Music Festivals and Highway 111 returns to its normal pace, it might seem that summer ennui is setting in. But not everyone gears down for the summer!

The Coachella Valley continues to see tourist all year round. As the temperatures rise, tourists and locals look for things to do that will take them out of the heat. The Arts provide such an opportunity. 

The summer will see several film festivals. Upcoming festivals include The Palm Springs international Shortfest that runs June 20-26 and The Arthur Lyons Film Noir series running May 11-14.

Another locale for art and respite from the heat is the Westfield Mall. The mall hosts an ongoing mural project, Westfield Walls.  Inviting the public to experience the work of street artists, Westfield has taken a lead role in bridging the diverse communities of the valley.

The Back Street Art District and the Perez Road Art & Design District will continue their respective monthly art walks. Back Street, located off Cherokee Road in Palm Springs, hosts a monthly first Wednesday evening walk. Valerie Hoffman of Fusion Art Gallery noted “The galleries at Backstreet are committed to keeping the art community going during the ‘off-season’ months by making art available all year. Art has no season.”

Perez Road Art & Design, located in Cathedral City, hosts a second Saturday event. Their next art walk is May 13. With 14 galleries and studios the area continues to attract art lovers. “It maintains consistency for our art district and provides us credibility as a viable location for art. The art walks keep us front and center on people’s minds when it relates to art,” said Vern Chamness, artist and co –owner of TRENZ Gallery.

On the 13th, Colliding Worlds Fine Art Gallery, a Perez Road Art & Design locale, will open BURKAS, the multimedia work of Artist Suzanne Ross. Subtle, provocative and intriguing the 13 Burka works will be exhibited through the June 2017.

Charged with the mission of “To Create Community Enrichment Through the Arts,” CREATE Center for the Arts has an ambitious goal. CREATE, located in Palm Desert, will be open all summer offering classes in a variety of artistic avenues including drawing, painting, knitting, cross stitch, sewing and printmaking. In addition CREATE will host concerts and art demonstrations.

On May 6, CREATE will host an event celebrating the creative community. Original artworks by local artists will be available for sale. Symara Stone will provide music and local restaurants will provide light refreshments.

In addition CREATE will host Congressional Art Competition showcasing high school students from the 36th Congressional District of Raul Ruiz MD. Those works will be on display through May 8, 2017. 

The winner of the Congressional Art Competition will receive a trip to Washington DC to see their work hanging in the Capitol. Said CREATE ‘s founder Debra Ann Mumm, “Hosting the Congressional Art Competition is an opportunity to inspire young adults to pursue their creativity, as well as to bring awareness to programs that support and enrich our youth through the arts. Exhibiting in a formal gallery setting is a learning experience that is not often available to kids.”

For more information about Backstreet Art District visit www.facebook.com/backstreet.artdistrict.7.

For more information about Westfield Walls visit www.westfield.com/palmdesert/entertainment/art.

For more information about CREATE Center for the Arts visit www.createcenterforthearts.com.

For more information about the Perez Road Art & Design District visit www.facebook.com/CathedralCityArtDestination

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