By Angela Valente Romeo
Any time a new gallery opens in the Coachella Valley, it is wonderful for all. Art is important – to our psyche as well as our local economy. Art tourism is on the rise and the lure of wonderful galleries fuels that tourism.
Michael Fiacco founded Archangel Gallery in Seattle in 2010. Michael’s concept of showcasing contemporary artists found a home in Palm Springs in late 2013, when he partnered with local artists Alex Koleszar, Jerry Hanson, and Eduardo Carraizo. Since that time, Archangel Gallery has hosted diverse artists working in ceramics, encaustic, mixed media, watercolors, and photography to the Valley. This year, the gallery will be taking a slightly different direction with the departure of Michael Fiacco. “Although Michael has left the gallery to pursue other opportunities we are still dedicated to focusing on contemporary artists. This season, however, we plan to concentrate almost exclusively on Coachella Valley and High Desert area artists,” said Co-owner/curator Alex Koleszar. “We feel doing so will create an incredible opportunity to showcase the vast and deep range of talent that resides in the region to our approximate 2 million tourists who come to Palm Springs every year.”
To that end Archangel Gallery will host a juried show, 2015 Palm Springs Open, featuring artists of the Palm Springs Art Museum Artist Council. “We have selected 40 artists, representing work in various medium,” continued Alex. “This show opens September 16 and will run through October 11, 2015. The show is a prelude to a group show, entitled PS….. There’s More to Palm Springs. That show will run from December 10 through December 31 and will feature a select number of artists from the 2015 Palm Springs Open.”
“Jerry, Eduardo and I are working artists as well as gallerists. Our individual work, like the Valley, is uniquely are own. We have each submitted work to juried shows; we have been the focus of solo exhibitions. We understand how important a gallery is to an artist. We know first-hand that the opportunity to show one’s work is thrilling, fulfilling but also nerve wracking. Archangel Gallery is well aware of the pressures of the art world. We have created and will continue to create opportunities for local artists. That is part of our mission as artists and as gallerists. Bring Coachella Valley art into the light,” noted Alex.
2015 Palm Springs Open will feature work from Peggy Vermeer, Bradley Giles, Robert Bradshaw, Dale Lamson and Debra Thompson among others. “We selected works based on digital image submissions from over 120 local artists. It is never easy to jury a show and to jury one’s peers is more difficult. We believe the works that were selected are in line with the contemporary vision of Archangel Gallery, and are reflective of the vast array of talent here in the Coachella Valley. We hope that the public will agree with our selections.”
For Alex, Jerry and Eduardo this will be their first show curated by them. “We are committed to keeping Archangel in the forefront of the Valley art scene. This area is fortunate to host many galleries. We each offer something different. But we all work together for a common goal – that Art matters,” concluded Alex.
2015 Palm Springs Open is the inaugural event to the 2015 -2106 Season. Support for our local art community is to the benefit of us all.