By Rich Henrich

I want to be a celebrity. The words, spray-painted pink on canvas from the hand of a young pigtailed blonde girl hangs on the wall, above the pool table. An iconic JFK thought-bubbles Teach Peace as he looks over the empty foosball field. World Cup fatigue has set in even for these plastic players. Thievery Corporation fills the airwaves of this Google-inspired fun zone. Sound like a Palms Spring gallery to you? It’s all that and more; they just keep the “safe contemporary” art next door to help raise funds for charities like Desert Aids Project. This is Gallery 446 and if you have an ounce of rebellion in your belly, a mind bent on questioning the establishment and a desire to have more than wine and cheese with your art, then you’ll find your proverbial art mecca neatly situated adjacent to the sidewalk at 446 S. Indian Canyon in Palm Springs, CA. No need to be nervous about entering this space, it’s an emporium of magic and wonder.

It’s burning outside. Three-digit desert heat melts my contacts as I notice the cool that awaits me inside hanging on the wall. I’m immediately introduced to artist Angelina Christina (a key influencer in the approval of murals in Palm Springs) and collaborator Alex Pesante. “It’s spray paint and wheat paste on wood,” says galley manager Andres Leija. It’s a captivating depiction of a future or perhaps a forgotten past human experience wrought with complexity. Angelina is a process-oriented artist seeking to find the temporal and raw moments that define a lifetime and then cram all the details and nuances into one image. This notion serves the gallery well as a guiding philosophy to bring a lifetime into one space.

“We are here to awaken the world. It’s part of who we are.” The words echo off the polished concrete floors like a mantra. The world-traveled and renown celebrity fashion photographer, Dimitri Halkidis waxes poetic. Part of this art awakening involves their charity work and one in particular, Boo2Bullying. This is a personal cause and call to action to artists awakening the world to the problems of hate and intolerance and encouraging youth to find their inner voice and speak their truth. “It’s hard to find identity with peer pressure,” proclaims Halkidis, co-founder of the non-profit, with notable ambassador, actress Cassie Scerbo (Sharknado).

This is part of the social mission of Gallery 446, “helping to open eyes,” Dimitri champions. Gallery 446 recently partnered with the Riverside County Library system, holding art workshops for students at the Desert Hot Springs branch. “The librarian googled street art and we popped up.” Dmitri’s voice carries pride and responsibility for looking after the next generation of artists. “Art has changed my life. Experiencing the diverse cultures (of art and artists) and being part of the gallery is really a blessing,” says Leija, the Indio-raised art major, who also serves as the Coachella Valley Outreach Coordinator for Boo2Bullying.

Eddie Donaldson, co-founder of the space, says, “We’re just two guys who like art and want to sell it.” Gallery 446 aims to bridge the gap between art and commerce. “We really want to take advantage of all the existing events going on and curate around a common theme.” Recently, Eddie created Art + Sound, a themed event around musicians making art, an exhibit that kicked-off during Coachella. Keeping with a mission to bring art and community together, the duo will be exploring a quarterly concept of partnering with Bid27, a street art auction house that will benefit local charities. “Our approach is about partnerships. That’s the key to the future. That’s the gallery we want to be.”

This September, Gallery 446 will introduce 25 Below, a show dedicated to artists age twenty-five and under. The show will feature Boo2Bullying Ambassador and fabled street artist, Skylar Grey, who Donaldson says, “is just a good kid from L.A.” Skylar’s work has attracted the eyes of The Game and Sean “Puffy” Combs. Not bad for a 13 year-old kid, with global gallery presence.

Submission information for local artists age twenty-five and under interested in showing their work, can be found at: