29th Annual Festival to Showcase Works by Professional Artists, Variety of Art Forms

The Southwest Arts Festival, Indio 2015, taking place at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California from Friday, January 23 through Sunday, January 25, 2015, will feature traditional, contemporary, and abstract fine works of art by more than 250 acclaimed artists. A ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of the 29th annual Festival will be held at 9:45 AM on Friday, January 23. The Desert Sun is the Title Sponsor of the event.

By Cindy Duffy

One of the area’s largest and longest running juried art festivals, submissions will be judged in the categories of clay, drawing, glass, jewelry, metal, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, textile, and other arts. Highly accomplished artists from around the country relish the opportunity to showcase their finest work at the spectacular outdoor venue, and their backgrounds and techniques are as varied and interesting as their extraordinary artwork.

Hailing from Carmel, CA, Delia Bradford prefers to create her impressionist landscape and floral paintings outdoors, applying paint to canvas without first making a sketch. Collaborating with her husband Rick, a master giclée printer, they produce affordable giclées of her work on canvas. Another husband and wife team, Bozenna and Lukasz Bogucki, create stainless steel mesh handbags in their Los Angeles workshop. They have developed unique methods, incorporating gold leaf, copper, bronze and brass mesh, natural feathers, and leaves into their collection.

Hundreds of individuals and many corporations have collected Oluf Nielsen’s award winning abstract oils on canvas. The Seattle-area artist will bring his new ‘flow’ style paintings to the Festival, as well as textural oils with lush color blends that he creates with palette knives. Doug Parent, a resident of Port Angeles, WA who studied several forms of fine art, paints with acrylics on canvas and panels. He takes inspiration from the raw beauty of the area’s waterways and landscapes. Also enjoying a rural lifestyle is Utah painter Sue Kroll, who is unafraid to try new styles and techniques. Working primarily with acrylics over the years, her newest passion, scratchboard art, promises a level of detail that paints fail to achieve.


“Our festival attracts world-class artists from across the country, and it’s not surprising that several have chosen to make their home in the Coachella Valley,” explains Joshua Bonner, President/CEO of the Indio Chamber Commerce. “Perfect weather, inspirational scenery, and a sophisticated community that appreciates fine works of art make this area a haven for many forms of artistic pursuit.”

Dennis Nagatani, whose vibrant acrylic painting “Desert Falls” was selected as the signature poster of the 2015 Festival, has a home in La Quinta, as does plein air artist Silvio Silverstri who paints on location throughout the United States and Europe. The former psychotherapist studied with acclaimed artists to hone his skills, and has been winning awards for his artwork since the early 1990’s. Elliott Newton, whose artistic abilities have claimed him the title “Potter of La Quinta,” finds making pottery a quiet, healing and inspiring experience. Having studied pottery at College of the Desert, he now teaches workshops during the summer months

Additional local artists include Richard Curtner of Cathedral City, whose detailed collages blend art with the written word. Motivated by a variety of themes, his works are eco-friendly, since all the materials come from donated magazines. Rancho Mirage jewelry designer Sarah Anderson finds inspiration from natural stones and unusual metals to create wearable works of art. She has a passion for found objects, which she works into her designs to create new dimensions. Gunn Trigére, who started out as a jewelry artist, now creates ‘wall jewelry’ to hang on a wall or rest on an easel. The Palm Desert resident purchased a kiln to create her own glass cabochons, which enable her to control their shape and develop a richness and depth of color.

These artists and many more will be featured at the Southwest Arts Festival, which was named one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2015 by the American Bus Association. In addition to the art exhibition and sale, the Festival will also feature a variety of al fresco dining options and entertainment by talented local jazz musicians.

The three-day family friendly festival will be open from 10 AM – 5 PM daily, and admission is Seniors – $8, General – $9, Three-Day Pass – $12, and Children 14 & under – Free. Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling the Indio Visitors Bureau at 760-347-0676.

To receive regular updates follow Southwest Arts Festival on Facebook, and for more information visit southwestartsfest.com or call 760-347-0676.

  • Bogucki

  • Bradford

  • Curtner

  • Newton

  • Kroll

  • Anderson

  • Silvestri

  • Nielsen

  • Trigere

  • Parent