By Angela Romeo

October is a busy month for art. The Salton Sea: An Artistic Discussion opens Thursday October 5 at the UCR Palm Desert Campus.  Opening night features an artist talk from 5 – 5”30 pm followed by a reception to 7:30 pm. The exhibition runs through December 12, with closing reception from 5 to 7 pm.

Terry Hastings curates the exhibition.  “As the description states the Salton Sea has been an integral part of the Coachella Valley for decades. Now it threatens the quality of life in our desert. Everybody knows something must be done, and a continuing dialogue is the only way forward. This art exhibition is designed to spark conversation,” noted Terry. “We asked artists to submit work interpret the Salton Sea. There are many components to the area – it is not just the Salton Sea, There is its history and its legacy. The area is home to the Sonny Bono Salton Sea Wildlife Refuge, Salvation Mountain, Slab City,  East Jesus, an military operations field and, oh by the way, residents.  There are people who call that area home.”

The Salton Sea is a saline, landlocked body of water. It was accidentally created by the engineers of the California Development Company in 1905 in an effort to increase water flow into the area for farming.  Concerns over silt buildup caused a canal to be made in the bank of the Colorado River. The river’s resulting outflow breached the canal, and the river flowed into the Salton Basin. The water filled a dry lakebed, creating the Salton Sea.


In the 1950’s The Salton Sea was as a resort area, with Salton City, Salton Sea Beach, and Desert Shores, on the western shore and Desert Beach, North Shore, and Bombay Beach. But those days have faded and a potential ecological disaster remains. The exhibition highlights the allure, the mystique and the potential negative impact of the area.

“Photographer Lissa Evans and Professor Andrew Bishop will discuss the joys and threats of the Salton Sea,” continued Terry. “It is significant to note that over 100 works of art are being displayed. Works have come from as far as Singapore which highlight the impact this body of water could have on a global scale.”

Also opening this month is the annual Palms Springs Art Museum Artist Council Exhibition (the ACE Show). The juried exhibition features works 40 Artists Council members. This year’s jurors were Lita Albuquerque, an internationally renowned installation and environmental artist, painter, and sculptor. Her work was included in the recent Desert X project; David Pagel: an art critic, curator, and professor of art theory and history; and Rick Royale: owner of Royale Projects, located in LA’s downtown Arts District.

The winners will be announced at an Awards Ceremony on Saturday, October 7, at 5:45 p.m. The program is open to the public, and will be held in the museum’s Annenberg Theatre, followed by a reception in the Museum’s Atrium. The ACE runs through December 10, 2017. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Palms Springs Art Museum Artist Council.

Also opening in October is the ART IS Gallery and Center located at the Westfield Mall, Palm Desert. Art Is Inc. is a California non-profit dedicated to Art Awareness and Art Education. The gallery space is open Friday through Sunday. It features artwork from ten local artists. A portion of the proceeds benefit ART IS.

In addition to the gallery the ART IS Gallery and Center will host events. In additional to upcoming author talks the space will host the Writer’s Guild Book Fair on November 30th.

Lastly, is the highly anticipated 16th Annual Highway 62 Artists Open Studio Tour visit The tour runs October 14-15 and October 21-22. 2017. The Art Tours features many of the talented artists of the Morongo Basin and is hosted by the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council.  Catalogues are available at Colliding Worlds Fine Art Gallery, Trenz Gallery and ART IS Gallery & Center.