By Crystal Harrell

2022 is shaping up to be a year of comebacks as the acclaimed Indian Wells Arts Festival makes a triumphant return after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. The Indian Wells Arts Festival presents an unparalleled art show experience featuring museum-caliber artists, and ranked as one of the nation’s Top 100 Best Fine Art Shows of the Decade by Sunshine Artist. The event will showcase 200 artists across 30 mediums of fine art and craft, April 1, 2 and 3 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

The Indian Wells Arts Festival is a juried show with a panel of judges who award first, second, and third place ribbons to artists in 30 mediums and categories, and has also been ranked Top 40 in the nation by Greg Lawler Art Source Review. The Festival incorporates a number of local charities as Festival Partners and donates to their art scholarship funds. It is presented by the City of Indian Wells, hosted by the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, and sponsored by Palm Springs Life Magazine, Desert Entertainer, Hot Purple Energy, and Signature Party Rentals.

“We’re thrilled to be able to come together once again with artists and patrons in as beautiful a setting as the Tennis Garden,” says festival producer Dianne Funk. “Our goal is to curate an exciting art experience for enthusiasts to acquire the affordable and capture the collectible directly from the artists.”

Festivalgoers will be treated to a diverse exploration of art across 25 modern and contemporary movements, spanning impressionism and surrealism to abstract and pop-art, from artists bearing accolades from of some of the most prestigious art institutions including the Smithsonian, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the U.S. Department of Interior Art Museum, and Japan’s Kyoto Museum.

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Thousands of one-of-a-kind works of art ranging from painting, sculpture, jewelry, wearable-art fashion, photography and ceramics make the festival a prime source of acquisition for serious buyers and casual collectors.

“There is a little bit of everything for everybody. We’re talking about fine art that is available at price points for all budgets—whether you’re ready to invest in an art piece or are looking to just grow your own personal collection. I think, personally, the diversity of art is not attributed to just the perspective that the art is being created from, but in form, medium, and movement,” stated Indian Wells Arts Festival Strategic Marketer and Planner Marisa Holladay. Marisa has been in this role for eight years and enjoys seeing the variety of artists who appear each year.

More than half of the artists who did not get to display their art in 2020 when the pandemic forced the cancellation of the Indian Wells Arts Festival are returning this year. The other half of the artists featured are new to the event and to the region.

About 20 percent of the artists featured at the Festival are from the region as residents or small business owners. Attending the Festival is a way for locals to get to know their community better and support small businesses. In addition to locally produced art, there is also access to works from out of the region. Some artists at the Festival have had their pieces exhibited in notable galleries in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., as well as the Palm Springs Art Museum, which is of interest to savvy art collectors.

“This is an opportunity for the public to come and explore different art but also get to know the artists and the methods they use in their medium. More excitingly, they get to connect with artists that may have been out of their reach otherwise, if it weren’t for the Arts Festival,” said Marisa.

In terms of the future, the Indian Wells Arts Festival committee keeps the number of artists at the event at 200 so that patrons have a leisurely opportunity to explore all the artists, but Marisa states that the Festival is interested in growing in opportunities for the community and small businesses.

”We like to say ‘capture the collectable and acquire the affordable.’ We’re looking to elevate and establish artists who have some acclaim to their name and also continue to spotlight emerging artists who are masters of the craft and are just starting to receive some recognition,” explained Marisa.

There is an international palette present at the Indian Wells Arts Festival with artists who travel abroad from their home countries to Indian Wells. There are artists based in Japan, Germany, France, and Italy.

Hawaii-based impressionist and plein-air painter Jan Bushart commemorates the event with “Superbloom Sunset,” a large-scale oil painting commissioned to celebrate the desert’s beauty.

“When I paint a scene, I immerse myself into it. It becomes my world,” says Bushart who found inspiration in a stunning superbloom while hiking the Indian Canyons nature preserve. “I want the viewer to step into that world with me.”

Live jazz music enhances the leisurely atmosphere with artist demonstrations and special exhibits including glassblowing by master glass-blower Bruce Freund as he forges precious metals and gems in his portable furnace, and a 2000-year-old Zapotec Indian textile weaving technique with Mel Mendez.

A Gourmet MarketPlace featuring specialty artisan fare will line the promenade entryway. Foodies’ delights are available throughout the venue and under the shaded pavilion, along with savory spirits served at the ever-popular Oasis Bar and Champagne Circle bars. A free and fun commemorative photo opportunity is hosted by Hot Purple Energy and Cathedral City High School DATA students.

The Arts Festival is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for three days. The price for admission is 13 dollars. Tickets available now online at www.IndianWellsArtsFestival.com and at the box office during the event. Free parking and valet is also available.

For more information on the event and COVID-19 Health & Safety requirements, visit www.IndianWellsTennisGarden.com.