By Crystal Harrell

The beauty and grand appeal of art is the notion that each work is open to interpretation and has the ability to connect with anyone. The 35th annual Southwest Arts Festival will return to the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio from January 27 to 30 to astound attendees with original art from across the country.

Nationally recognized as one of the top 100 art festivals in the United States, the acclaimed Southwest Arts Festival features a variety of traditional, contemporary, and abstract fine works of art, jewelry and quality crafts.

“We are very excited to be able to hold the Southwest Arts Festival again. We are taking all the proper precautions outlined by our county and using common sense to host the safest environment for our wonderful festival,” stated Vice President and Director of Public Policy of the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber, Diana Soto.


Eleven different mediums will be showcased at the festival, including pottery, leather, wood, metal, textile, glass, print photography, fine art, and jewelry. Two thirds of the representing artists at the Southwest Arts Festival come from outside the state of California, ranging from Arizona to Montana.

The 2021festival was cancelled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but with new safety protocols in place, the return of this one-of-a-kind festival is anticipated with great excitement from both the organizers and the community.

“We are receiving the same level of excitement from our featured artists. They are working on their inventory with a robust selection to showcase at the festival. The Empire Polo Grounds is quiet and serene, making it the perfect place for the Southwest Arts Festival,” said Soto.

The Southwest Arts Festival is an outdoor event, which will provide ample space for physical distancing in an open air environment. The format of the event allows attendees to walk through the exhibition space without congregating for extended periods of time.

COVID-19 vaccinations are recommended, but not required for entry into the Southwest Arts Festival. Attendance will still be monitored to ensure ample space for physical distancing. Facial coverings will be distributed at the event entrance, free of charge. Attendees and artists are encouraged to wear a facial covering when congregating or in close proximity to others.

“Indio is considered to be the City of Festivals. With that being said, this festival of all ages will appeal to a wide range of interests. Art is unique and approached with interpretation. The way art is seen is different from person to person on a unique level. It is emotionally, culturally, and physically affected, and that is the beauty of it,” shared Soto.

Food will be available for purchase at the festival grounds, offering a variety of delicious options from standard American, Mexican, and Italian general concessions and cuisine. The Southwest Arts Festival will also be hosting a bar serving favorite beverage choices along with live music being played throughout the days.

The Southwest Arts Festival committee is thankful for the 200 community leaders and volunteers who contribute numerous hours to make certain the festival is a success. The committee would also like to thank the sponsors of the Southwest Arts Festival: City of Indio, Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Desert Urgent Care, LOCALiQ, Pacific Dermatology Group, Desert Theatreworks, and California Bank & Trust.

The Southwest Arts Festival’s reputation for first-class quality and professional integrity make it one of the country’s finest juried art festivals. The festival will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the entrance being right off Monroe Street.

Online pricing for General Admission with parking is 25 dollars and Senior (age 55 and over) Admission with parking is 22 dollars for all four days. Onsite festival admission pricing is 35 dollars for General Admission with parking and 22 dollars for Senior Admission with parking.

Kids 12 and under are admitted into the Southwest Arts Festival for free. Only service animals are allowed on the grounds. All sales and purchases are final, non-refundable, and non-transferable.

For additional information on the Southwest Arts Festival in Indio, visit, or call 760.347.0676.