This is a special time in the desert and no it’s not Coachella. For the second time in the past 3 years you can go from Desert Hot Springs all the way to Palm Springs in the search of art. Artists from all around create art that is placed in places throughout the valley. Some of them are in designated places, like outside a museum or in a popular shopping center, while others are in the middle of the desert. It makes it a treasure hunt, so look for the sign with X, because you’ll find a beautiful piece of art.
In Palm Desert, while hiking the cross, you can see our first X exhibit. A coral statue meant to show the history of the Coachella Valley and about the Salton Sea. Another one is called Point of View. It is a set of different facing stairs with words in both Spanish and English on each step. The next one on our little adventure is worth going through a dust storm to see(which some people did). It is a bright orange box. How bright exactly? So bright that it reflects onto the ground. It is truly a sight to behold. In Rancho Mirage, you can visit Sunnylands. Here, you can see a statue that looks like a seismic wave. This next one requires hard hats, and no I’m not kidding. It is an under construction house, that has speakers throughout of construction noises, to represent the new modern wave or architecture and how old things can be torn down and made new. When driving through a busy street, you can find billboards with images of Native Americans. Another one on our list is an abandoned gas station covered in fabric. It is beautiful and feels very mystical. The smoke flag has a very important message. It appears in the shape of the American Flag, but instead of a flag, there is smoke representing how we pollute the air so often. The Ghost Palm is an artificial palm tree, made out of plastic.It is mysterious and when the wind blows it makes unusual sounds.
On our next X adventure, our first stop is a mural in Coachella. It has various images of animals. As you get closer to the Salton Sea, you can see many artistic wonders. One of these is a statue at the shore of the sea. It has many unusual figures and is very different from our other Salton Sea piece. The next one is a machine, that goes to the bottom of the sea and picks things up. At the end of the day, they are taken to the Salton Sea Recreation Center. In Indio, there is an old building covered in dust and has speakers, basketball hoops and other things. Another one in Rancho Mirage, is a rainbow on the side of the road. It twists together all the colors, and is very bright and fun to look at. One of the exhibits that requires a lot of traveling is the Wormhole. It is a set of storefronts with TV’s in each showing a different storefront. Another one is a series of bus stops. It is a set of 3 that shows feminism during the Cold War. The next one is a labyrinth, meant to show the human mind. It is filled with holes and different ways in and out. There are also 2 virtual reality exhibits. One is by the Salton Sea and it is floating black swirls and tornado looking things. The other one is floating color figures, and both require the 4th wall app.
All the art pieces are beautiful, but what people said about them is truly amazing. One person said that her favorite was the stairs because of the words on the steps, as well as what it represented. She said that it,”represents the blending of two different cultures…” Another woman, Pat, said that the Ghost Palm was her favorite because of the artistic element in the desert – the landscape and the beautiful noises. The abandoned gas station was a favorite of Joseph, who liked it because of its pesolate nature, it’s placement, and the idea that it is haunted by the forgotten people who used to live their. The smoke flag was a favorite of both Qui and Akiko, who said that it was both beautiful and thought provoking.
Desert X is truly beautiful. It shows us the hidden complexities of our home and helps us think about things we may have not thought about before. So, the next time you’re in the valley, see if Desert X is still around, because it may change your life.