Carmel Valley artist Nick Leonoff had a feeling that one of his pieces would sell out quickly at La Quinta’s Art Celebration Thursday at the Civic Center Campus.
The artist, who makes hand-blown and sculpted glass bowls, made a sale to one of the first people to walk through the doors after the festival opened.
“It’s a beautiful festival that brings together some of the best works of art and great collectors from all over the country, I love it,” Leonoff said.
La Quinta Art Celebration event director Kathleen Hughes was thrilled to see 200 artists from around the world take to the festival grounds, adding that she expected 16,000 festival attendees until Sunday.
She said it was the first time that many of the 200 vendors were able to sell artwork since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There have been challenges, such as the supply chain preventing an Argentinian artist from sending artwork to the festival, a shortage of card stock to print the artists’ information, and some of the vendors and the security company. struggling with staff shortages
But the local community steps in to help.
Aspen Mills and La Quinta Baking Company donated baked goods to the artists. Caddyshack Golf Carts and a dental office are opening their parking lots at the event for the weekend. Grocery Outlet provided the festival with pallets, which are also in short supply, for them to stack and move packets of bottled water around the site. A local wholesale company provided two reams of card stock free of charge that Hughes needed for the festival.
“We had a lot of amazing local support, it really fills my heart with gratitude,” said Hughes. “Most of our performers are not in California and drive trucks across the country. Local hotels have offered me incredible rates.”
Ceramics, digital art, glass and more
Music by local singer-songwriter Scott Carter and guitarist Michael Anthony Gagliardi performed in the festival’s dining halls on Thursday as about 1,000 attendees marched on the grounds. This year’s event features artists working in 2D mixed media, 3D mixed media, ceramics, digital art, drawing & pastel, fiber, glass, jewelry, painting, photography, sculpture and wood.
One of the featured artists, Daryl Thetford of Chattanooga, Tennessee, presented two locally inspired works. “Contemporary Desert Woman” is a collage that includes statements about local fashion and style and “The Art of Swing”, which showcases the physics of a golf swing.
Thetford said he was one of the artists who took part in the 2020 festival just before the country started to shut down due to the pandemic. He said coming back is “surreal”.
Lisa Kristine de San Rafael, an internationally renowned photographer who had an exhibition last year in the Vatican which was presented by Pope Francis, said La Quinta Art Celebration is one of the few art festivals she attended. participates.
“I love coming up with new pieces to share with (the attendees) instead of having them come to my gallery in Sonoma,” Kristine said. “I think this is one of the nicest festival grounds.”
As Hughes roamed the 10-acre site, she said there were no plans to increase the number of performers and that she didn’t want to confine them to smaller booths.
“I would prefer that they had the opportunity to market themselves and create the booth they dream of,” said Hughes.
The city’s iconic new event was created when La Quinta Arts Foundation announced in June 2019 that it was canceling its 2020 arts festival after 37 years.
The first installment of the new event took place in March 2020, just before other major events, including the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals, were canceled to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. .
The city contracted with Bay Area-based Paul Anderson and SCOPE Events to host and create a signature event equal in caliber to the Festival of the arts of La Quinta, classified at national level, and continues the tradition of being held the first weekend of March.
In December, Anderson announced that the La Quinta art celebration would not take place as planned in March 2021 due to the lingering pandemic, but postponed until November.
It will return to its normal dates on the first full weekend of March 2022, Anderson told the Desert Sun in October.
If you are going to
What: La Quinta Art Celebration
When: from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Sunday
Or: 78495 Calle Tampico, La Quinta
Cost: $ 20 to $ 25
More information: La QuintaArtCelebration.org
A previous report by Desert Sun reporter Sherry Barkas was used for this report.
Desert Sun reporter Brian Blueskye covers the arts and entertainment. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @bblueskye.