Desert Open Studios was created in 2020 by three local artists — Lynda Keeler, Anne Bedrick and Kim Manfredi — and one art appreciator, Chris Blades.
The four founders wanted to share the wide range of artistry throughout the Coachella Valley as well as the variety of creative processes that go into producing paintings, sculptures, mixed media, photography, ceramics, jewelry, glass and fiber arts.
Enter Desert Open Studios 2022 tour, an art studio crawl taking place over two weekends in March. Along the way, a wide range of artists will be on view in their natural artistic habitats. Participants can choose the artists and the places they want to visit either by region or by style of art.
“Our mission is to unite the east and west art scene by creating an opportunity for viewers to have an insider look at the workspaces of artists that are located from Indio to Palm Springs, including Desert Hot Springs and even Pinyon Pines,” says Manfredi. “We had our first tour last year with 60 or so artists despite COVID, and this year we’re boasting more than 100. And we’re very excited for the opportunity, not only for the artists, but for the public.
“What makes this special is that instead of going into a gallery to look at someone’s art, the tour takes the public into the artist’s workspace,” Manfredi says. “These are their studios. There are no galleries or shops on the tour. It’s more an opportunity to interact with the artists, to see what they do, to see where they work and have what we call ‘an insider experience.’ It’s nice.”
This year’s free, self-guided tour will take place over two weekends, March 12-13 and March 19-20, and is open to the public. Manfredi says the organization’s goals are not financial.
“We don’t make money,” she says.” And that’s OK with us. We’re all working artists. In the art world, community is everything. And the connections, the networking and the building of interest, the public’s interest in art in the valley is going to benefit all of us. So as founders, we’re simply doing it to help the art world here in the valley to help elevate the artists.”
Manfredi says that when she moved to the valley, “I noticed the art scene was a little bit segregated from east to west, and we thought this would be a great way to help educate the public on the diversity of art here. And there really is a diverse population with a variety of interests in their art making practice. We thought this would be a great way to facilitate that.”
For more information on the tour or to read up on the participating artists, visit desertopenstudios.com.
As the philanthropy and special sections editor at The Desert Sun, Winston Gieseke writes about nonprofits, fundraising and locals who give back. Reach him at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: See artists in action on Desert Open Studios’ Coachella Valley tour