The Cathedral City Public Arts Commission (CCPAC) is hosting a special art exhibit entitled, “Cathedral City Old Masters” from January 14, 2017 to February 12, 2017, open Saturdays and Sundays only between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, at the Cathedral City Art Gallery located adjacent to City Hall, 68-700 Avenida Lalo Guerrero, in downtown Cathedral City. 

“Cathedral City Old Masters” showcases original and reproduction paintings from Agnes Pelton and Val Samuelson.  Both are world-renowned artists who painted in the desert from the 1930s through the 1960s.  Admission is free.

Val Samuelson resided in Cathedral City Cove neighborhood for 37 years. He was a prolific artist, teacher, professional art show juror, and lecturer.  His works were exhibited in Los Angeles, San Diego and throughout the Southland, as well as in Chicago and Minneapolis.  His art career was extensive as he served as the art director and part-time editor of the Villager Magazine (now Palm Springs Life); art director of the Palm Springs Desert Museum during its growth in two locations over a period of twelve years; and was honored as “Artist of the Year” in 1990 by the La Quinta Arts Association. During his long career, his work was featured in one-man shows throughout California and Arizona, winning many awards.

The City owns two of his landscape paintings.  Other Samuelson paintings on display are on loan from CC Public Arts Commissioner Alan Carvalho and local resident Jeff Palmer who resides in Samuelson’s last residence.

Agnes Pelton (1881–1961) was a modernist painter, born in Germany and moved to the United States as a child.  She studied art in the United States and Europe and started her career making portraits of Pueblo Indians, desert landscapes and still life. Pelton's work evolved through at least three distinct themes: her early "Imaginative Paintings," art of the American Southwest, and abstract art that reflected her spiritual beliefs.  The paintings on display were loaned by Agnes Pelton Society ( located in Cathedral City.

Pelton lived in Cathedral City’s Cove neighborhood until her death in 1961.  Her home, which was located on “F Street,” also known as Agnes Pelton Way, served as the first “Desert Art Center.”   Pelton and other acclaimed artists and musicians held frequent events at her residence. 

The special exhibit also includes historical photographs curated by the Cathedral City Historical Society and an original oil painting by famed California artist (and Cathedral City resident) Tim Townsley called “An Homage to Agnes Pelton.”  In addition, the exhibit will showcase for the first public display in Cathedral City, “I Feel Myself Transported,” a body cast of artist Michael Chearney.  The body cast was recently donated to Cathedral City by noted collector: Joan Agajanian Quinn.

The CCPAC’s mission serves to collect and preserve art from local and renowned artists and is funded by developer fees.  Composed of seven local residents who are appointed to three-year terms by the City Council, CCPAC meets once a month in Council Chambers on the 2nd Monday of each month starting at 5:30 pm.  The agenda for each meeting and video of the meetings are available on the City’s website at:

The CCPAC also maintains an APP (Cathedral City: Where Art Lives) that provides a listing, photos, descriptions, and walking/driving tours of the City’s public art.  It is available as a free download for Apple or Android Devices from their respective APP stores.