Palm Springs Art Bench Beautification Program artists will sign a new commemorative poster that will be presented to the Palm Springs City Council at Destination PSP, 170 North Palm Canyon, Palm Springs on Tuesday, June 1 at 12 noon. On hand will be participating artists, Joy Meredith of Main Street Palm Springs, Nona Watson of Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce, Randy Garner of Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism, and Ann Sheffer, Chair of the PS Public Arts Commission, will be on hand for photo opportunities and interviews
Earlier last year, the city of Palm Springs considered replacing the dozens of existing concrete benches that line Palm Canyon. The project would have cost more than $400,000.
Main Street Palm Springs and the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce worked with the Public Arts Commission to offer a series of grants to local artists to transform the benches instead of replacing them. These grants originated from a fund created by local developers (not city tax dollars) that was restricted to public art projects. It enabled Main Street, the Chamber, and the Public Arts Commission to employ local artists during the pandemic, at a time when many were not working.
More than 70 local artists were hired for the project, each of whom got paid more than $1,000.
The benches currently extend from the uptown area to South Palm Canyon and many side streets, so hundreds of businesses have already benefitted from the interest and traffic. Where possible, the artists’ designs for the benches were selected to tie into the businesses near the bench location.
After an initial trial program, the project met with great acclaim and was expanded to include more benches and employ more local artists.
Destination PSP designed a commemorative poster to feature many of the newly painted benches and will sell these posters for $25. All funds raised from poster sales will be directed back to the local artists and Main Street merchants. Funds may be used to print a map identifying additional public arts projects.
“The diversity of colorful bench designs from the collaborating artists made this a fun project to work on,” said Tom Dolle, designer of the commemorative poster and Creative Director at Destination PSP. “To showcase that excellent work, I took out the backgrounds to focus on the actual artistry of each bench. These hand-painted designs showcase each artist’s personal flair and style, often in a whimsical manner. The poster is a great way to honor this amazing public arts program—and have the work of these artists proudly on display.”
Many of the more than 70 artists who painted the benches will be on hand at this event to sign the new commemorative poster, which will be presented to the Palm Springs City Council.
Information on the artists may be found at the website