Art Bench Project Artists Holding Up Poster

Benches-poster-FINAL-webOn Tuesday, June 1, 2021, Destination PSP, a popular downtown retail store located at 170 North Palm Canyon, Palm Springs, hosted a festive event in which artists who participated in the recent Art Bench beautification program for the City of Palm Springs signed a new commemorative poster that features images of many of the benches. The signed poster will be framed and presented to the Palm Springs City Council at an upcoming meeting.
The Art Benches Of Palm Springs Poster is available for purchase from Destination PSP in-person and online: [Purchase Here]
Information on the artists can be found at the VisitPalmSprings.com website.
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. Instead, Main Street Palm Springs, the city of Palm Springs’ Downtown and Uptown Business Association, worked with the Public Arts Commission to offer a series of grants to local artists to transform the benches. These grants originated from a fund created by local developers (not city tax dollars) that was restricted for only public art projects. It enabled Main Street and the Public Arts Commission to employ local artists during the pandemic, when many were not working.
After the initial trial program, the project met with great acclaim and was greatly expanded to include more benches and employ more local artists. It was heavily promoted within the community by the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce and outside of the region by the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism.
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 by the interest and traffic. Where possible, the artists’ designs for the benches were selected to tie into the businesses near the bench location.
“We love this collaboration that the Public Arts Commission has with Main Street Palm Springs,” said Ann Sheffer, Chair of the PS Public Arts Commission. “One of the goals of the commission is to issue civic improvement grants to employ local artists, and we are pleased that this project has benefited so many 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.
“We are delighted that the public has responded so well to the bench program,” said Jeffrey Bernstein, former Main Street Board Member and owner of Destination PSP. “Rather than replacing these expensive benches, Main Street Palm Springs decided to help our local artists by coordinating Public Arts Commission grants to beautify them. We commissioned this poster to recognize this exciting project and look forward to presenting a signed copy to the Palm Springs City Council.”
“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, all of which are on display throughout the city. 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.”