The City of Palm Desert’s First Weekend for April features a Desert X-themed schedule of activities taking place from Friday, April 7, through Sunday, April 9. A number of free events are available over the three-day celebration showcasing Desert X artist talks and special exhibitions, along with guided art hikes, live entertainment at The Galen, plus the many other exciting monthly First Weekend celebrations.
With the debut of Desert X, the Coachella Valley and its desert landscape has become the canvas for a curated exhibition of site-specific work by established and emerging artists taking place through April 30. On Friday, April 7, Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert, The Galen presents a talk by local Desert X artist Phillip K. Smith II, with live entertainment following in the Faye Sarkowsky Sculpture Garden with Derek Jordan Gregg. A singer, songwriter and guitarist, Gregg blends old and new – Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, John Mayer, and Caleb Followill – into a sound all his own. Visitors can also view the new exhibition at The Galen (opening March 25), Journeys of the Heart by Pat Lash. This is the artist’s first major museum exhibition that surveys 43 years of work incorporating a range of media, from ceramic, bronze, and cut paper to wood sculpture and lace-making. The free event takes place 4 to 9 p.m. and craft beer is available at the event from Babe’s Brewery for $5 per glass.
On Saturday, April 8, at 10:30 a.m., the art-inspired fun continues at Cap Homme/Ralph Adams Park located at 72500 Thrush Road in Palm Desert. Participants will get to converse with Desert X creators, followed by a hike up the Homestead Trail to glimpse unique perspectives on Curves and Zigzags, artist Claudia Comte’s compelling Desert X installation.
On Sunday, April 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., College of the Desert Marks Art Center presents two photographic exhibitions with diverse perspectives on water in the California desert. Sant Khalsa: Confluence features the artist’s photo works focused on the theme of water and its relationship to the American West, while Desert Waters, is a companion group exhibition curated by Khalsa, including work by 12 artists. The exhibitions are parallel programs to Desert X.
April First Weekend includes numerous arts and cultural activities, including the monthly El Paseo Cruise Night and the renowned El Paseo Art Walk, with the full schedule as follows:
El Paseo Cruise Night, Friday, April 7, 3:15 to 6 p.m.
The cool, shiny, lovingly cared-for classic cars begin arriving around 3:15 p.m. at the upper level of the parking structure behind The Gardens on El Paseo. Get a close-up look at these beauties and talk to the owners before they take over cruising El Paseo from 4 to 6 p.m.
El Paseo Art Walk, Friday, April 7, 4 to 7 p.m.
The renowned El Paseo Art Walk is a self-guided stroll among the numerous art galleries on the famed avenue. Art galleries will feature exhibition openings, artist receptions and more.
ArtWalk@Coda, Friday, April 7, 4 to 8 p.m.
Exhibition opening reception for Laddie John Dill, a central figure in the California Light and Space movement. There will be live acoustic music and a no-host bar featuring wines from Organic Wine Exchange, which will benefit Animal Samaritans – present at the event with their companion canine.
Desert Art Collection, Friday, April 7, 4 to 8 p.m.
Aida Schneider, New Works exhibition and Santiago Garcia, Converse Shoes exhibition, with artists reception.
First Friday at The Galen, Friday, April 7, 4 to 9 p.m.
Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert, 72567 Highway 111
A free-to-all celebration that includes an artist talk with Phillip K. Smith III followed by live music and craft beer in the Faye Sarkowsky Sculpture Garden.
Cuistot Extended Happy Hour, Friday, April 7, 4 to 9 p.m.
Accent your First Weekend with Cuistot's extended happy hour. The special hours and prices are available in the bar and veranda.
Palm Springs Cruisin' Association Car Show, Saturday, April 8, 1 to 5 p.m.
Come join the fun, food, and cars! The event takes place in the parking lot behind Westfield Palm Desert's covered parking structure, $5 entry for cars – spectators free.
Free Guided Public Art Tour, Saturday, April 8, 9 to 10 a.m.
Free guided walking tours of the public art collection in Palm Desert include tours at El Paseo Exhibition, Civic Center Park, or the Palm Desert Library. This month’s tour will highlight the artwork in the El Paseo Exhibition. The tour begins at the northeast corner of El Paseo and Highway 74.
Cap Homme/Ralph Adams Park in Palm Desert: Desert X Talk and Hike, Saturday, April 8, 10:30 a.m.
The City of Palm Desert invites all to enjoy a light bite and participate in a conversation with Elizabeta Betinski, Executive Director of Desert X, about the exhibition and artist Claudia Comte’s site specific work, Curves and Zigzags, in Cap Homme/Ralph Adams Park. After the discussion, guests will be guided on a hike of parts of the Homestead Trail to study Comte’s work from different vantage points. Water and hiking shoes encouraged.
Sunrise Yoga at Palm Desert Aquatic Center, Sunday, April 9, 7 a.m.
Join April Jones of Yoga Central La Quinta for Sunrise Yoga at Palm Desert Aquatic Center. $7 per person for this enlightening one-hour class, and all Levels are welcome.
College of the Desert Street Fair, Saturday, April 8, and Sunday, April 9, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. For over 30 years, this premiere open-air shopping experience has been a popular destination for visitors and residents alike! Offering more than 300 booths featuring artists, farmer’s market, boutiques, unique items, live entertainment, gourmet food and more. Located at College of the Desert, corner of Monterey and Fred Waring.
Sant Khalsa: Confluence/Desert Waters at College of the Desert Marks Art Center, Sunday, April 9, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
As a parallel exhibition to Desert X, Marks Art Center presents two photographic exhibitions presenting diverse perspectives on water in the California desert. Sant Khalsa: Confluence features the artist’s photo works focused on the theme of water and its relationship to the American West. Desert Waters, is a companion group exhibition curated by Khalsa, that includes work by 12 artists.
Story Hour at the Monument, Sunday, April 9, 1 to 2 p.m.
Kids’ Corner offers story time about nature and desert creatures in the National Monument and includes outdoor or craft activities. Story hour takes at the monument takes place at the National Monument Visitors Center. Ages 4 to 8 are welcome with a parent. Space is limited.
Maps and Compass & Basics for Youth, Sunday, April 9, 1 to 2 p.m.
How do you use a map with a compass? Let's have some fun learning by doing at the National Monument Visitor Center. Ages 9 and above, space is limited.
Paint Night @ The Hood Bar & Pizza, Sunday, April 9, 2 to 4 p.m.
Join professional artists for a step-by-step fun-filled afternoon adventure where you can unleash your inner Picasso and create your own masterpiece. All materials are provided.
Key partners for First Weekend include El Paseo Shopping District, and Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert/The Galen and Faye Sarkowsky Sculpture Garden.
Held on the first full weekend of each month from November through May, First Weekend includes featured events, culture, art, live entertainment, food, festivals, wellness and much more. Visitors from out of the area will find everything from luxurious resorts to budget-friendly hotels, including the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa, Marriott’s Shadow Ridge, Residence Inn by Marriott, The Westin Desert Willow Villas, Hampton Inn & Suites, Shadow Mountain Resort & Club, The Inn at Deep Canyon, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Mojave Inn, Casa Larrea Inn, Club Intrawest, Embassy Suites, Best Western, and Holiday Inn Express.
For more information about First Weekend, click here or call (760) 568-1441.