In March 2023, Desert Open Studios will showcase about 150 artists in their studios throughout the Coachella Valley. The free, self-guided, studio tour, open to the general public, invites art lovers into artists’ workspace over two weekends, and is a unique opportunity to meet and talk with individual artists and to buy art directly from them.
First time participant Roberto Amaral (@fuego_amaral on Instagram) made the move to Rancho Mirage in April, 2020, right at the beginning of the pandemic shutdown. “I was hoping to continue with my teaching, but no studios were open – really, no one was leaving their homes!” Amaral had a thriving dance studio in Van Nuys for over 40 years and finally decided to make the move. “Most of my LA friends were out here, my partner had a condo ready for me to move into, and I was all set to re-establish my flamenco classes. But as with everyone, I had a big reset. It became a great opportunity to rediscover art. My formal schooling – high school and junior college – was in art. But at 18, I received an invitation to join Jose Greco’s Spanish dance company and tour the world. I couldn’t pass it up.”
The isolation of the pandemic provided the focus to dig in to art and like many Coachella Valley artists, as the weeks and months went by, Amaral created inventory. “Now that things are opening up again, and people are more comfortable getting around, I can start to discover the art community out here – and Desert Open Studios is perfect for that,” said Amaral.
Desert Open Studios provides an opportunity for the participating Coachella Valley artists to open their studios and behind-the-scenes spaces to the public, shining a light on their unique creative processes and practices. The tour is intended to deepen and broaden the relationship between artist and art-loving audiences and is a unique way for the public to interact with artists: observe their process, purchase artwork, watch demonstrations, and explore spaces usually not open to the public.
“The environment in the Coachella Valley is perfect for this thriving arts community,” continues Amaral. “From the unmatched sunlight to the openness of the community, I couldn’t feel more at home. In my little condo community, there are at least 6 gay and lesbian couples. To make a big move and start over again in my 70’s, it helps to know that I can be open about that part of my life.”
Discover artists and start planning your tour now with the Desert Open Studios just-published Handbook and interactive map at desertopenstudios.com