The artists’ designs for the benches were selected to tie into the businesses near the bench location. A floral design will adorn the bench in front of My Little Flower Shop, a food-related design will be applied to the bench near Cheeky’s, and others are matched in the same manner.
The artists that will participate in this continuation of the bench beautification project include Katie Campbell, Wallace Covard, Jessyca Frederick, James Gallucci, Monica Garcia, Susan Gresto, Mark Johnson, Lynda Keeler, Siori Kitajima, Paul Kole, Tim Leary, Frank Lemus, Jessica Macias, Ernesto Ramirez, Brett Stevens, Emeline Tate, and Kat Trevino.
The initial bench beautification program included ten benches, painted by local artist Tysen Knight, and eleven additional benches that were painted by ten local artists (one artist painted two benches). Members of the Palm Springs Public Arts Commission worked closely with Main Street Palm Springs on this civic improvement campaign. The new benches will be painted in the next few weeks.
“We are delighted that the public has responded so well to the bench program,” said Joy Brown Meredith, Main Street Board President and owner of Crystal Fantasy, a popular Palm Canyon retail store. “Rather than replacing these expensive benches, Main Street Palm Springs decided to help our local artists by providing Public Arts Commission grants to beautify them. Creating art on the streets is also a great way to provide a safe activity for community members that also helps our Downtown and Uptown local business owners.”
“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, who has advanced this project, along with Commissioner Russell Prtichard. “One of the goals of the commission is to issue these civic improvement grants to employ local artists, and we are pleased that this project is continuing. We plan to work with the Visit Palm Springs to create an interactive map of all the art projects, so that they can be enjoyed by visitors and residents.”
In addition to the Main Street benches, the Public Arts Commission has created a Mini-Grant program to match artists with local business owners to create art installations in storefront windows and at sidewalks, crosswalks, and patios. These projects are intended to enliven the streets and draw people to Downtown as it reopens.
Details of both programs, and a registry of artists, can be found on the Commission’s website at pspublicarts.com.