March 31-April 1
After moving to Palm Desert from Northern California, Dina Budginas attended last year’s Indian Wells Arts Festival for the first time. The Lithuanian-born painter was so impressed that she applied for entry into this year’s event. The festival jury happily included her on this year’s roster of established and emerging artists brought together in one venue for three days.
Dina is but one of the local talents juried into the 16th Annual Indian Wells Arts Festival at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Running March 31-April 1, the festival showcases 200 artists from 28 countries around the world. Attendees will discover a diverse collection of mediums — from painting, mixed media, sculpture, and photography to ceramics, textiles, and jewelry. Sixty of the artists juried into the show have had their work exhibited by and/or placed into the permanent collections of museums, including the renowned Smithsonian and Japan’s Kyoto Museum.
Evidencing the respected reputation it has built, Indian Wells Arts Festival last year marked sales totaling three-quarters of a million dollars.
Though she is a relatively new resident, Dina had her work featured last year in a public art exhibition in Palm Desert. And the quality of her abstract and figurative abstract paintings has been recognized elsewhere. Indeed, even after she spent much of her life in the United States, Lithuanian galleries honored her with solo shows in the capital of Vilnius and in her hometown of Marijampole.
For those who enjoy watching the marriage of skill and creativity, Yucca Valley artists David and Christopher Falossi will carve a monumental block of limestone into a sculpture using a variety of chisels and files. The father/son duo also will bring finished sculptures of their individual work for patrons who want to purchase pieces. David combines stone as “a link to the earth” and glass as symbolic of “the human spirit, life, and the miraculous” into works of 5 to 7 feet. Christopher’s oeuvre gravitates toward the representation of desert critters in 2- to 3-foot sculptures.
Working on a much smaller and lighter scale, Victor Yurivilca of Cathedral City sculpts wearable art: one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces that showcase exotic stones and shells from around the world set into crafted sterling silver. His artistry in fabricating complex designs has earned him numerous “best of jewelry” and “best of show” awards. Born in the Andes Mountains of Peru, Victor became a world traveler before moving to the United States and transitioning from engineer to artist.
Hans Ladislaus divides his time between his studios in Palm Desert and Hawaii. In the archipelago, the public can see his work in the form of a mural on a rapid transit system station and in the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu. Hawaii State Art Museum, also in Honolulu, purchased one of his sculptures that was part of a 2010 museum exhibition. At the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Hans will exhibit contemporary abstract and figurative paintings, some featuring a metallic sheen in acrylic paint.
While artists are the festival’s “stars,” the setting plays more than a minor role. The beautiful garden grounds against a mountain backdrop set a relaxing environment for soaking in the desert’s fresh air and sunshine.
Festival founder and producer Dianne Funk keeps the annual event dynamic not only by attracting “new” artists each year, but also by adding complementary elements that create layers for a day- or weekend-long “experience” — perhaps an experience memorialized by the acquisition of work from an artist with whom one has engaged in conversation.
Attendees can celebrate Easter weekend by taking advantage of the festival’s Eggs + Champagne in the Garden brunch menu until noon on Saturday and Sunday under the shaded pavilion. The Oasis Bar and Champagne Circle return with cheery spirits and mimosas.
An attraction not typically found at an art festival, the Gourmet MarketPlace features artisan products such as epicurean oils and vinegars, sauces and preserves, bourbon and brandy barrel-aged maple syrups, and sea salts.
In addition to David and Christopher Falossi’s on-site carving, demonstrations of glassblowing and ancient Zapotec loom weaving will enthrall attendees. Live music on the main stage provides entertainment for breaks from touring the abundant displays, while a Native American flute player and Coachella Valley Youth Ensemble Program trios and quartets add ambiance to the exhibition grounds.
Free activities encourage children and adults alike to explore their boundless imaginations. Participatory options include pottery making with Old Town Artisan Studio and coloring an outlined print of the commemorative poster art commissioned from Laguna Niguel’s Carolyn Johnson with Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Foundation. A free kid’s palette knife painting class with 2013 Commemorative Poster Artist Dusty Kinman on Sunday at 2 P.M., limited to the first 10 children present for the class session. Additionally, students from Cathedral City High School’s Digital Arts Technology Academy will present an interactive photo op using solar power harnessed by Hot Purple Energy.
Presented by the City of Indian Wells, the Indian Wells Arts Festival runs March 30-April 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. all three days. Admission is $13 for adults and free for children younger than 12. Tickets may be purchased online at www.indianwellsartsfestival.com and at the box office during the event. Free and valet parking are available. Indian Wells Tennis Garden is located at 78-200 Miles Avenue in Indian Wells.