Palm Springs and DesertX and Modernism Week

Gavin and I love art and design! After all, we are designers and artists by day, and we have deep passion for what we do. We are always looking for new inspiration and ideas, and one of the very best ways to get creativity flowing is to go experience other art! 

In April we took a weekend trip to Palm Springs to visit the DesertX installations and tour the homes featured at Modernism Week. We saw so much in 2 days and we left brewing with new ideas we can’t wait to create, but even more importantly we gained new perspectives on issues that transcend visual stimulation.

Our trip began on Friday, wrapping up the work week early to make the drive out and hopefully miss that potentially awful PS traffic. We arrived and checked into The Rowan Palm Springs, one of my favorite downtown spots to stay in PS. The location here is prime, right in the heart of everything. I also love the High Bar rooftop at the Rowan, the perfect spot to grab a spicy marg and dip into the sparking pool to escape those soaring desert temperatures after sweating our way through the art tours.

Upon arrival, Gavin and I threw our bags down and jumped back into the car to hit up some of the DesertX spots. The first installation we saw was called “Never Forget” by Nicholas Galanin.  Reminiscent of the Hollywood sign, these massive 3 story tall letters that spelled out INDIAN LAND stood tall, reaching to the bright blue sky, casting long shadows from the blazing midday sun onto the desertscape below. I was shocked by their sheer size, which also seemed to reinforce the blaring message it conveyed which to me is that we must never forget that this land we call America is not really ours. It belongs to all of us and none of us. We are here to share, cohabitate, and collaborate. We are here to tread lightly on this land and nourish it. And we must learn for those who called this land their home before we removed them to call it our own. We must never forget who was here before.

Palm Springs and DesertX

Next stop on the DesertX tour was The Wishing Well by Serge Attukwei Clottey.  From far away these canary yellow cubes looked like a cross between hay bales and something straight outta of Minecraft (as Hunter and Benji would agree)! It’s funny how we filter things through our own perspectives. What do you see?  As Gavin and I approached I noticed that these giant yellow cubes were made out of a quilt work of yellow plastic squares, all intricately stitched together. I opened my DesertX app to read about this creation. As it turned out this yellow plastic comes from the iconic yellow Kufuor containers that are used to transport water between villages in Ghana. They are symbolic of life. In countries where water is not abundant, these containers are the life force. It really struck a chord. Humbled, Gavin and I acknowledged how privileged and fortunate we are to have access to all the resources that make our life abundant. We are so blessed.

The Wishing Well

The sun was low on the horizon as we drove back to The Rowan to grab a shower before dinner. We luckily were given a spa suite room, which had a beautiful blue-tiled walk-in steam shower and tub. As I let the water run down my face I thought about the art we experienced, and how art is such an impactful way to convey messages, thoughts, perspectives, and emotions. Art is powerful! Gavin and I both create art and design to make an impact and that is where our passion comes from. When I am creating moss art for Art Botanica, my desire is to offer something that brings peace and connection to nature.

Palm Springs and DesertX

That evening we had a delightful dinner at Workshop Kitchen, a trendy, edgy-industrial vibey spot known for its creative cuisine. The food here was spectacular. We started with a farm beet and citrus salad that complex flavors were strongly influenced by an aromatic blend of fresh herbs. We also tried the doro wat chicken, braised in a robust ethipoian sauce, meat so tender it melted right off the bone. Gavin and I both agreed this was a memorable meal for the books. We will be back soon!

The next morning we grabbed a nourishing breakfast from Juniper Table located in the lobby of the Rowan and then set out to tour two of the featured homes of Modernism Week, in a new development called Desert Palisades. The two homes we toured were designed by the renowned architects  Kappe and Lockyer. These works of art took indoor-outdoor living to a new level. Their simple modernist design blended into the rocky desert surroundings, and the expansive windows and sliding glass walls literally had you feeling like you were outside when you were in. Gavin and I have plans to build our own home starting next year, and these masterpieces gave us a vision of what we want to create, a home that blends with its surroundings and celebrates nature.

By midday Sunday it was time to hit the road to head back to LA. On the drive back we wrote down all the ideas we had swirling in our head. Gavin and I are strong believers that writing our visions and dreams down help to kick start the manifesting process. I felt more deeply grounded into my own moss artwork creations and the message I seek to convey through my art. Gavin and I excitedly discussed all the ideas for a future home in the hills, and all the love that will be infused into our masterpiece we will one day call our home. Sometimes big things come in short lil’ weekend packages and Palm Springs always delivers!

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