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Desert X Art Club Exhibition 2024

May 30 – June 7, 2024


Marks Art Center
College of the Desert
43-500 Monterey Ave
Palm Desert, CA 92260

Tuesday – Friday
11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
The exhibition is free and open to the public. Parking is available in lot 26.

Our exhibition celebrates Coachella Valley students and their creative journeys through Desert X Art Club 2023-2024, an Expanded Learning Opportunities Program with Desert Sands Unified School District. Elementary and middle school students in 14 clubs explored key ideas about making art in the desert, including site-specificity, environment, public space, socio-political dialogue and cultural identity. This showcase of abstract and representational sculptures, installations, drawings, paintings, photographs and videos reflects and documents the creative paths students traveled as they experimented, collaborated and challenged their understanding of what art is and the forms it can take.

Through after school workshops and dynamic field trips held over nine months with Desert X educators, students experienced the greater Coachella Valley art world by speaking with renowned local artists in their studios, viewing public art in a variety of communities, and visiting cultural partners behind the scenes at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and the Palm Springs Art Museum. The artworks on view here capture the diversity of ways that our youth respond to art and the environment, encapsulating the core themes of Desert X and the desert they call home.

Participating Schools: Benjamin Franklin Elementary School • Desert Ridge Academy • Indio Middle School • John Glenn Middle School • Ronald Reagan Elementary School

Desert X extends its gratitude to artists Gerald Clarke, Armando Lerma, Phillip K. Smith III, Michelle Castillo and Flat Black Urban Arts. Many thanks to the teachers, ELOP coordinators and administrators of DSUSD for your ongoing support and collaboration. Additional thanks to Raffi Lehrer and the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Luisa Heredia and the Palm Springs Art Museum and Dani Ortiz and Julia Morgan of the Bureau of Land Management. Thank you to College of the Desert for extending a warm welcome to our young artists this year. Appreciation to our Desert X Volunteer community for supporting these students’ educational journeys.