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Outdoor Art in Palm Desert, California

Palm Desert, California

Steve Minkler /

When you head over to Palm Desert in California, you may notice a little something extra special about the city. It’s here that you’ll find an incredible amount of art that you can’t get enough of. The city, which adopted a public art ordinance in 1986, features work from some truly talented artists. If you love art, you’ll definitely want to pay the city a visit, but let’s learn a little more about what you’ll find and what you can do before you start booking your trip.

The Art Collection
You’ll find so many types of art all throughout Palm Desert, amazing pieces that are certainly worth a visit to admire. Just some of the ones you’ll get to see (as part of the permanent collection) include the Palm Desert Obelisk by Marlo Bartels, Recycle Binney Baja Palapa by Arthur Gonzalez and Donna Billick, the Peace Memorial by Ross Andrews and Marton Varo, and Perpetual Motion by Bruce Stillman. You can check out the art collection here, see pictures of the art, find out where it’s located, and read the story behind it.

Free Guided Tours
From September to May, free guided tours are available (only one day a month), so rather than go it alone, you can do so in the company of others who love art as much as you do. The tours start at 9am, and while there are no scheduled tours for July and August, the next ones you can attend are on September 3, October 8, November 5, and December 3, all of which are Saturdays. You can learn more here about taking a tour.

Scheduled Tour
If you’d rather not tour the outdoor art in Palm Desert with a bunch of other people or you can’t make one of the scheduled dates, you can always request that you have your own private tour. However, the catch is that you must attend in a group of three or more. For more information, you can read all about it here. Each tour is one hour, so don’t forget to wear shoes that you can walk in comfortably for that amount of time.

City Tour Map
So let’s say you would just rather tour the public art in Palm Desert on your own rather than do a guided tour. How are you supposed to narrow it down to find the types of art you really want to see? Peruse through this city tour map. It’s here that you can see on the map where everything is located, and if you’re viewing it on your phone while you take it on the go, you can click right on the artwork’s name and learn more about it. Whether you walk or drive, the map can help you easily pinpoint and locate the artwork that’s really of interest to you.

The outdoor art in Palm Desert is enough reason to visit, but then you can also explore the Community Gallery, go out and eat at a fabulous restaurant, and more. It’s a fantastic way to spend a day (or longer)!