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Saturday, January 21, 2023

Free Art in Palm Springs

As you know, one of my favorite things to do in a city is to take a walk to look at street art. So many cities work with local artists to beautify their streets, buildings, trash cans, and electrical boxes. Palm Springs is no different and there are tons of great photo opportunities all over. Unsurprisingly, I was ecstatic.

As you know, one of my favorite things to do in a city is to take a walk to look at street art. Palm Springs is no different.
Why yes, I do love you Palm Springs!
Over the 5 days we were in town, we saw so much free art, not including all the amazing architecture, which is a whole other thing of its own. 

The art starts as soon as you get off the plane. The airport is mostly outside, with great places to sit, picnic, view art, let the kids play, sip coffee or wine, and even learn a little history. Throughout the grounds are a scattering of sculptures, including two of these beautiful scenic rams.

Downtown and Uptown are chock full of commemorations of previous residents, including former Mayor Sonny Bono, who got his own bronze statue (there's a bust of him at the airport, too, before you get to the Sonny Bono Concourse). You can see how well loved this statue is as a photo op. Seconds before I took this, there was a whole family climbing on him for a picture, and seconds after I took this, I took one of Eric with him. There's also a plaque that tells you all about why Bono was such a honored member of the community.

Across the street, a little bit up the block, you'll find this bronze statue of Lucille Ball. We actually missed her the first time we went down that street. If not for Pokemon Go, we may not have seen her at all. It was very sunny, so you'll have to pardon all the terrible shadows. Lucy came to Palm Springs before her career had taken off and then returned again and again once famous and married to Desi Arnaz, staying in the best hotels and even making a movie there.

The streets are lined with colorful benches, each done by a different artist. Make sure to walk all the way around them, because there's something different to see from each angle. Each has a completely different vibe and I was loving it. There were pop art ones, nature ones, and ones celebrating Pride. There was even one outside the airport that looked like a giant plane ticket on top of two piles of suitcases. Very clever.

It's not all sculptures and benches though, because there also seems to be a cool mural tucked around every corner. I saw so many I couldn't take photos of while I was driving, but I did stop outside a hotel I wanted a photo of and this was on the wall between it and the hotel next to it. Swoon!

Here are 3 different pieces of art in one picture: Fault Line Meditation by JEVPIC, 
Line-Segments-Palm-Springs by Ryan Campbell, and Palm Springs Babies by David Cerny

We never made it to the Palm Springs Art Gallery, even though we had every intention to get to it. We did enjoy the park across the street from the gallery one evening, where there is So. Much. Art. For free!

Enjoy this different view.

The street leading to the museum greets you with a gigantic Marilyn Monroe. This 26-foot statue, entitled Forever Marilyn, celebrates another one of Palm Springs' famous residents. You can also take a self-guided tour and see what is dubbed the Marilyn Monroe house (from the outside), one of the homes she rented throughout her career.

I loved everything, no matter how weird, out front of the museum, but I especially loved this one called Suspended Time, by Gonzalo Lebrija. This car is surrounded by a small black lake, giving it an awesome mirrored effect.

This is actual water.

What did I think of Palm Springs and all its amazing art? There was a piece of art to describe that, too. Wow by Midabi. With so many things costing money, self-guided walking tours are a great way to do something cool for free. It's one of the best free activities in my opinion, because city art is a wonderful way to get a feeling for a city and the people who live there.

What's your favorite piece of street art, or your favorite city for street art?

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