Artists announced for 2021 Desert X Art exhibit

Taylor Martinez & City News Service

The 2021 Desert X art exhibition, a contemporary art biennial in the Coachella Valley, is slated to begin next month after being delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Artists participating in the 2021 exhibit were announce Tuesday and include:

— Zahrah Alghamdi (born 1977, Al Bahah, Saudi Arabia, based in Jeddah)
— Ghada Amer (born 1963, Cairo, Egypt, based in New York)
— Felipe Baeza (born 1987, Guanajuato, Mexico, based in New York)
— Judy Chicago (born 1939, Chicago, US. based in Belen, New Mexico)
— Serge Attukwei Clottey (born 1985, Accra, Ghana, based in Accra)
— Nicholas Galanin (born 1979, Sitka, Alaska, US, based in Sitka)
— Alicja Kwade (born 1979, Katowice, Poland, based in Berlin)
— Oscar Murillo (born 1986, Valle del Cauca, Colombia, based in various locations)
— Christopher Myers (born 1974, New York, US, based in New York)
— Eduardo Sarabia (born 1976, Los Angeles, US, based in Guadalajara, Mexico)
— Xaviera Simmons (born 1974, New York, US based in New York)
— Kim Stringfellow (born 1963, San Mateo, CA, US, based in Joshua Tree)
— Vivian Suter (born 1949, Buenos Aires, Argentina, based in Panajachel, Guatemala)

The free event, which includes art installations placed at outside sites across 40 miles of desert, is scheduled for March 12 through May 16.

“Among the first art experiences in the region since widespread lockdowns to offer a safe, outdoor experience that is free and open to all, Desert X will include newly commissioned works that collectively pose urgent questions about our pasts while imagining the possibilities of a shared future,” organizers said in a statement Tuesday.

Desert X was originally slated for Feb. 6 to April 11, but organizers postponed the event due to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s regional stay-at-home orders, which were lifted late last month.

Building off the success of the inaugural exhibition in 2017, Desert X returned in 2019 with displays across the valley. The 2021 installation will be the organization’s third.

This year’s event will “explore the desert as both a place and idea, acknowledging the realities of people who reside here and the political, social and cultural contexts that shape their stories,” according to organizers.

Organizers have also promised a beefed-up digital presence for remote viewing opportunities.

Artistic Director Neville Wakefield returned to the helm of Desert X for the 2021 installation, along with a new co-curator, Cesar Garcia-Alvarez, the executive and artistic director of The Mistake Room, a nonprofit art space in Los Angeles.

Garcia has curated a wide range of notable exhibitions and projects in the United States and abroad and was the United States commissioner of the 13th International Cairo Biennial in Egypt from 2012-2013.

Garcia-Alvarez previously pledged to work closely with local artists and residents in his work at Desert X.

More information is available at


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