I have always been familiar with mid-century architecture and design. As a former architecture student I was made aware of Palm Springs, CA’s significance to the modernism movement and its impact on design, architecture, art, fashion and culture. However, even with my interest in architecture and design, I had never attended Palm Springs’ Modernism Week celebration.
Modernism Week is an annual celebration that takes place in February and draws people from all over the world. It’s mission, according to the organization, is to “celebrate and foster appreciation of midcentury architecture and design, as well as contemporary thinking in these fields, by encouraging education, preservation and sustainable modern living as represented in the greater Palm Springs area.”
This year’s festivities have been scheduled to take place between February 16th and February 26th.
I found myself in Palm Springs during Modernism Week this year at an art gallery show opening coinciding with the celebration called, “Modernism Mayhem” on Saturday, February 18, 2017, featuring artists, Monica Orozco’s “Mid-Century Crisis” and Roger Groth’s “Modernology.”
Walking past the large clear glass window of the Ted Casablanca Gallery you could see the many images of the show displayed on the walls behind a large crowd of people laughing, snapping pictures, sipping cocktails, and staring at art. Both of the Modernism-themed show’s artists were there answering questions about their work and mingling with friends and fans of Modernism.
Orozco’s photography from her show takes modernist themes, bright colors, and personal stories to create self-portraits staged and taken by the artist herself. Groth’s paintings utilize the oranges, browns, and reds of the desert to create time capsules of modern mid-century images.
Before leaving the desert after the long weekend I managed to visit the outdoor art festival nearby, see some of the architecture that made Palm Springs famous for Modernism, and relish in the city’s beauty, even with grayed storm clouds ahead. You couldn’t stop anywhere in the city without seeing the influence of the Modernism movement in the planning and the design of the Southern Californian paradise.
I’m planning on attending Modernism Week next year, and I definitely recommend attending Modernism Week if you ever plan on visiting Palm Springs, CA.