Art + Culture Greater Palm Springs
Credit: Palm Springs Art Museum

6 Unique Ways to Experience Art and Culture in Greater Palm Springs

From Public Art Displays to Museums, This Region Is Full of Unique Exhibits to Explore

Art can provoke thoughts and opinions, unite or divide, inspire feelings and motivations, change hearts and transform communities. The Greater Palm Springs art scene hits differently with more than great galleries and museums to offer. Murals, sculptures and colossal installations enhance the beauty of this desert oasis and complement its particular environment. You don’t have to be an art connoisseur to fall in love with the creative energy surrounding you. With so many unique pieces, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. We’ve rounded up the six best ways to experience art and culture in Greater Palm Springs.

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Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza and Museum

Drawing from the region’s Indigenous past, the new Agua Caliente Cultural Museum in downtown Palm Springs documents the vibrant cultural heritage of the Agua Caliente people. Ancient artifacts, native flora and fauna and rotating gallery displays retrace the steps of this tribe while commemorating their place in history. The museum houses a 10,000-square-foot permanent gallery with pieces detailing the narrative of the Cahuilla people. This includes the Agua Caliente tribe, as well as  eight other Cahuilla bands.

Immersive digital exhibitions recount the migration story of the Cahuilla Indians. Meanwhile, natural replicas of the surrounding landscape, including the nearby Indian Canyons, provide visitors with a glimpse into the natural beauty of their ancestral home. Immerse yourself in colorful rock formations, flowering canyons and fast-flowing streams along the Oasis Trail—a guided outdoor excursion that runs through the center of the Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza, connecting the museum with The Spa at Séc-he next door.



Art + Culture Greater Palm Springs
Credit: Visit Greater Palm Springs

Greater Palm Springs features a beautiful plethora of large-scale murals adorning the exteriors of buildings and the streets themselves. Scattered throughout the destination’s nine cities are several whimsical depictions that showcase the world through a colorful and insightful lens. Many of the murals are interactive, and even those that aren’t make a perfect TikTok backdrop—especially the gorgeous Colette Miller Wings at The Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs. For an uplifting (literally!) mood-booster, the What Lifts You hot air balloon mural in Cathedral City takes art to a new level as a creative vision of pinks and blues. Moving Towards the Future in Indio also demonstrates the colorful past and future of the Greater Palm Springs community.



Public Art

Greater Palm Springs is a true embodiment of the popular notion that “art is everywhere.” From fountains to captivating feats of architecture, the area is a mecca for turning the mundane into masterpieces. First shown at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in 2018 is Etherea, Edoardo Tresoldi’s completely captivating structure made of mesh-like wires. Inspired by Neoclassical and Baroque architecture, it creates a mirage of lines under the sun. This piece currently resides in downtown Coachella and will live rent-free in your head long after your visit. Sculptures and installations like the Fountain of Life in Cathedral City, Sarbalé Ke in Indio and The Dreamer in Palm Desert give a glimpse into the creative, cultural identity of Greater Palm Springs while adding a hint of brightness to each passing guest. 


Mid-Mod Architecture

Art and Culture in Greater Palm Springs
Credit: Jake Holt Photography

Mentioning public art in Greater Palm Springs and not bringing up the area’s distinct architecture would be blasphemous! Greater Palm Springs is synonymous with midcentury modernism—the region basically put it on the map. Desert Modernism is the term the locals use. This style combines minimalist lines with the environment and a love for the indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Many significant architects, such as Donald Wexler, practiced in Palm Springs. In 2012, one of his steel houses was the first midcentury modern structure placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a private home, so please respectfully marvel at it from the street. Architecture Tours by Modernism Week are available to help you admire these 20th-century buildings and homes. PS Guided Tours shows you around in a mini-coach or bicycle while giving you background on the talent that designed them.




Art + Culture Greater Palm Springs
Credit: Palm Springs Art Museum

There are plenty of museums to peruse in Greater Palm Springs, but the first should be the Palm Springs Art Museum downtown. Founded in 1938, this world-class facility houses notable exhibits focused on visual and performing arts. Just outside the museum is one of the destination’s most iconic installations: the 26-foot-tall Forever Marilyn sculpture by artist Seward Johnson, which can be found at the corner of Museum Way and Belardo Road in Palm Springs. For nature enthusiasts, Sunnylands Center and Gardens, designed by architect A. Quincy Jones in the 1960s, is a tranquil space that should be explored at your leisure with rose gardens to smell and a labyrinth to meander through. Other museums worthy of checking out are the Palm Springs Air Museum, Coachella Valley History Museum, and Cabot’s Pueblo Museum.


Art & Sol Series

Credit: Visit Greater Palm Springs

With rugged mountains and swaying palms, it’s no wonder Greater Palm Springs’ unrivaled and distinct beauty captivates so many, particularly those with a creative side and a love for self-expression. The Art & Sol Series is a collection of videos introducing local artists in the community. Set up like a documentary, viewers can get a glimpse inside the minds of Greater Palm Springs’ most innovative makers. The series features local creators from different backgrounds with distinct artistic styles. Through these videos, you’ll find out what inspires them. The intimate direction of the film will invoke a connection inside you, and seeing their artwork around the cities will feel even more meaningful. To check what’s in store this year, click here!

Lauren McCarran is a freelance writer specializing in content creation for media outlets. Her work with numerous publications and brands has helped her develop a unique and engaging writing style. Lauren loves to keep a finger on the ever pulsating world of pop-culture while staying in the know of the latest trends and happenings.




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