The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival already bears enough comparison to Miami's Art Basel (whether it's a positive stance on culture or a very large eye roll). But starting in 2017, our nearby desert will have its very own art biennial—that is, if Ed Ruscha has anything to do with it.
Ruscha is currently on the board of a non-profit group working to start a desert art exhibition, Desert X, that will take place every two years for a three-month period that partly overlaps with Coachella. We cannot imagine any more people or parties in Indio (or anywhere nearby) than already overwhelm the area for Coachella's two weekends in April, but we also want to give Ed the benefit of the doubt here.
And he's in good company; other members of the board include collector Beth Rudin DeWoody, Coachella art director Paul Clemente, former Palm Springs Art Museum director Steve Nash, former MOCA director of communications Lyn Winter and Film Independent board of directors chair Mary Sweeney, among others. Funding will come from board members as well as Coachella itself, a fest that's always made room for art (indeed, some pretty iconic pieces) amidst the music and mayhem. Read the curatorial statement for the inaugural exhibition here, and if you're especially excited, find out how to get involved (donating, volunteering on-site) here.
You can also join the Desert X mailing list to stay updated on desert developments leading up to the debut event.