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Ready to see all of the Desert X 2021 art installations? Here's a map

The Desert Sun (Palm Springs) logo The Desert Sun (Palm Springs) 4/8/2021 Brian Blueskye, Palm Springs Desert Sun

A structure made of cements and soil. A word garden. A maze made of rugs woven from palm fibers. A homestead. 

These are just four of nine installations you can now see at the art biennial Desert X, which opened Friday across the Coachella Valley. Additionally, a mural by Felipe Baeza and sculptures by Christopher Myers, all in Palm Springs, will be on view April 9. Locations for a live smoke sculpture by feminist artist Judy Chicago and artwork by Oscar Murillo are still to be announced.

a group of people in a desert: Zahrah Alghamdi's 2021 Desert X piece, 'What Lies Behind the Walls' is comprised of stacked cements soils and dyes. It is located in Desert Hot Springs, Calif. © Vickie Connor/The Desert Sun Zahrah Alghamdi's 2021 Desert X piece, 'What Lies Behind the Walls' is comprised of stacked cements soils and dyes. It is located in Desert Hot Springs, Calif.

The outdoor exhibition runs through May 16. Organizers have said this third edition, curated by Artistic Director Neville Wakefield and co-curator César García-Alvarez, uses the setting of the desert to connect the realities and histories of the Coachella Valley and current events shaping the world.

Many of this year's installations use materials that are reused, repurposed or eco-friendly. There are specific paths that lead to the artworks. There are also security guards at some of the installations to ensure visitors wear masks and practice social distancing. Some pieces have hand sanitizer stations. 

This year's artists hail from across the globe, from Saudi Arabia to Argentina. Joshua Tree-based artist Kim Stringfellow is the lone local — her "Jackrabbit Homestead" in Palm Desert chronicles the desert homesteading experience.

During an interview with The Desert Sun earlier this week, Stringfellow said she hoped people would respond to the idea of "freedom from materialism."

"It also speaks to social economics and who has opportunities for property ownership and land. What does it mean to own a piece of land and do we really own something?" Stringfellow said. 

A map with exact locations of all the installations is available on desertx.org and on the Desert X 2021 app. Visitors can also get maps and information at a "hub" at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, located at 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.

Ready to discover some art? Here's how to get to each of the pieces. Remember to respect the desert — and leave no trace — as you explore.

The Desert Sun will continue to update this story as we visit each of the installations.

"What Lies Behind the Walls" by Zahrah Alghamdi

Coordinates: 33.964250, -116.484250

Address: Pierson Blvd between Foxdale Drive and Miracle Hill Road in Desert Hot Springs

Hours: From sunrise to sunset 

What it is: Approaching Saudi Arabia artist Zahrah Alghamdi's "What Lies Behind the Walls" feels like a journey. First, you walk up a quarter-mile path to the installation that appears as a monolith. Up close, the stacked dyed slabs of soil and cements form mesmerizing patterns. 

"Women's Qualities" by Ghada Amer 

a bench in a garden: Ghada Amer's 2021 Desert X artwork, 'Women's Qualities' is located at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Thursday, March 11, 2021. © Vickie Connor/The Desert Sun Ghada Amer's 2021 Desert X artwork, 'Women's Qualities' is located at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Thursday, March 11, 2021.

Coordinates: 33.780361, -116.409583

Address: Sunnylands Center and Gardens, 37-977 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage 

Hours: Check sunnylands.org for opening days and hours.

What it is: New York-based Egyptian artist Ghada Amer's "Women's Qualities" consists of words such as "Resilient," "Loving" and "Strong." They're spelled out in large letter-shaped planters with desert plants. Amer asked men and women to share words that describe the qualities they identify with and have been described as — the installation makes a powerful statement that bridges nature and culture together. 

"Finding Home in My Own Flesh" by Felipe Baeza

Coordinates: 33.825528, -116.547333

Address: 201 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Hours: This installation starts April 9.

What it is: This mural that acknowledges the Coachella Valley as a border region, honoring immigrants and queer people of color who have been an integral part of its story. 

"Living Smoke" by Judy Chicago

Judy Chicago with smoke coming out of it: Feminist artist Judy Chicago. Her Desert X exhibit "Living Smoke; A Tribute to the Living Desert" will be presented on April 9 in partnership with the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation © Courtesy of Donald Woodman Feminist artist Judy Chicago. Her Desert X exhibit "Living Smoke; A Tribute to the Living Desert" will be presented on April 9 in partnership with the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation

Coordinates: Not yet announced

Address: Not yet announced 

Hours: Not yet announced

What it is: The smoke sculpture using non-toxic materials celebrates the desert landscape by an artist who intertwines personal, political and environmental work. 

"The Wishing Well" by Serge Attukwei Clottey

a large brick building with a mountain in the background: Serge Attukwei Clottey's Desert X piece, 'The Wishing Well' is located at James O. Jessie Desert Highland United Center in Palm Springs, Calif., on Thursday, March 11, 2021. The sculptural installation is made of yellow plastic Kufuor gallons used to transport water in Ghana. © Vickie Connor/The Desert Sun Serge Attukwei Clottey's Desert X piece, 'The Wishing Well' is located at James O. Jessie Desert Highland United Center in Palm Springs, Calif., on Thursday, March 11, 2021. The sculptural installation is made of yellow plastic Kufuor gallons used to transport water in Ghana.

Coordinates: 33.868111, -116.552750

Address: James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center, 480 W. Tramview Rd., Palm Springs

Hours: From sunrise to sunset

What it is: Serge Attukwei Clottey's "The Wishing Well" is a large-scale sculpture made of yellow, plastic Kufuor gallons used to transport water in Ghana. Upon a closer examination and understanding the narrative of access to clean water, each piece — with scratches and obvious signs of use — makes a moving statement. 

"Never Forget" by Nicholas Galanin

a body of water with a city in the background: 'Never Forget' by artist Nicholas Galanin sits several stories tall on an alluvial fan near Tramway Rd and Hwy 111 in Palm Springs, March 5, 2021. The work is part of the Desert X exhibition. © Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun 'Never Forget' by artist Nicholas Galanin sits several stories tall on an alluvial fan near Tramway Rd and Hwy 111 in Palm Springs, March 5, 2021. The work is part of the Desert X exhibition.

Coordinates: 33.857694, -116.559111

Address: North of the Palm Springs Visitor Center, 2901 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs

Hours: From sunrise to sunset

What it is: Tlingit-Unangax̂ artist and musician Nicholas Galanin created "Never Forget" to draw attention to the work of the Landback movement, which aims to return land back to Indigenous people. The piece reads "Indian Land" and references the Hollywood sign.

'We aren't just this monolith': Desert X 'Indian Land' artwork sparks debate

“In the scope of Indigenous displacement across the Americas, about 3% of Indigenous communities have titles to the land. This is the conversation we’re having,” Galanin said. “We’re here in this community hoping this conversation extends up and down and across the borders.”

"ParaPivot (sempiternal clouds)" by Alicja Kwade

a group of people on a beach: Alicja Kwade's Desert X piece, "ParaPivot (sempiternal clouds)" is located on private property in Sky Valley, Calif., on March 13, 2021. © Taya Gray/The Desert Sun Alicja Kwade's Desert X piece, "ParaPivot (sempiternal clouds)" is located on private property in Sky Valley, Calif., on March 13, 2021.

Coordinates: 33.928083, -116.411889

Address: 71-690 Channel Run Road, Sky Valley

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What it is: These interlocking frames support large blocks of white marble, appearing as ice split from a glacier. 

"Frequencies" by Oscar Murillo

Coordinates: Not yet announced

Address: Not yet announced

Hours: Not yet announced

What it is: "Frequencies" was a collaborative project with students from schools in the Coachella Valley who received a canvas and art supplies. 

"The Art of Taming Horses" by Christopher Myers 

a statue of an elephant: The Art of Taming Horses is a 2021 Desert X art installation located in the road median on Tahquitz Canyon Way in between Sunrise Way and Civic Drive in Palm Springs, Calif. © Vickie Connor/The Desert Sun The Art of Taming Horses is a 2021 Desert X art installation located in the road median on Tahquitz Canyon Way in between Sunrise Way and Civic Drive in Palm Springs, Calif.

Coordinates: 33.823167, -116.513278

Address: Tahquitz Canyon Way between Sunrise Way and Civic Drive in Palm Springs

Hours: To be announced

What it is: Christopher Myers' work features six sculptures with draping banners that tell the story of two ranchers, one Mexican and one Black, whose love for raising horses led them to what would become Palm Springs. 

"The Passenger" by Eduardo Sarabia

a sign on a pole in the snow: Eduardo Sarabia's 2021 Desert X piece, "The Passenger" is located near the intersection of Frank Sinatra Drive and Portola Avenue in Palm Desert, Calif., on Thursday, March 11, 2021. It is made from walls of petates—traditional rugs woven from palm fibers. © Vickie Connor/The Desert Sun Eduardo Sarabia's 2021 Desert X piece, "The Passenger" is located near the intersection of Frank Sinatra Drive and Portola Avenue in Palm Desert, Calif., on Thursday, March 11, 2021. It is made from walls of petates—traditional rugs woven from palm fibers.

Coordinates: 33.775917, -116.368694

Address: Frank Sinatra Drive and Portola Avenue in Palm Desert 

Hours: From sunrise to sunset

What it is: "The Passenger" is an arrow-tip-shaped maze made of petates, which are traditional rugs woven from palm fibers. Walking through the setting, the walls provide shade in some areas and the texture of the petates stirs the imagination. 

"Because You Know Ultimately We Will Band A Militia" by Xaviera Simmons

a sign above a snow covered bridge: Billboards from Xaviera Simmons' Desert X installation "Because You Ultimately Know We Will Band A Militia" along Gene Autry Trail in Palm Springs, Calif. on March 12, 2021. © Brian Blueskye/The Desert Sun Billboards from Xaviera Simmons' Desert X installation "Because You Ultimately Know We Will Band A Militia" along Gene Autry Trail in Palm Springs, Calif. on March 12, 2021.

Coordinates: 33.852444, -116.506083

Address: Gene Autry Trail between Via Escuela and Interstate 10 in Palm Springs

Hours: From sunrise to sunset

What it is: New York artist Xaviera Simmons has created billboards of reverence, resistance and redistribution of material resources. One billboard says "Rupture Your Guilt Amnesia" while another says "California Once Tried to Ban Black People." 

"Jackrabbit Homestead" by Kim Stringfellow

a truck is parked in front of a house: Kim Stringfellow's Desert X piece, 'Jackrabbit Homestead' located in Palm Desert on Thursday, March 11, 2021. © Vickie Connor/The Desert Sun Kim Stringfellow's Desert X piece, 'Jackrabbit Homestead' located in Palm Desert on Thursday, March 11, 2021.

Coordinates: 33.723583, -116.400944

Address: Adjacent to the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce, 72-559 Highway 111, Palm Desert 

Hours: From sunrise to sunset

What it is: Joshua Tree-based artist Kim Stringfellow's "Jackrabbit Homestead" is based on the homesteading experiencing of Catherine Venn, who was featured in Desert Magazine in 1950. Stringfellow, the only local artist in the exhibition, also worked with Georgia-based musician and artist Jim White and singer Claire Campbell to create audio for the installation. 

"Tamanrasset" by Vivian Suter

a glass door: Some of the abstract paintings of Vivian Suter's Desert X installation, "Tamanrasset." in Palm Desert, Calif. on March 12, 2021. © Brian Blueskye/The Desert Sun Some of the abstract paintings of Vivian Suter's Desert X installation, "Tamanrasset." in Palm Desert, Calif. on March 12, 2021.

Coordinates: 33.819167, -116.547389

Address: 333 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Hours: 24 hours

What it is: This collection of abstract paintings by Argentinian artist Vivian Suter is sited in the storefront of a mid-century modern storefront in downtown Palm Springs. Suter, who was not able to travel to the Coachella Valley for a site visit, created a series of paintings as an exploration of the desert landscapes. 

More: Desert X will debut third outdoor art exhibition this month despite pushback

Desert Sun reporter Brian Blueskye covers arts and entertainment. He can be reached at brian.blueskye@desertsun.com or on Twitter at @bblueskye. Support local news, subscribe to The Desert Sun.

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Ready to see all of the Desert X 2021 art installations? Here's a map

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