April 2021 Newsletter

Click here to download a printable PDF version.

Creativity takes courage.
~ Henri Matisse

2022 Wrightwood Arts & Wine Festival

The inaugural Wrightwood Arts & Wine Festival was tentatively postponed until September 18, 2021, hoping a downturn in the COVID Pandemic, along with massive distribution of vaccines would allow us to move forward. Based on our commitment to follow San Bernardino County COVID-19 Guidelines, the Wrightwood Arts Center Board of Directors voted not to move forward with the Festival in 2021, the County is still not issuing “special event permits” at this time.

Instead, and in order to ensure it reaches the full scope of our vision, we are postponing the annual festival to May 21, 2022. Save the date!
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Meet Our First Program and Activities Chair

by Esmé Stevens

The Wrigthwood Arts Center has announced Leslie Sikes as its first Programs and Activities Chair. Leslie will help the Arts Center plan workshops, classes, and other events for the community to attend. The main goal of this volunteer position is to work with the board of directors to bring the people of Wrightwood together through a common enthusiasm for the arts.

Leslie Sikes grew up in sunny San Diego, California, where she found her passion for dance and the arts. For Leslie, dance is what truly brings her joy, finding inspiration through lyrical-jazz, or, as she states, “anything that makes me want to move.” Leslie headed off to LA to pursue a career in dance. Throughout her dancing days she was able to perform in multiple events including the Shakespeare Festival at the Old Globe Theater, and the Starlight Opera just to name a few.

Later, she became an elementary school teacher, where she often produced musical productions with her students as the stars of the shows. While teaching, Leslie earned her Bachelor of education in Integrating the Arts into the Curriculum. Outside of the classroom she has taught adult ballet classes, performing at the age of 55 in a studio recital.

Along with dance, Leslie also finds joy in taking watercolor and painting classes with the Wrightwood Arts Center. When painting she finds inspiration in nature, particularly botanicals, though Leslie humbly states how she is, “becoming an art student in my old age”.

A Wrightwood resident for many years, Leslie wants to continue contributing to the community, and she’s excited to offer her time and effort in building a stronger voice for the arts in the area!

Esmé Stevens is a senior in the Kolbe Academy Homeschool Program.

Our Desert X Adventure

by Joan McCandless

On March 23, the Wrightwood Arts Center held our first Adventure of the year, caravanning to Desert X in the Coachella Valley in socially distanced “pods.” The Desert X 2021 exhibition explores the desert as both place and idea, acknowledging the realities of people who reside here currently and before, incorporating the political, social, and cultural contexts that shape their stories.

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 includes newly commissioned works that collectively pose urgent questions about our pasts while imagining the possibilities of a shared future. Our Wrightwood caravan visited four installations before lunch and had the option of two additional sites afterward.

cr: Joan McCandless | A view from inside “The Passenger” by Eduardo Sarabia

After driving 100 miles, it seemed appropriate that our first stop was “The Passenger” by Eduardo Sarabia. This arrow-shaped maze made from petates—traditional rugs woven from palm fibers—speaks to the challenges and aspirations that encourage journeys and migrations and pays tribute to the people who have embarked upon them. Inside the walls, one feels the company of generations.

cr: Joan McCandless | A view of “What Lies Behind These Walls” by Zahrah Alghamdi

In “What Lies Behind These Walls” by Zahrah Alghamdi, material and memory are inextricably intertwined. Assembling particles of earth, clay, rocks, leather, and water, she evokes themes of cultural identity, memory, and loss. It takes time and reflection to consider the implications.

The group strolled by numerous downtown sculptures on the way to lunch (The Babies, Palm Springs, & “Infinite Trefoil”). Rave reviews followed a delicious lunch at Thai Smile. Balmy weather allowed Palm Springs’ restaurants to move much of its seating outside as soon as permitted.

You can visit Desert X through May 16, 2021. Some installations require timed visit Thursday through Sunday. For more information visit desertx.org.

Please join us for the Wrightwood Arts Center next Arts Adventure, coming soon!

Joan McCandless is President of the Wrightwood Arts Center.

This Month’s Events

Love Roots Yoga Shala Re-Opening
(1329 Highway 2, 2nd Floor)
As of April 1st, the Shala is opening with limited capacity, and some yoga classes will be offered at the Shala. Reservations must be made at least 1 hour prior to attending in person, and CDC recommendations such as masks and social distancing will be followed. For more information, visit loverootsyogashala.com.

Wine & Watercolors with Gayle Dowling
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

(via Zoom)
Our April Wine & Watercolor Zoom with Gayle Dowling is one three-hour class. The cost $15 total for members and $20 for non-members. Visit the Watercolors page for more information. The deadline to register is Thursday, April 15th.

Open Clay Studio

Play with clay in a fun supportive environment! Mary Duman will be hosting an Open Clay Studio class in the month of May and into June. For details on prices, dates, and requirements, visit Inspired Natural Healing.


© 2021. All individual works copyrighted by their creators; used with permission; all rights reserved.

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