Since visiting Palm Springs, I have been getting a TON of questions about the magnificent art installations we visited, also known as Desert X. Hidden across the Palm Springs Desert, these art pieces offer a fun way to explore the Coachella Valley.
So what is Desert X?
Every year from around February to April, several artists curate art pieces, which are then scattered around the desert. Each installation has a meaning behind it, and finding these can be sort of a scavenger hunt. But not to worry, this has become so popular that finding these installations isn’t so tough anymore.
First, I would suggest downloading the Desert X app.
This free app will be your guided tour to each of the art pieces. Rent a car and go have some fun finding these!
While visiting Palm Springs for the Alt Summit Conference, I discovered these installations (on Instagram, of course), and grabbed some girlfriends to go explore. Here is a guide to our faves of 2019.
Where to find: Cathedral City at Rancho Mirage (navigate + park at The Atrium)
Artist: Pia Camil
One of the easiest to find and access from the main road, this giant rainbow is Instagram gold.
Super Flex (Pink Structure)
to find: Palm Desert at Cap Homme and Ralph Adams Park
Artist: Superflex Collective
A massive pink sculpture at the base of some huge mountains.
Specter (Neon Box)
to find: Whitewater at Snowcreek Canyon Road (you can see it from
Artist: Sterling Ruby
A huge neon box in the middle of the desert. This is also at the base of some snow-capped mountains, which makes for some beautiful photos!
LIST OF ALL THE DESERT X 2019 INSTALLATIONS
Here’s a list of all other Desert X 2019 artists + installations!
Before I Became Afraid
to find: Location and dates TBA on app
Artist: Jenny Holzer
Going Nowhere Pavillion
to find: Desert Hot Springs on Eliseo Road
Artist: Julian Hoeber
to find: Hwy 111 and Tipton Road
Number: 5A + 5B
Artist: Nancy Baker Cahill
Peace Is The Only Shelter
Where to find: Palm Springs (Palm Canyon Drive + Indian Canyon
Number: 7A – 7C
Artist: Mary Kelly
to find: Multiple across the desert. Look at app for each address.
Number: 8A, 8B, 8C, 8D, 8E
Artist: Cinthia Marcelle
Jackrabbit, Cottontail & Spirits of the Desert
to find: Palm Springs as Via Escula and Interstate 10
Artist: Cara Romero
to find: Sunnylands Center & Gardens
Artist: Iman Issa
It Exists in Many Forms
to find: Palm Desert at Santa Rosa Way
Recapturing Memories of The Black Ark
to find: Indio at 43143 Jackson Street
Artist: Gary Simmons
Us In The Shape Of Clouds
to find: Coachella at Landfill Road and Polk Street
Artist: Armando Lerma
to find: Mecca at North Shore Beach and Yacht Club
Artist: Cecilia Bengolea
Terminal Lake Exploration Platform
to find: Salton Sea State Park Recreation Area
Artist: Steve Badgett & Chris Taylor
Know Before You Go
Be Respectful! These are art installations, and must be treated as so. Avoid climbing on them or damaging them in any way. Also, pay attention to “no driving” signs, which warn drivers to avoid driving right up to the art piece.
Download the App: It’s free and will make your life so easy, promise!
Plan your outfits! Wanna get the perfect shot? Plan your outfit (or just wear something cute) and see what other people’s photos have looked like to get a good idea of how to shoot with the art.
Remember, there are new installations every year; so if you miss 2019’s, then start plan your 2020 trip! (I’ll be there!). I hope this guide helps you plan your trip, and as always, if you have anything to add (pictures, ideas etc), let me know!
While you’re here, follow me on the gram to see other Palm Springs updates and travel ideas @harpergreylifestyle.