Greater Palm Springs Community

Discover Art & Culture in Coachella Valley with Desert X 2021

By Brad Schmett|April 14, 2021

The Passenger

If you’ve been looking for a unique way to explore the Coachella Valley, look no further. Desert X 2021 is back for its third installation, this year with 13 artists from across the globe. Running March 12th through May 16th, it’s the perfect opportunity to soak in the sublime spring weather in the desert while learning about the local area. With free admission and all of the exhibitions located outdoors, this is the first open-air event to take place since last year and a must experience for the whole family!

Curated by Artistic Director Neville Wakefield and co-curator César García-Alvarez, each exhibition uses the desert landscape to connect the realities of life in the Coachella Valley with current global events. Although each exhibit evokes its own thought-provoking beauty, there were three installations that stood out to us. If you are short on time and are looking for an Instagram-worthy capture, we’ve broken down the top 3 must-sees at Desert X 2021.


What Lies Behind The Walls

Our absolute favorite this year is located on the edge of Desert Hot Springs, about 20 minutes from downtown Palm Springs. “What Lies Behind the Walls” by Saudi artist Zahrah Alghamdi is a monolithic sculpture of mixed media standing over 25 feet high; catch this at sunset like we did to see the desert hills cast in shadows.


The Passenger

Another exhibition not to miss is Eduardo Sarabia’s “The Passenger” – a woven maze located off Frank Sinatra Drive and Portola Avenue in Palm Desert. Reservations are required for this exhibit due to traffic concerns. So book ahead!


Never Forget

Lastly, before heading in for a bite to eat in downtown Palm Springs, make a stop at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Visitors Center to catch a glimpse of Nicholas Galanin’s “Never Forget.” The large, bold white letters are displayed on the traditional land of Coachella Valley’s Cahuilla people.

With events like Desert X finding their home here in the Coachella Valley, it’s no wonder we’re quickly becoming a well-known artistic destination. An interactive map with exact locations of all the installations and information about each exhibit is available on and on the Desert X 2021 app. Visitors also can get maps and information at a “hub” at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, located at 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.

For more activities in the desert, check out our April Newsletter to see what’s happening this Spring!

Runners Up:

The Wishing Well – Serge Attukwei Clottey

James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center Palm Springs

The North Face x Gucci Pit Stop

327 W. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA

ParaPivot (sempiternal clouds) – Alicja Kwade

71690 Channel Run Road Sky Valley, CA 

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