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Scholarship Spotlight – Phillip K. Smith III Desert X

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La Quinta Arts Foundation five-time scholar winner Phillip K. Smith III has gained acclaim for his large-scale public sculptures in California, Arizona, Virginia, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.  Smith received national recognition for “Lucid Stead”, a remote site-specific art installation and ephemeral monument to light outside of Joshua Tree.   

Goldenvoice commissioned Smith’s art for the 2014 and 2016 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival.  Recently, his work was included at the Laguna Beach Art Museum in a show Art & Nature, and he also created a site-specific installation ‘1/4 Mile Arc’.  He is participating in the inaugural Desert X (February –April 2017) with a site-specific installation ‘The Circle of Land and Sky’.

The Circle of Land and Sky defines a reflective space within the desert, composed entirely of the environment’s two most prominent physical characteristics — land and sky. Formed by 300 geometric reflectors angled at 10 degrees, the artwork directly engages with the Sonoran surrounding and the endless heavens.  As the light shifts and the viewer moves through the installation, land and sky are separated, merged, and displaced, subverting one’s assumed relationship with the desert horizon. At times, the sky is pulled down to the land or the land lifted up to the sky, while the colors of the west may merge with the colors of the east. It is a constantly changing installation that can never be seen the same way twice.

Sponsored in part by the City of Palm Desert



In keeping with LQAF’s mission of “Promoting and Cultivating the Arts,” annual scholarship awards are made possible with proceeds garnered from LQAF public art events including the La Quinta Arts Festival, plus La Quinta Arts Foundation memberships and contributions by sponsors, community partners and memorial contributions.  LQAF scholarship recipients are eligible to receive funding for up to five years.

The Visual Arts Scholarship Program is designed to assist local college-bound art students, and returning scholarship recipients, as they work toward a career in the field of visual arts.