Mountain Center resident and artist Dore Capitani was honored and a bit overwhelmed when his beautiful blue intricately cut steel sphere, “Betty,” was installed on the famous El Paseo in Palm Desert.

Dore Capitani stands with his sculpture, “Betty,” which was chosen to be part of the El Paseo Invitational Exhibit in Palm Desert for the next two years. He is one of the 18 artists chosen to display their sculptures on El Paseo in Palm Desert. Photo by Sally Hedberg

“Life is good. I have always wanted to have my work on El Paseo and have attempted several times. This is really cool. This is top-notch stuff, the best, the ultimate,” exclaimed a beaming Dore, after the installation, Wednesday morning, Nov. 14.

Dore Capitani receives a stipend from Deborah Schwartz, public arts coordinator for the City of Palm Desert.
“Betty” is in good company. It stands proudly with 17 other world-famous artists who have been chosen to be a part of the latest El Paseo Invitational Exhibit. According to Deborah Schwartz, public art coordinator for the City of Palm Desert, this exhibit is every two years, which means “Betty” will be residing on El Paseo for a while. It takes a year to plan this event and once the sculptures have been chosen, it’s another five to six weeks for full installation.

Dore, his wife, Trish Tuley, and his assistant, Albert Barba, transported “Betty” and its 8-foot stylized pedestal on a truck to the site between Sage and Ocotillo streets where a crew waited to complete the final installation.

Dore Capitani (center) and his assistant, Albert Barba (right), put the finishing touches to Dore’s sculpture, “Betty,” during its installation on the median of El Paseo in Palm Desert.

This kind of exposure to the art world has its advantages when it comes to selling work. If “Betty” does sell within the two years it’s residing on El Paseo, Capitani is allowed to replace her with another sculpture upon the approval of the city.

Trish remarked, “This has been Dore’s year. This summer his sculptures appeared in Sunset Magazine. In October The Fabricator, a magazine for the metal forming and fabricating industry, did an extensive article about his techniques. Just recently an independent film company, Colliding Worlds, produced an art documentary, “Sculpting the El Paseo Way,” about three artists on El Paseo, one of which was Dore.”

To keep up with all this fame, Trish and Dore have developed a new website, Trish, an environmental photographer, took all pictures of Dore’s spheres, shields, musical instruments, wall hangings, medium and large sculptures, as well as her own exquisite photography for the new site.

Dore’s sculptures can be seen all over Idyllwild, from the sphere in front of the Fort to the whimsical letters on the community playground. During the summer concerts, Dore dutifully hangs fabricated steel instruments above the stage for each performance.

He enjoys collaborating with other artists, and one can see his enviable industrial machine shop and studio while visiting the eight acres of his beautifully displayed sculptures in a natural setting. Dore’s Mountain Art Garden is located on Highway 243 in Mountain Center. It’s open weekends and by appointment by calling (951) 659-0791.