Last year’s show at the Melissa Morgan Fine Art Gallery. Photo courtesy Idyllwild Arts

Idyllwild Arts Academy and Summer Program announces its spring 2019 off-site student performances, catering to Idyllwild Arts’ family of supporters in the desert cities. 

On April 17, the student showcase will be held at the Rancho Mirage Library, a cultural oasis for the desert. This evening of dance, music, theater, fashion and creative writing will be followed by a visual arts reception at the Melissa Morgan Fine Art Gallery in Palm Desert on April 18.

Both events will feature the year’s best work from students of Idyllwild Arts Academy, the pioneering arts high school that has been changing lives through the transformative power of art for more than 70 years. Located on a 205-acre campus in the San Jacinto Mountains, the school was recently voted the number one High School for Arts in America by Niche and prides itself on providing a unique experience for young artists hailing from more than 30 countries. 

“Our annual Idyllwild Arts Academy and Summer Program showcases are an important opportunity for the students to present in professional venues and experience the overwhelmingly positive audience responses to their work,” said Pamela Jordan, president and head of school. “For the larger community and family of Idyllwild Arts supporters, it’s an opportunity to witness firsthand the often-breathtaking talent of these students. I look forward to it every year.”

The Rancho Mirage Public Library. Photo courtesy Idyllwild Arts

April 17

The 2019 Idyllwild Arts Academy Student Showcase will be held at the Rancho Mirage Library, 71-100 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage, from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 17.

The event will represent the work of 25 students across all seven disciplines of the Idyllwild Arts Academy, including music, theater, dance, creative writing, film, spoken word poetry and an upcycled fashion show. 

The showcase was produced and directed by Idyllwild Arts Dance Instructor Jonathan Sharp and will be made up of the best proposed works by the heads of each department. The event is free and open to the public.

April 18

The visual arts reception will be held at Melissa Morgan Fine Art gallery, 73660 El Paseo, Palm Desert, a prestigious contemporary gallery in the heart of El Paseo, from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 18. The exhibition will run through April 21. 

One of the first shows at the new space, the exhibition was curated by Visual Arts Chair David Reid-Marr and features works selected from 32 artists in a variety of mediums, including painting, ceramics, mixed-media, sculpture, drawing, photography and printmaking. Pieces selected for this exhibition were chosen from a wide range of grade levels and disciplines. This unique opportunity will expose many of the students to the world of live contemporary art for the first time.  

    Live jazz will be played throughout the evening, and the students will each introduce their work, allowing them a forum to articulate both their vision and process.

    “This show continues a tradition that began seven years ago, when our students first exhibited their work at MMFA. During those years I believe the work has become more nuanced,” said Reid-Marr. “Every day in the studios and classrooms, we are impressed by how much these students grow formally, conceptually and emotionally. It’s a great honor to be able to share that with the larger world.”