Old Town Artisan Studio Golden Circle Gratitude Reception

Marge Dodge, Special to The Desert Sun

(Photo: Marc Glassman/Special to The Desert Sun)

Nestled in the foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains, the clubhouse of the Tradition Golf Club was the perfect setting for the Old Town Artisan Studio Golden Circle Gratitude Reception. The clubhouse was designed to complement the original home on the property, the Hacienda del Gato built in 1920 and designed by Gordon Kaufmann who later designed La Quinta Resort.

The event, created to show appreciation for major donors to Old Town Artisan Studios, was hosted by supporters Fran and Bob Davidson. Guests were greeted by artist Dusty Kinman creating a desert scape painting as they entered the reception. The artist specializes in painting deserts in the springtime, and is now producing golf art as he recently became a golfer. He paints with painting knives, not brushes, using oil paint on linen canvas.

Guests, including Lynda and Phil Skutt, Hildy Navratil, Karen and Tony Barone, Barbara Waddell, Sherry and John Pena, Judy and Bob Sanders, Donna MacMillan and Craig Zenkei Courtright, enjoyed waves of delectable passed hors d’oeuvres and lemon drop martinis served around an amazing ice sculpture. Soft guitar music by Rafa filled the air as guests moved easily between the indoors and the outdoor patio despite the cool temperature and threatening sky.

Development director Diana Marlo Noll welcomed supporters and introduced organization founder Victory Grund. She thanked donors for “helping us increase our ability to offer certified art instruction to children, seniors, special needs and families now totaling over 8,000 art experiences a year in our studio and our mobile art program.”

Volunteer of the Year Nancy Haugen. (Photo: Marc Glassman/Special to The Desert Sun)

Grund also acknowledged the board of directors, staff members Stefania Ford, Stephen Mangione and Brittany North, and husband Richard Grund. She awarded the Alan Newman award to Fran and Bob Davidson for their exceptional backing of the organization and their belief in the vision of providing an art experience to all. The volunteer of the year award was presented to Nancy Haugen for her dedication and service.

Grund thanked contributors for supporting her vision of the soon-to-be opened Art Park and acknowledged her husband for managing the restoration. The three-acre property, the former Cunard Estate built in the 1930s (which later became the La Quinta Grill and The Homestead restaurants) will soon be undergoing renovations.

When complete, it will provide a warm and inviting place for people of all ages to reveal their creativity through clay, fused glass, painting and other artistic mediums. Grund invited supporters to make the short drive to the Art Park for a tour of the facility and said, “The patio and grounds are perfect for plein air art, soft music and recitals, weddings, and art in many mediums. There is space for all outdoor and indoor interactive art features for all ages and abilities.” Volunteers at the Art Park greeted guests and conducted tours of the home that will embrace all art, for all.

For more information call 760-777-1444 or visit oldtownartisanstudio.org.

Art Park of the Desert – Update!

La Quinta, Calif. – June 13, 2016 — ART PARK RECEIVES $1.5 MILLION GIFT

Old Town Artisan Studio’s permanent facility steering committee announced Friday, June 10th they received an anonymous challenge gift of $1,500,000 for the development of the Art Park of the Desert.

In partnership with the City of La Quinta, Old Town Artisan Studio, a 501(c)(3) non profit charity, launched a capital campaign in December 2015 to raise $5.5 million to build a 10,800 square foot arts and education center and interactive community art park.

This very generous challenge gift includes a partial cash deposit and a challenge for the project to raise any number of commitments totaling $1,500,000 on or before September 1st, 2016. Immediately following the announcement an additional gift of $30,000 was received from Skutt Ceramic Products. Adding to the $830,000 raised in the last six months, once realized, this gift would move the capital campaign thermometer to over 70% of the goal.

“The artisan studio has always been a place to help people, young and old, discover their artistic talents,” says Victory Grund founder of Old Town Artisan Studio in 2009. “The Art Part of the Desert is a way to expand and partner with other community art organizations to make all forms of art experiences available all year round.”

Grund says over the past seven years, Old Town Artisan Studio has served over 50 organizations throughout Coachella Valley including many non-profits, more than 25 private and public schools and expects to offer over 8,000 art experiences this year in the studio and with their mobile art van.

The interactive art park has plans to offer a stage for performing arts, graffiti wall, chalk art, a storytelling mound, painting easels, glass and ceramic studios as well as stage & studio rentals for individual art studios and corporate events to make it completely sustainable. Mayor of La Quinta Linda Evans said, “We are 100% behind the Art Park of the Desert.”

For more information on Old Town Artisan Studio & the Art Park of the Desert please contact:
Diana Marlo, Development Director, 760 902-9532 (cell) or 760 777-1444 (studio)