Commission picks artist to represent city on Acrisure Arena mural wall

A city sponsorship of $10,000 is required for the mural, with most of the money going to supplies for the artist. Funds will come from a budget for grants and sponsorships.
Murals representing nine different desert cities will be painted inside Acrisure Arena’s Iceplex.

The Palm Springs Public Arts Commission voted unanimously this week to have local artist Kat Trevino paint the mural representing Palm Springs inside the 10,000-seat Acrisure Arena currently under construction in Thousand Palms.

First things first: Representatives from the future home of both concerts and the new American Hockey League team, the Coachella Valley Firebirds, asked that each of the valley’s nine choose an artist to design and paint a 20-foot-high, 10-foot-wide mural for the arena’s Iceplex — the public ice rink inside the arena. The collection of murals could be viewed annually by an estimated 200,000 people.

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  • Members of the Palm Springs City Council were poised to choose the artist at last week’s Council meeting but opted to have the Public Arts Commission pick the artist instead. 

  • “Whatever design is decided, it should be reflective of our city, not just something generically ‘desert-oriented,’” Mayor Lisa Middleton remarked, stressing that a local artist should get the chance to paint the mural.

The news: Arts commissioners took those concerns to heart when choosing between Autumn MartinoRyan Campbell, mother-daughter duo Linda Shrader and Echo Westover, and Kat Trevino.

  • “Palm Springs has a very unique and distinct look. It’s known for its mid-century modern architecture, pool parties, fun, entertainment, and excitement. We don’t want some generic cactus or desert scene.” — Commissioner Russell Pritchard.
Kat Trevino poses last year next to a traffic equipment box she painted in Downtown Palm Springs.

Meet Kat: Trevino was recommended by Pritchard because he said her designs “capture a vibrancy” of the city. He also pointed out that her work is already visible on installations around town, including on a bench at the Palm Springs Convention Center and a utility box at Indian Canyon and Amado. 

  • Trevino grew up in Palm Desert and has exhibited her work all over the world. She also teaches master classes at the Desert Art Center.

By the numbers: A city sponsorship of $10,000 is required for the mural, with most of the money going to supplies for the artist. Funds will come from a budget for grants and sponsorships.

Up next: Trevino will work on several proposals for a design and the commissioners will pick one to recommend at their meeting on Sept. 21. The city manager and city attorney will have the final say on the design, not the Council.

  • Painting at the new arena should begin in November and be completed by January 2023.

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