‘Pillars’ to replace ponies along Tahquitz Canyon Way

Each of six planned pillars will represent a principle that guide the city: creativity, equality, serenity, diversity, civility, and community.
The Art Of Taming Horses, put in place during Desert X 2021, tells the story of two fictional ranchers.

Six new sculptures are coming to the median on East Tahquitz Canyon Way between Sunrise Way and El Cielo Road after the City Council approved allocating $300,000 for the Pillars of Palm Springs project.

Driving the news: the East Tahquitz Canyon Way median is currently adorned with six horse sculptures created by the New York-based artist Christopher Myers for the Desert X exhibition in 2021.

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  • Context: The Art Of Taming Horses sculptures tell the fictional story of two ranchers, one Mexican and one African-American, “whose personal adversities and love for raising horses led them to create a welcoming community in the place that eventually would become Palm Springs,” according to an online description of the work. 

What we know: The city is set to purchase and relocate the horse sculptures and replace them with six columnar pieces of art standing between six and 12 feet tall that will fit on the existing 5-foot-by-5-foot pads.

The reason: The project, driven by the Public Arts Commission, is still in its conceptual phase, and the idea behind the art pieces would be to welcome visitors to Palm Springs as they drive into the heart of the city from the airport. Each of the six pillars will represent one of six principles that guide the city: creativity, equality, serenity, diversity, civility, and community.

What they’re saying: Gary Armstrong, vice chair of the Palm Springs Public Arts Commission, explained to the Human Rights Commission why they’re keeping the proposal broad: “We wanted the artists’ work to really define how they viewed the equity,” he said. “A lot of artists want to get involved in unexpected ways, which is what’s going to make this really exciting.”

What to watch for: The artists have not yet been selected, but Armstrong thinks the pieces will be approved by this December and be completed by next year’s World Art Day, on April 15.


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