YUCCA VALLEY, CA — The Hi-Desert Cultural Center will present the world premiere of The Pearly Gates Collection art exhibition and the Havana Noir art exhibition at its new Yucca Valley Visual & Performing Arts Center (YVArts) November 3rd, 2018 with a celebratory public gala from 6-9 pm. The main exhibition, The Pearly Gates Collection, pays tribute to the late prominent art curator, Walter Hopps, who at the time became the youngest museum director in the United States and whose pioneering curation and radical approach would garner him much acclaim. The Pearly Gates Collection exhibition consists of the unveiling of 50 original artworks from renowned artists, curated by YVArts Executive Curator, Michael McCall.
The concept for The Pearly Gates Collection began in November 2014 during Miami Basel week at The Aqua Hotel in Key Biscayne, Florida, where McCall performed a curatorial event by trading outdated and worthless European Bank notes once owned by Hopps to artists in exchange for a piece of their artwork. The exhibition was born of works where artists were asked to participate in a conceptual project in which their reward was unknown. “This four-year project commences a three-decade long mentorship with Walter Hopps,” stated McCall. “During that time, I observed him building exhibitions of what he felt had value, without seemingly being concerned with money. The Pearly Gates Collection is a cross-section of contemporary art, built in a manner that he might assemble an exhibition.”
The Pearly Gates Collection features artworks and writings by Richard Amend, Anthony Ausgang, Larry Bell, Gary Brewer, Matthew Couper, Woods Davy, Doug Edge, Joe Fay, Jim Finnegan, Ed Flynn, Clark Fox, Megan Frances, Peter Frank, Nick Fyhrie, Mat Gleason, Ed Glendinning, Brian Goings, Peter Goode, Emily Halpern, George Herms, Charles Christopher Hill, Brad Howe, Paula Izydorek, Terry Karpowitz, Ed and Nancy Keinholz, Rockne Krebs, Tom Lieber, Laurie Le Clair, Gary Lloyd, Aline Mare, Darwin Estacio Martinez, Michael McCall, Todd Monagham, Jim Morphesis, Andy Moses, Lindsey Nobel, Al Nodal, Loren Philip, Pierre Picot, Ave Pildas, Robin Rose, Catherine Ruane, Raffael Serrano, Steven Seemayer, Alan Sonneman, The Art Guys, The Dark Bob, Jeffrey Vallance, Bob Wade and Norton Wisdom. Many of the artists will be present at the November 3 opening gala.
In the Project Room Gallery of the Yucca Valley Arts Center, the exhibition entitled Havana Noir, will also debut, showcasing the romantic vision and the stark reality that is the City of Havana today. In the exhibition, Cuban artist Kadir Lopez Nieves, who has garnered critical acclaim and been named one of the top 10 artists to watch by The Huffington Post, and Los Angeles artist Michael Flechtner, the famed neon artist and creator of the USPS “Celebrate” stamp, present an installation of images, neon, and other visual and narrative clues that interpret the midcentury urban fabric of the city of Havana. The exhibition is curated by YVArts Advisory Board member, Adolfo Nodal. Nodal, Flechtner, and Nieves, who will be flying in from Cuba, will be present at the November 3 opening gala and will host an art panel discussion the next day, Sunday, November 4, at 4pm.
For more information, visit YVArts.org. The Yucca Valley Visual & Performing Arts Center is a program and annex of Hi-Desert Cultural Center. Additional information on the Hi-Desert Cultural Center may be found on the Cultural Center’s main website, HiDesertCulturalCenter.org or by calling 760.366.3777. The Hi-Desert Cultural Center is a GuideStar “Gold Status” non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that serves as the arts agency for the Joshua Tree National Park region.