I intended to visit the Art Museum at Palm Desert, The Galen, but as things often go, my plans fell through because the museum was closed for remodeling.  Funny, I didn’t see anything about that on their website!  Lucky for me, adjacent to the museum was a sculpture garden which more than made up for the loss of the museum.  The Faye Sarkowsky Sculpture Garden is small; one can walk it quickly.  I chose to take my time.


For the record, Palm Desert is in the desert near Palm Springs.  This garden isn’t filled with tulips and daffodils.  Instead, one sees palms and cactus.  The fountain in the following image fascinated me.

Large urn overflowing with water creates the central fountain in the garden

Large urn overflowing with water creates the central fountain in the garden

The combination of flowing water and pretty rocks may be the attraction.  All the oval rocks must have been carefully chosen because they’re roughly the same shape and size.  The coloring is complimentary.  I like all those circular shapes!

I’m not going to give you a tour of this garden; you can do that for yourself.  Instead, I’ll show you a few of my favorite pieces.  Near the fountain is a stele-like piece beside a rock stream that also suggests water.  The piece is called Vertical Passage, created by Dan Namingha.

Dan Namingha's Vertical Passage, a bronze panel with four sections

Dan Namingha’s Vertical Passage, a bronze panel with four sections

The sections are symbolic kachina faces.  One has to stand very close to make out the expressions.  The top and middle faces are almost visible in the photo above.


The Galen is opposite the garden.  Here I found another terrific sculpture.  It’s by Barry Flanagan, and it’s called Acrobats.

Acrobats by Barry Flanagan

Acrobats by Barry Flanagan stands beside the art museum, The Galen.

I must have photographed this sculpture from every possible angle.  Each image was a challenge.  It’s a tall piece with the top hare well above my head.    I made the photo in bright sun and tried to get the shadow in the picture as well.  The playfulness is appealing.  I wonder what other works Flanagan may have done.


Walks Among the Stars by Dave McGary stopped me in my tracks.  This full size or bigger-than-life bronze with patina and paint is breathtakingly beautiful.

Walks Among the Stars by Dave McGary

Walks Among the Stars by Dave McGary

I spent some time bringing up the shadows on the above image.  (As you can see she is standing under a palm.)  The background was sunny, and she almost disappeared in the darkness!  The piece is marvelous.  The star quilt looks like fabric!  I so wanted to touch it, but that’s taboo, of course.  This sculpture is something to see in person.  No photo can do it justice.



  • Admission to the garden is free
  • Stroll along toward the Chamber of Commerce building. There are more gardens along the way.
  • Great shapes and angles await you at the Chamber of Commerce. I took several architectural photos there.
  • On Wednesday, between 8:00 and 12:30 pm there is a Certified Farmers Market in the parking area near the sculpture garden

To see more images from my visit to this desert garden, please click here.


Comments (2)

  1. Thank you Elizabeth, I always love to spend time in the desert air. Palm Desert is al the home of the CODA Gallery–one of my all time favorites. I believe there is also one in or near Salt Lake City. Fresh new artworks of great heights–some of the horses outside must be 8 feet tall. Best, Bear Street Gallery/ MM

    1. That sounds fabulous. I’m taking notes!

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