Pioneertown, CA
It’s a mirage, right? 
Deep in the High Desert of the Yucca Valley — north of Palm Springs, past the anachronistic edifice of Hollywood-fabricated Pioneertown — there’s a wooden arrow that reads “Gods Way Love.” The arrow aims down an ambling dirt road to a strange oasis — a place with fruit-bearing gardens, ponds thick with lilypads and koi, a family of chickens, gardens full of crystals and magnetic minerals. 
Garth Bowles bought some 640 acres of California desert back in 1981, with a dream of simpler living. He’s spent the last decade adhering to the principles of permaculture to help reshape the landscape of Boulder Gardens — transforming the grounds through ecological engineering to foster and sustain a natural wellspring of water, and through it, agriculture. 

With a half dozen or so semi-permanent structures — teepee, yurt, outdoor kitchen, sauna, etc — Boulder Gardens is Garth’s sacred space, where he welcomes the curious with disarming empathy all year round. 
photos by Natalie and Mariko

Pioneertown, CA

It’s a mirage, right? 

Deep in the High Desert of the Yucca Valley — north of Palm Springs, past the anachronistic edifice of Hollywood-fabricated Pioneertown — there’s a wooden arrow that reads “Gods Way Love.” The arrow aims down an ambling dirt road to a strange oasis — a place with fruit-bearing gardens, ponds thick with lilypads and koi, a family of chickens, gardens full of crystals and magnetic minerals. 

Garth Bowles bought some 640 acres of California desert back in 1981, with a dream of simpler living. He’s spent the last decade adhering to the principles of permaculture to help reshape the landscape of Boulder Gardens — transforming the grounds through ecological engineering to foster and sustain a natural wellspring of water, and through it, agriculture. 

With a half dozen or so semi-permanent structures — teepee, yurt, outdoor kitchen, sauna, etc — Boulder Gardens is Garth’s sacred space, where he welcomes the curious with disarming empathy all year round. 

photos by Natalie and Mariko


Palm Springs, CA
INTERVIEW: AARON DE LA CRUZ
Aaron de la Cruz is currently mid-mural-painting on the Commune wall at Ace Hotel & Swim Club as part of Desert Gold 2014. The San Francisco-based artist’s background is rooted in street art, and the way he shapes and improvises movement in his work gives it wonderfully deep texture and context. Through his use of lines and space he manages to evoke a unique intertextual roadmap by connecting the dots between modern linguistic text along with pre-Columbian Mayan art and contemporary life on the west coast. That is, we’re very proud to be working again with him. His mural is almost ready for you to vibe on all year long at Ace Hotel & Swim Club.

Part of your process seems to involve being in the moment when you are painting some of your site-specific work. You’ve spoken in interviews about letting your feelings, thoughts and the environment around you influence where you take your work. What sort of preparations do you make leading up to putting paint to surface? Do you have a color palate?  
It really depends on the project as far as how I’m going to determine the outcome of the piece I’m going to create. For this project, I really wanted to focus on my ethnic background — being of Mexican descent. My source of color palette inspiration was a cup of fruit that you would buy from a vendor on the street in Mexico. After spending the first day here on location, I got to meet some of the staff here. Most of them happen to be Latino (or part-Latino) and I knew I had made the right decision. 
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Does your work have an agenda? Do you have a goal or focus as an artist?
As far as my work having an agenda I would say that I really try to push myself to work within a limited amount of mediums. For now I like to challenge myself to see what I can do with that. Having a goal and a focus as an artist is a must. I am always trying to find ways to tell a story with my work that has to do with my family or myself. The more I become dependent on my works supporting what I do, the more I feel it’s only right to share what I have with an audience who wants to listen. I would like to see my work become more three-dimensional (architectural/industrial design) and even do some earthworks as well. 

What is your process for navigating your own artistic concerns or goals when it comes to doing commissioned pieces? Is having constraints helpful in your work, or a hindrance?
For the most part it’s been really easy to work in commission pieces. I find that while most people I work with are really open and let me do what I want, I do give them a sense of direction that I will be going in. I enjoy some pushback at times as it causes me to work in an uncomfortable setting that I have to make right. I have worked with Ace Hotel before on a print we did along with Arkitip, and the response was great, so making this mural project happen wasn’t difficult at all. 

Lots of people will be walking by your mural over the next year, taking photos with it, tagging it online. Is there anything you’d like to have these people take away from the mural — something connective, or a feeling? 
I want the working staff of Ace Hotel & Swim Club to know that this is their mural and it’s influenced by the culture of their community that they have created. The designs I’ve chosen for this mural were influenced by the style of architecture here, and I wanted the designs to have a sense of calm, since my color palette was so loud. As for people taking pictures and capturing a feeling, I guess I will let nature takes its course and see what happens! 

Palm Springs, CA

INTERVIEW: AARON DE LA CRUZ

Aaron de la Cruz is currently mid-mural-painting on the Commune wall at Ace Hotel & Swim Club as part of Desert Gold 2014. The San Francisco-based artist’s background is rooted in street art, and the way he shapes and improvises movement in his work gives it wonderfully deep texture and context. Through his use of lines and space he manages to evoke a unique intertextual roadmap by connecting the dots between modern linguistic text along with pre-Columbian Mayan art and contemporary life on the west coast. That is, we’re very proud to be working again with him. His mural is almost ready for you to vibe on all year long at Ace Hotel & Swim Club.

Part of your process seems to involve being in the moment when you are painting some of your site-specific work. You’ve spoken in interviews about letting your feelings, thoughts and the environment around you influence where you take your work. What sort of preparations do you make leading up to putting paint to surface? Do you have a color palate?  

It really depends on the project as far as how I’m going to determine the outcome of the piece I’m going to create. For this project, I really wanted to focus on my ethnic background — being of Mexican descent. My source of color palette inspiration was a cup of fruit that you would buy from a vendor on the street in Mexico. After spending the first day here on location, I got to meet some of the staff here. Most of them happen to be Latino (or part-Latino) and I knew I had made the right decision. 

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Judith Pansarosa loving life at our Palm Springs location circa 1960.

Judith Pansarosa loving life at our Palm Springs location circa 1960.


They have the best band name to say out loud. Try it — Tashaki Miyaki, Tashaki Miyaki, Tashaki Miyaki. Tashaki Miyaki is a band from Los Angeles, born of an impromptu late-night jam session which led to an impromptu recording session which led to an impromptu band. A few EPs worth of reverb-soaked hazy dream pop later (anchored with band member Rocky’s — not his real name, in yet another mysteriously compelling and ultimately successful ploy for our attention— weightier contributions on the guitar), and Tashaki Miyaki is well on its way to international indie-pop acclaim. But first, a pit stop at Ace Hotel & Swim Club — 8pm tonight, in the Amigo Room. Once more ——— Tashaki Miyaki.

They have the best band name to say out loud. Try it — Tashaki Miyaki, Tashaki Miyaki, Tashaki Miyaki. Tashaki Miyaki is a band from Los Angeles, born of an impromptu late-night jam session which led to an impromptu recording session which led to an impromptu band. A few EPs worth of reverb-soaked hazy dream pop later (anchored with band member Rocky’s — not his real name, in yet another mysteriously compelling and ultimately successful ploy for our attention— weightier contributions on the guitar), and Tashaki Miyaki is well on its way to international indie-pop acclaim. But first, a pit stop at Ace Hotel & Swim Club — 8pm tonight, in the Amigo Room. Once more ——— Tashaki Miyaki.


Hairi Mendez at Ace Palm Springs shot this while traipsing around the grounds this morning.

Hairi Mendez at Ace Palm Springs shot this while traipsing around the grounds this morning.


Shots from this weekend’s Crafting Community with Kimmel Kids and Splendid at Ace Hotel & Swim Club — a two-day kids and family art retreat with workshops from Confetti System Tanya, Converse and a sweet roster of other makers.

Shots from this weekend’s Crafting Community with Kimmel Kids and Splendid at Ace Hotel & Swim Club — a two-day kids and family art retreat with workshops from Confetti System Tanya, Converse and a sweet roster of other makers.


Crafting Community with Kimmel Kids and Splendid at Ace Hotel & Swim Club. #thiswholeweekend #ibelievethechildrenareourfuture

Crafting Community with Kimmel Kids and Splendid at Ace Hotel & Swim Club. #thiswholeweekend #ibelievethechildrenareourfuture


You might have caught a preview of Coast Modern at Ace Hotel & Swim Club earlier this year if you were with us during Palm Springs Modernism Week. Directors Mike Bernard and Gavin Froome kept the Pacific on their left from LA to Vancouver on a pilgrim’s tour of the most inspired dwellings built by the pioneers of the Modernist aesthetic — homes that live in harmony with the natural world they inhabit. The full documentary is available now on iTunes and through a bunch of other channels. It’s a beautiful piece of work, as at home with its subjects as the subjects are with their surroundings.


We discovered the cryptic, maze-like work of Aaron De La Cruz in the pages of Arkitip, and knew we had to find him. Our friends at Arkitip asked him if he’d work with us at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, and he jumped on board. He created two limited screenprint editions of 230 to spellbind our guests in their rooms. We’ve got signed and numbered batches of 50 of each on the shop. Edition 1 is screenprinted on white 80 lb. paper, Edition 2 on 80 lb. natural. Like a book or a forest or your true love’s eyes, they’re easy to get lost in.

We discovered the cryptic, maze-like work of Aaron De La Cruz in the pages of Arkitip, and knew we had to find him. Our friends at Arkitip asked him if he’d work with us at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, and he jumped on board. He created two limited screenprint editions of 230 to spellbind our guests in their rooms. We’ve got signed and numbered batches of 50 of each on the shop. Edition 1 is screenprinted on white 80 lb. paper, Edition 2 on 80 lb. natural. Like a book or a forest or your true love’s eyes, they’re easy to get lost in.


Last November, we celebrated Gay Pride, vogueing and NYC ballroom culture in Palm Springs with Miracles Club, Mike Q, Total Freedom, Beyondadoubt, Isaiah Esquire, Raja and the House of Xtravaganza at our annual Hands On queer music and arts festival. We’ll be reveling in underground queer culture, film and art this fall at Ace Hotel & Swim Club during the first weekend in November — save the date, and keep an eye out for more details soon.


Video by Mariah Garnett.


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