Circle of Art Annual Show


Last updated 3/28/2023 at 1:43pm

From hand-crafted wood works, handmade jewelry, fabric arts and ceramics to photographs capturing the surrounding areas of the Anza-Borrego Desert, all types of exquisite mediums were showcased at BASIC's annual Circle of Art Show and Sale held at Christmas Circle on March 11 and 12.

The Circle of Art is sponsored by Basic Assistance to Students in the Community (BASIC), a 501 (c)(3) charitable nonprofit committed to enabling the children, youth and adults of Borrego Springs to pursue educational opportunities at all levels. Empowering them from Cradle to Graduation by offering grants, scholarships and programs to help students of all ages reach their potential and realize their dreams.

This year, Phyllis Slade and Jenny Wright were also recognized by BASIC's Circle of Art Organizer Angela Cassidy. The duo was honored for their long standing years of exemplary work with the Circle of Art, which is celebrating 33 years of raising funds for local students.

This outdoor fine arts show and sale was free to the public, featuring over 50 exhibitors from all over the country.

Angela Cassidy, Chairperson of BASIC's Circle of Art, was very pleased with the turn out of the variety of artists and mediums.

Cassidy also noted that she works with BASIC to try to get different artists and mediums every year, but is so glad for all those who love to continue to come and showcase their work for a great cause.

Even the weather on Day 1 on the weekend filled with winds and slight droplets of rain could not stop goers from coming out to support the wonderful cause. The following day, the sun was shining bright with many continuing to visit all the vendors and purchasing some fine works.

At the BASIC booth, those who attended had the chance to learn about the program and what they do to support the community. Displayed were poster winners from over the years for sale, with all proceeds going toward funding BASIC and providing scholarships. This year's Circle of Art poster is actually a photograph of a well-done quilt titled, "Summer Sun" by Martha Turner.

Turner, who lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, with the exception of the winter when she's in Borrego Springs, has been quilting for 30 years and shares them with others in quilt shows and guild meetings.

She jokes that in 2020, with COVID, the quilt shows and the guild meetings were mostly canceled, so she started exhibiting her quilts in the Borrego Art Institute. She then got requests for her website. And says, "now I have a website, but I'd rather be quilting or hiking than editing a website."

Turner began quilting after a tornado. While deciding on artwork to put above the head of her bed, they were hit with a tornado, she states.

"The heavy picture frame I had in mind no longer seemed like a good idea. A quilted wall hanging sounded good, because if a quilt falls on you, it's no big deal. So I made my first wall quilt, and was hooked. I loved that I could see a beautiful work of art and make something similar," she said. "I had tried as a child to draw and paint, but was not happy with the results, so to be able to paint with fabric was so motivating. As my quilting skills grew, I started to make more original quilts. I like to try new techniques and rarely do the same thing twice, so my quilts are similar primarily in color and theme."

Turner adds, "We travel a lot, hike everywhere, and take photographs for souvenirs. I design my quilts using photographs as a starting point. I like to include the local shapes and colors, plants and animals in my quilts."

Also showcasing artwork, from photographs to paintings, at the Circle of Art was the Borrego Springs Art Guild. The Guild is the oldest art organization in Borrego, formed in 1972.

The purpose of the Borrego Springs Art Guild is to facilitate the enjoyment of art and the promotion of the arts in Borrego Springs. The Guild sponsors an annual Art Show & Sale and is open to guild members as well as artists from throughout the region.

If you would like to support the community by contributing to the education of our youth and to learn more, please visit