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Candlewood Arts Festival Returns to Borrego


Last updated 5/15/2024 at 9:42am

Celebrate art, community and our shared environment.

Make sure you don't miss this highly anticipated art festival, the fourth edition of the Candlewood Arts Festival March 23 right here in Borrego Springs. So mark those calendars, you will be happy you did.

An event established by the Under the Sun Foundation, features newly commissioned, temporary public art projects that engage community and place in Galleta Meadows, while featuring workshops, screenings, artist talks, events and tours for visitors and residents in the Anza-Borrego Desert.

The Festival was not held in 2023, as the decision was made to allow the artists a chance to connect more deeply with Borrego Springs and spend more time developing their projects. However, the Candlewood Arts Festival did work with Jake Frelich and Borrego middle and high school students to produce the "Quiet Sky Dolphin Mind" exhibition.

The Candlewood Arts Festival, named for the fragrant ocotillo that dots the landscape around Borrego Springs, will bring new art projects to the unique desert community. Taking cues from the generous spirit of the Sky Art sculptures in Galleta Meadows, the festival, meant for audiences of all ages, aims to inspire new ways of seeing and understanding the unique landscape and community of Borrego Springs, for locals and visitors alike.

This is the first project of Under The Sun Foundation, a non-profit organization inspired by the work of Dennis Avery, the late landowner of Galleta Meadows in Borrego Springs, and founded by three of his children – Halina, Chris, and Theo Avery.

Dennis Avery commissioned artist Ricardo Breceda to produce 130 large scale, free-standing, metal sculptures and referred to them as Sky Art. Spread over 1,500+ acres of undeveloped desert land, these larger than life creations welcome the public to discover and enjoy art outdoors, surrounded by the rich and diverse desert environs of Borrego Springs.

The Under the Sun Foundation seeks to breathe new life and meaning into the existing sculptures. Using Dennis Avery's work and Borrego Springs as a point of inspiration, Under the Sun expects to add new geographies, artistic endeavors, and ways to engage with our environment and one another over the coming years. More information can be found on the Foundation's website at

"Galleta Meadows and the sculptures there so vividly represent to me, my dad Dennis and his time in Borrego Springs," his daughter and founding Under The Sun Board Member, Halina Avery, said.

"He held this land and art privately, but opened arms to the public to come and enjoy it. When he passed, his children found it natural to continue the creative arc of the place and officially turn much of the private land into a not for profit, for the public's benefit and enjoyment. We want people of all walks, in all phases of life, to feel welcome and to come experience art and the beautiful surroundings. Everyone has creativity and we all have much to learn about one another and our environment. This is another place to do so."

The Festival will feature a participatory performance by Karla Diaz; art talk with artist Debra Scacco; a public workshop with artist Pearl C. Hsiung; an artists' panel; and a public reception for the artists, among other events and projects.

The full schedule, which will be updated with details as they develop, is available on the website at

"The Candlewood Art Festival brings together a group of deeply thoughtful, generous and brilliantly creative artists in dialogue with a community and landscape like no other," says curator Kris Kuramitsu. "We've had a wonderful experience putting this program together with the community of Borrego Springs, adding to its already vibrant cultural life, and are excited to share it with audiences from near and far alike."

The artists, who all live and work in Southern California, were chosen for their ability to develop projects that thoughtfully and meaningfully connect with the people and environment of Borrego Springs. The artists are Karla Diaz, Pearl C. Hsiung, Jake Frelich and Debra Scacco. More information about the artists in the March 14 issue of the Borrego Sun.

For details about the Candlewood Arts Festival, visit: