Palm Springs is an LGBTQ-friendly city unlike anywhere else. The California destination is famed for its laid-back vibe, year-round sunshine … and endless pool parties!
The pools of Palm Springs, and their many inhabitants, are the subject of an exhibition currently running in the city.
Photographer Terry Hastings is featured visual artist for “Cinema Diverse” at the Palm Springs GLBTQ Film Festival. His show, “Palm Springs Pool Party”, is open now and runs till the end of the month. It features dozens of pieces, from photo collages to more straightforward portraiture, all set in and around the pools of Palm Springs.
Related: Gay bars and club in Palm Springs
“I moved to Palm Springs about 12 years ago after the last big collapse of the economy,” Hastings tells GayCities. “I was back in Minneapolis, MN, and had been working as a waiter. I had ‘opened’ three very high-profile restaurants in a row and they all closed in less than two years.
“A good friend of mine had moved to Palm Springs and said I can get you a job out here.
“I totally fell in love with the town… I thought it was a city with hundreds of thousands of people the way people talk about it, but it’s actually ‘the Village of Palm Springs’ with 42,000 residents,” he continues.
He explains how he began to start taking his pool images.
“I saw a great sand dune on the north side of town and started taking guys out there with 12 yards of fabric to fly in the wind. Eventually, the fabric needed to be washed and as it was January, no one was using the pool at my apartment complex, so I quickly put the fabric in the pool to wash it off and when I looked down, I loved the Impressionistic effect the water had on the fabric.
“As soon as the pool was warm enough, I had naked guys swimming with fabric and banana leaves and hibiscus flowers and whatever else I could get my hands on to throw in the pool.
“This current show is a compilation of the years of work that I’ve done around the pool. Similar to another pool-based homosexual artist living in Southern California, David Hockney, I decided to create images with multiple images collaged together. Rather than printing out each individual photo and gluing them to a canvas, I use photoshop to put them all together.”
Hastings will be hosting a meet and greet this Friday, September 24 from 6-7.30pm, before he hosts the film, Being BeBe: a documentary about the original winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, in which he appears. The exhibition and screening all take place at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2300 E Baristo Road, Palm Springs, CA.