Indio Art: Where to see Francis Kere’s colorful Sarbale Ke’s towers?

Photo courtesy Francis Kere Architecture.

After years of limbo, one of the most striking art installations from the 2019 Coachella Music and Arts Festival is now visible in a local park. Sarbalé Ke or the House of Celebration sculpture series was finally installed in an Indio park in 2023.

Where is House of Celebration from Coachella?

The City of Indio inked a deal to display ten of artist Francis Kéré’s twelve colourful towers for the next decade, beginning in December 2019, following Indio City Council’s approval of the project.

Sarbale Ke at Dr Carreon Park

Serbale Ke artwork, indio sculptureThe sculptures were set to be installed in Dr Carreon Park (82200 Dr. Carreon Boulevard) and should have just marked their first anniversary as a tourist attraction and anchor artwork for the city in 2020. Instead, the park was left with wide open patches of dirt adjacent to a children’s playground until recently.

Where is Sarbale Ke or House of Celebration?

For several years the towering wood and steel sculptures were being stored at an undisclosed location by the City of Indio.

“The installation of Sarbalé Ke was originally pushed back to accommodate the Spring 2020 music festivals,” according to Brooke Beare, Director of Communications & Marketing at the City of Indio. “It was then postponed due to COVID.”

The sculptures were at hit at Coachella 2019 thanks to their colorful exterior and hollow, tapered shape inspired by the baobab tree, which develops wide openings in the trunk where people can gather and find shade. In West Africa, the tree is not just a notable community landmark but it’s also revered for its medicinal and nutritional uses.

Photo courtesy Francis Kere Architecture.

The sculptures remained here in the valley after Coachella 2019 concluded and awaited permanent installation. A September 2019 report by Indio city staff estimated the installation costs to be $308,000 and yearly maintenance costs of approximately $27,000. The art, in its 10-tower form was valued at $400,000.

In 2023 the installation process was finally complete and now the series of colourful Towers is visible on the eastern side of the Dr Carreon park in Indio.

Serbale Ke artwork, indio sculpture

It’s possible to walk around and through the beautiful wood and metal towers to appreciate them from every angle. The colours are vibrant, and on a hot day they provide much-needed shade as well.

A visit to the park and the sculptures would be a hit with visiting families; this is an ideal thing to do with children in Indio and the eastern Coachella Valley. Plus if you’re looking for some very interesting photography spots, this would be at the top of the list. The fact there is also a playground and picnic area adjacent to the sculptures makes it an excellent idea for a visit or a place to eat lunch.

Serbale Ke artwork, indio sculpture

A sandy walkway surrounds the sculptures and creates a bit of a flat walking trail. Lots of grasses and shrubbery surrounds the area making it beautiful from both an artistic and a landscape perspective.

 

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Palm Springs Traveller Staff