“55th Annual Cocktail Climb” Print Release Party at Shag: The Store

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Every time we visit Palm Springs we try to stop by Shag: The Store as they are constantly coming out with new prints and merchandise from my favorite tiki artist Shag (aka Josh Agle).

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During Modernism Week, the gallery hosted a little shindig in honor of the release of the print “The 55th Annual Cocktail Climb.” It attracted quite a turnout!

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Snaking around the store was a line of people waiting to get something signed by Shag, who was decked out in one of those highly coveted Enchanted Tiki Room attraction host shirts.

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It’s fun to admire the special items the gallery has on display, such as this 1999 lithograph of “Departure, Stopover, Arrival,” which was billed as Shag’s most rare print and on offer for $3,500.

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Last year, Tiki Farm and Shag teamed up to produce giant volcano bowl sets ($375) that included a print and four mugs. They were produced in three glazes and there are still sets available in the green Koei glaze.

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I couldn’t resist getting one of these pufferfish pillows ($75). Not only is it adorable, but the fabric is velvety soft. Now we just need a vacation home in Palm Springs so I have an excuse to get the other design too. (I believe there was also a round Pink Elephant pillow but I didn’t see any left by the time we got there.)

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I also snapped up a set of Shag drinking glasses ($50), which each have a design for a tiki drink: Mai Tai, Blue Hawaiian, Scorpion, Zombie. These had sold out in 2012, so it was nice to see them back in stock.

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There were some leftovers from the first-ever MOD Palm Springs event, like these “Firedancer” mugs ($100) designed by Shag and produced by Eekum Bookum. Some of these items I’ve mentioned can also be found in the online store (but if you’ve seen something you like that’s not there you should call because they’re very accommodating).

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If you’d like to be in-the-know about future Shag art and merch, you should go sign up for the e-mail newsletter for Shag: The Store.

Related Posts:
Previous Shag: The Store Review
Retro-a-Rama Art Show at M Modern Gallery
Previous Palm Springs Modernism Week Coverage

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“Tiki Modern: Style for the Sophisticated Savage” at Palm Springs Modernism Week

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As I mentioned before, there were several tiki related events at Palm Springs Modernism Week this year, including the lecture “Tiki Modern: Style for the Sophisticated Savage” presented by Sven Kirsten, author of The Book of Tiki and Tiki Modern.

Tonga Hut Palm Springs sponsored the event, and as a bonus for the attendees they distributed free posters of the event flyer, which features Kim Novak posing with a Cook Islands fisherman’s god in a promotional photo for the film “Bell, Book & Candle.” (It’s actually one of several photos of the cast with tikis.)

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In order to make the Hilton ballroom look less corporate and a little more tiki, Sven brought along these two carved saloon doors that once adorned the Reef Bar (since closed) at Caliente Tropics (still open) in Palm Springs. They disappeared 20 years or so ago but were rediscovered recently and will be installed over at Tonga Hut Palm Springs.

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The talk touched on many tiki topics, including Sven’s initial surprise at finding that tiki’s influence in its heyday wasn’t just limited to bars and restaurants but also carried over to apartments, hotels, bowling alleys, etc. (particularly on the West Coast and “recreational states” like Florida and Arizona).

Sven also talked a bit about his upcoming “Tiki Pop” exhibition at the Musée du quai Branly this summer. For those of us who won’t be able to jet off to Paris, there will thankfully be a 400-page catalog (with 900 illustrations) published by Taschen that will be available for purchase.

Related Posts:
Reviews of Tiki Bars in Palm Springs
Previous Palm Springs Modernism Week Coverage
“The Book of Tiki” 10th Anniversary Art Exhibition

Tiki Events at Palm Springs Modernism Week 2014

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The Palm Springs Modernism Week 2014 schedule includes architectural bus tours, films, lectures and even several tiki-related events. Here’s a heads-up so you don’t miss out!

Thursday – February 13, 8 p.m.-11 p.m.
Modern Mambo! Modernism Week After Dark Opening Night
$150
Caliente Tropics, Palm Springs

The kick-off party for Modernism Week will take place at the tiki-themed motel Caliente Tropics. It will be turned into a poolside “mid-century modern mambo club” with tropical cocktails, live entertainment and DJs spinning mambo music, naturally.

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Sunday – February 16, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Royal Hawaiian Estates Self-Guided Tour
$40
S. Palm Canyon Drive, at E. Twin Palms Drive, Palm Springs

We had a great time last year exploring the Royal Hawaiian Estates, a Polynesian-influenced condo development constructed in 1959 and 1960. The exterior features many unique elements designed by architects Donald Wexler and Richard Harrison, and several residents graciously open up their vintage-styled homes to the visitors on this self-guided tour. Thanks to the funds raised during last year’s Modernism week, the restoration of all 40 “tiki apexes” has been completed so the Royal Hawaiian Estates will be looking better than ever.

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Sunday – February 16, 5 p.m.-7 p.m.
Jet Set Style Fashion Show
$40
Horizon Ballroom, Hilton Hotel

“Tiki-style resort clothing” will take to the runway along with vintage evening wear and cocktail dresses from the 1950s and ‘60s at the Jet Set Style Fashion Show. (I’m guessing there’ll be some primo tapa print pieces like in the photo above from last year’s show.)

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Monday – February 17, 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Tiki Modern: Style for the Sophisticated Savage
$18
Horizon Ballroom, Hilton Hotel

Of course, the event I’m looking forward to the most is “Tiki Modern: Style for the Sophisticated Savage.” Sven Kirsten, the author of “The Book of Tiki” and “Tiki Modern” will present a lecture on how “primitive” Oceanic and African art influenced 20th-century avant-garde art and modernist design.

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Friday – February 21, 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Mid-Century in Honolulu – Aloha From a Mid-Century Paradise on The Verge of Change
$12
Annenberg Theater, Palm Springs Art Museum

Palm Springs has in recent years made a considerable effort to preserve its mid-century modern history, but Honolulu seems more likely to bring out the bulldozers. Modernism designer Brad Dunning will give a presentation of photos highlighting iconic buildings and endangered architectural gems. (This is a particularly timely topic with the imminent demolition of the International Market Place in Honolulu, which was founded by Don the Beachcomber in 1956.)

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Saturday, February 22–Sunday, February 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Vintage Travel Trailer Show
Adults $15, Students $10, Children 12 & under Free
Hilton Hotel, Parking Lot

Restoring a travel trailer is a labor of love and the people that do it often put their own personal stamp on the finished product. At the Vintage Travel Trailer Show, you stand a decent chance of something tiki among the retro furnishings.

Check out the Modernism Week web site for more information and to buy tickets for these events and more.

And if all those things weren’t enough of a draw, the new Tonga Hut Palm Springs will be open by then!

Related Posts:
Tiki Guide to Palm Springs
Previous Palm Springs Modernism Week Events