02/17/2012 05:36 pm ET

Palm Springs Fine Art Fair Takes Place This Presidents' Day Weekend (PHOTOS)

The Palm Springs Fine Art Fair started today and runs until Feb. 19th; it coincides with Modernism Week, an "11-day celebration of mid-century modern design" that lasts until the 26th. The Fine Art Fair bizarrely billing itself as "The West Coast’s answer to the East Coast’s South Florida winter events" (why is this necessary?), but don't for a second underestimate its power. The fair director told ARTINFO: "We’re very pleased to see so many sophisticated, knowledgeable collectors in Palm Springs."

This year, Cheech Marin will receive the Art Patron of the Year award for his vast Chicano art collection. He says, "My goal is to bring the term ‘Chicano’ to the forefront of the art world." Interested gallery goers can see his exhibition, "Chicanitas: Small Paintings from the Cheech Marin Collection," at the Museum of Monterey through April 1, 2012.

In another event, Daniel Stern will moderate a discussion with Coleman Miller about his award-winning hilarious film short, "Uso Justo." Ed Ruscha said about the project: "It put a bouquet of flowers on the concept of the experimental film." In "Uso Justo," Miller edits and subtitles a 1959 Mexican drama, creating a comedy of errors:

(c) Coleman Miller

The festival will feature work from 50 exhibitors. Last night at the opening preview party, Judy Chicago received a lifetime achievement award. You can see her 100-foot-long survey, "Judy Chicago, Material Girl," curated by David Richard Contemporary, as well as a slew of other work by contemporary artists, so get thee to Palm Springs!