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The "Idyllwild Deer Sightings"


Welcome to Idyllwild Deer Sightings!


In 2013, the AAI sponsored a pubic art project to place 22 painted deer around Idyllwild.  Since then, these deer have delighted and enchanted visitors and locals alike.   In January, 2018, we launched a new project to expand the existing herd.  Welcomed and well-received by the community, we now have a herd 50 painted deer and 1 coyote to grace Idyllwild's already beautiful and colorful environment.  


Our artists took their imaginations to new heights creating magical, mythical and exotic creatures.   Each deer has a unique story and a journey special to the Artist.  Each Sponsor had their individual reasons for supporting this endeavor, some to honor departed loved ones or simply to grace their businesses and public spaces with a lasting artistic tribute to Idyllwild.  

Share this journey through these photographs but, better still, visit each of the deer and choose your favorites.   Many of our local restaurants, inns and businesses have painted deer at their doorsteps.  Enjoy great hospitality and art at the same time.

Deer Sightings Map.pdf

The 2018 Idyllwild Deer Sightings Project

Photos Coming soon.




NEARLY 30 PAINTED DEER ARE ADDING TO THE CHARM OF THE ...www.kesq.com/video/nearly-30-painted-deer-are-adding...idyllwild/759880672

The 2013 Idyllwild Deer Sightings Project

There are rare opportunities offered in life that provide a sneak peek at something or someone that is destined to leave a mark on history.   We invite you to witness first hand the undeniable talent of local artists, who were supported by the collaboration of local businesses and the generosity of sponsors.


This is the first public art exhibition sponsored by the Art Alliance of Idyllwild, and it provided an avenue for the community to rally together in support of art that celebrates the uniqueness, history, and colorful images of our lovely mountain village.  Take a closer look at the project and you will see that Idyllwild Deer Sightings is a visual gift to our residents, our visitors, and our next generation. 


As the project unveiled, it was the artists who volunteered their talents that will magically bring the project to life!  The location hosts, sponsors, fellow community organizations, and local businesses are also key factors in bringing Idyllwild Deer Sightings full circle, thus available to the public.


On behalf of the Art Alliance of Idyllwild, we invite you to visit our beautiful mountain community and, as you visit our shops, restaurants and sites, be sure to look for the 22 painted deer that are located throughout town.  Enjoy!

Shanna Robb

2013 Project Chair, Idyllwild Deer Sighings




The Herd with their primer coat waiting for artists to work their magic.





               The Magical Creations by Art Alliance Artists



"Deer Sightings" Herd Gathering at Forest Lumber September 15, 2013.



Participating Artists 

  • Fariad & Jennifer Ali
  • Jerry Baccaire
  • Marilyn D.F. Boire
  • Jan Bruner, Ph.D.
  • Robert Bush
  • Dore Capitani
  • Karlis Dabols
  • Darcy Gerdes
  • Kathy Harmon-Luber
  • Helen Haskell Molles
  • Pat Hughes
  • Jan Jaspers-Fayer
  • Neil Jenkins & Donna Elliot
  • Mimi Lamp
  • Erin R. Murray
  • Millie Shaw
  • Lois Sheppard
  • Ron Singerton
  • Rich Stergulz
  • Brenda Underwood
  • Rachel Welch
  • Idyllwild School PTA smARTS Program
  • Home Learners Grace Davis & Zora Schoner
    (Assisted by Betty Anderson & Brandi Mills)

Location Hosts

  • BBVA Bank
  • Café Aroma
  • Fern Creek Medical Center
  • Idyllwild Historical Society
  • Idyllwild Inn
  • Idyllwild Realty – by log cabin
  • La Casita Restaurant
  • Gastronome Restaurant
  • Oakwood Village
  • Pine Cove Station
  • Spruce Moose - in The Fort
  • Village Center


  • Doug & Pat Austin
  • Diane & Carl Cardinalli
  • Fern Creek Medical Center, Ken & Sandy Browning
  • Bryant & Jared Dillon (In Honor of their Mother, Julie Dillon)
  • Erich & Patsy Everbach
  • Friemoth Family
  • Ganoung & Mollica Families
  • George & Carolyn Hall (In Honor of their Family)
  • Bob & Pat Hughes
  • Susan & Bill Judkins
  • Sharon A. Lilly & Joan Potter
  • McCleary & Chiampi Families (In Loving Memory of Nonna & Grandad Kelly & Lilly Bertos)
  • Middle Ridge Winery, Chris & Melody Johnston
  • Rick & Rhonda
  • Stewart Family
  • Robert & Kathy Styles, White Horse & Happy Trails Cabin
  • Tarah Jade Boutiques
  • Chris Trout
  • Jimmie Tyson & Hedy Zikratch-Tyson (In Memory of Clifford “Lefty” Tyson)
  • Ken & Judi Winslow
  • 2013 Idyllwild Youth Grant Makers – Supported by Community Foundation



                        A special Thank You to Forest Lumber and its staff!


                                                    Pictured below from left to right

Bob Waltz, Forest Lumber; Marilyn D.F. Boire, Artist; Tarah Jade Risnes, Sponsor;


Shanna Robb, Project Chair; Helen Haskell Molles, Artist; Millie Shaw, Artist;


Kathy Harmon Luber, Artist; Jim Adams, Forest Lumber.





                               Jan Jasper Fayer's Painted Deer



                Kathy Harmon Luber and Millie Shaw with the Deer




                            Marilyn Boire and Helen Haskell Molles



Public Art Project Extended to Pine Cove

by Marshall Smith


The Art Alliance of Idyllwild’s ambitious project to install public art in Idyllwild and Pine Cove moved from page to reality when 22 nearly life-size aluminum deer arrived at Forest Lumber Wednesday, June 12.


Twenty-three mostly local artists and representatives of the Idyllwild School smARTS program began picking up deer assigned to their creative care as part of a three-month process for artists to paint the deer in themes connected to Idyllwild life, history or culture.


The project, “Idyllwild Deer Sightings,” imagines the herd dispatched to 12 locations, including the village’s central business core, Fern Valley Corners, the Nature Center on Highway 243, and the Pine Cove Market and Station property. Volunteer project coordinator Shanna Robb said Shane Stewart, owner of the Pine Cove site, is building a special garden location for the buck and two does that will permanently reside there. The installation will be lit at night. It’s the last site to be added and Robb expressed satisfaction that the installations now extend to both Hill communities.


The herd’s composition is eight bucks and seven does standing, five fawns grazing and two recumbent fawns.

Twenty-two donors who share AAI’s vision of Idyllwild as not just an art town, but a public art town graced by permanent art installations designed to be touched, discussed and yes, held and caressed, are the sponsors.

“We’re building friendships here,” said Robb, referring to budding nascent friendships among some of the participants. “And,” said Robb, “we will be building friendships among townspeople and tourists drawn together by these works of art.”


Artists include Idyllwild School smARTS students, Rachel Welch, Jerry Baccaire, Neil Jenkins and Donna Elliot, Robert Bush, Karlis Dabols, Helen Haskell Molles, Millie Shaw, Brenda Underwood, Richard Stergulz, Mimi Lamp, Lois Sheppard, Fariad and Jennifer Ali, Kathy Harmon-Luber, Marilyn Boire, Darcy Gerdes, Jan Bruner, Jan Jaspers-Fayer, Betty Anderson, Ron Singerton, Pat Hughes and Erin Murray.


Metal sculptor Dore Capitani will design the stand for the dedicatory plaque that explains the exhibit. It, along with a buck, doe and fawn, are to be placed in the gazebo area of Village Centre. Each artist has been assigned a theme, some of which are the Cahuilla Native American tribe, hiking and climbing, the legend of Tahquitz and quilting.


“The spirit of this project is in full swing, as witnessed by the enthusiasm of the artists, location owners, sponsors and community,” said Robb. “If ever in doubt of what can be accomplished by a small village, this is another example of what can be created by a grass-roots approach that celebrates the uniqueness, history and colors of Idyllwild.”


Each deer will be affixed to a permanent base with plaques listing the sponsor’s and artist’s names. In addition to Village Centre and Pine Cove Market, locations at which more than one deer will reside include the Idyllwild Area Historical Society, La Casita Mexican Restaurant, BBVA Compass Bank, and the Nature Center.


On Sept. 15, the entire herd of fully finished artist creations will be assembled for public viewing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Forest Lumber. Afterward, the herd migrates to its respective permanent installation sites.


About the Author: Marshall Smith has been a general assignment reporter for Idyllwild Town Crier since 2005. His favorite quote is: "Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not." Email: marshall@towncrier.com



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Telephone: 951-692-6135 , Address: PO Box 472, Idyllwild, CA 92549                     © Copyright Art Alliance of Idyllwild

Email: artinidyllwild@gmail.com

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