Hey everyone!  

I have a bit of news to share with you that I think you will find very interesting!
Senator Benoit recently informed me of his choice to select “Bird in Paradise,” an original watercolor by Indian Wells artist Diane Morgan, to include in the Senate’s Ninth Annual California Contemporary Art Collection exhibit. In 1997, the California State Senate initiated a program to celebrate contemporary art created by a wide variety of California artists. Each year, Senators are asked to select an artist who they feel best represents their district. The exhibit has become a popular event and an important collaborative effort between Senators and California artists. This high State honor will allow Morgan’s artwork to be showcased in the Maddy Lounge in the State Capitol through September 2010. “Bird in Paradise” features a hummingbird drawing food from brightly-colored red bird of paradise flowers.
“Diane Morgan’s painting truly captures the natural beauty found in all places throughout Riverside County,” said Senator Benoit. “Just as the nectar to the hummingbird, this fine art will draw many visitors to it, doing a tremendous service as a representative image of the District and speaking well of our arts community.”
“In creating this artwork, I chose the Anna’s hummingbird and the red bird of paradise flower because they are such a beautiful and abundant part of our Southern California desert,” commented Diane Morgan. “I am thrilled and truly honored to be a part of this exhibition.”

A little bit about the artist…
Diane Morgan graduated from the University of Michigan with a major in painting. After working for over twenty years in advertising, and most recently as Public Art Administrator for the City of Palm Springs, Diane currently paints full-time. Her artwork has won numerous awards and her paintings appear in collections from New York to California. Morgan, a resident of the Coachella Valley for over 20 years, was a founding director of the Coachella Valley Arts Alliance and former chair of the Palm Desert Civic Arts Committee. Her “Bird in Paradise” watercolor was the poster art for the 2009 Indian Wells Arts Festival.

To check out more of Diane’s work you can visit her at her website:

She even has a pretty cool blog!

And if you wanna see some samples of her work in person…
looks for these paintings in our local Starbucks!
And a little bit about our State Senator….
Senator John J. Benoit represents the 37th Senate District, which includes Anza, Banning, Beaumont, Bermuda Dunes, Cabazon, Calimesa, Canyon Lake, Cherry Valley, Corona, Desert Hot Springs, El Cerrito, Hemet, Home Gardens, Homeland, Idyllwild, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Lake Elsinore, Lakeland Village, Lakeview, March AFB, Menifee, Moreno Valley, Norco, Nuevo, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Perris, Rancho Mirage, San Jacinto, Valle Vista, Winchester, and Woodcrest.  Further information regarding Senator Benoit is available on his web site at:

*To request more specific, higher-resolution file sizes, please contact Senate Photographer Lorie Shelley at (916) 651-1522.  Photo courtesy of Lorie Shelley, Senate Photography.