By Deborah Vankin
April 11, 2014, 1:22 p.m.
INDIO, Calif. — In the sprawl of desert scrub brush and freeway ramps that is this industrial part of Indio, the sun burns brightly in a barren office park. Light and shadows flash off the scorched asphalt, and the landscape is a spare palette of dusty brown, faded green and gray.
Inside one tucked-away structure, however, artist Phillip K. Smith III is preparing to paint the sky red.
Or pink. Or green, depending.
“Welcome to the different sides of my brain,” Smith says, leading the way through his studio, which looks like an airplane hangar and is filled with elements of a light installation premiering at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.