One of my senses of the High Desert is that it would be a great place to bring people together to share the atmosphere of potentiality and be inspired in various creative endeavors.The landscape, the weather, the community all contribute to something unique that has struck me and many others.
Being a practical sort, I wondered if there were facilities for bringing people together and came across the Joshua Tree Retreat Center, also known as The Ding Le Mei Institute of Mental Physics. The Retreat was established in the 50's, when Edwin Dingle returned from years in China and Tibet to bring his learnings on yogic breathing and meditation back to the US. I visited a couple of days ago and was very happy to find an amazing collection of buildings in a 420 acre desert setting. The design of the main buildings were in fact a collaboration between Lloyd Wright and his father, Frank Lloyd Wright. The structures have been well preserved and are now undergoing a light renovation. They include great facilities for dialog and workshops as well as plentiful accommodations. Add to this a desert amphitheater complete with large fire pit and a swimming pool. In sum, a wonderful setting for learning, sharing and making.
I then whisked myself over to Flamingo Heights, for a studio visit and lunch with John Luckett, an artist who has indeed come to the desert to retreat, refresh and create. The drive over was beautiful, the dialog was enriching and lunch was delicious. Yes.