Joshua Tree Retreat - SPE West and Southwest Regions

Joshua Tree, California
Friday, November 13, 2015
November 13-15, 2015
Joshua Tree Retreat Center, Joshua Tree, California
SPE West and Southwest Regions 

59700 29 Palms Hwy
Joshua Tree, California 92252
United States 
Map and Directions**

Experience the natural beauty and creative character of Joshua Tree with an all inclusive retreat weekend at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and son, Lloyd). Conference programming will include Honored Educators Sant Khalsa (CSUSB) and Mark Klett (ASU), guest speakers, round-table discussions, and portfolio sharing as well as field trips to the National Park, Andrea Zittel's A-Z West Home and Studio and High Desert Test Sites, Noah Purifoy's Art Park, Sounds Baths at the Integratron and more.

Relax and rejuvenate with SPE friends at the pool and jacuzzi, star gazing at the night skies or on a hike or meditation walk. 
You’ll be nestled in with your colleagues in retreat style accommodations and served a delicious and fresh catered menu (with options for special diet restrictions) by renowned local chef, Rosa Ficara. Prepare yourself for a unique experience at the the Joshua Tree Retreat Center (JTRC), the oldest and largest retreat center in the Western United States. JTRC is considered to be an architectural landmark, a sacred site, and location of 18 energy vortices. We will show our respect for the longtime custom of the retreat center of removing our shoes when entering some of the conference meeting rooms and be mindful that there are others on the premises engaged in silent meditation

Join your colleagues to enjoy "Pop Up Pix" a 15 minute presentation style format showcasing new works by your peers, intimate round table "Casual Conversation" discussions, yoga, excursions, live music dance party, casual portfolio reviews and plain old hanging out and star gazing. 
As a bonus, participants arriving early or staying on will have the opportunity to attend pre and post-conference programming, tours and experiences as well as explore the Joshua Tree National park and other free sights. The Mojave Desert landscape and the eclectic Joshua Tree community is sure to please. 

You must be a current SPE member to attend.  Renew your SPE National membership BEFORE you register for this retreat or your registration will be cancelled. Pack your hiking shoes, layered clothing and sun protection for varied weather conditions, don't forget your camera gear and get in the spirit for a special joint SPE West and Southwest Retreat.

**Attention: GPS often does not work accurately in the desert.  The JT Retreat Center is located at 59700 29 Palms Hwy, Joshua TreeCA 92252. About one mile east of the Home Depot in Yucca Valley on the left side (North) on 29 Palms Highway / CA-62 OR about three miles west of the Joshua Tree Village on the right side (North) on 29 Palms Highway / CA-62.

FEES: Includes conference fee, 6 gourmet meals and 2 night stay (Fri/Sat) at JT Retreat Center. 
$355 shared double, triple or quad+ lodging
$325 single gender cottages (7 people each)

$275 co-ed dorm room lodging
$225 camping onsite
$200 no onsite lodging - conference and meals only 
+ $4.75 registration software fee 
+ 5% Visa processing fee OR 6% AMEX processing fee

Call the retreat center at 760-365-8371 to arrange an extra night or two or choose from a number of local lodging options:

Massage Therapy at Retreat Center
"The Sacred Spa" at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center offers a full array of services to relax, refresh, and rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit. A friendly and professional trained staff of massage therapists offer choices of Swedish Massage, Custom Therapeutic Combination, Deep Tissue, Aromatherapy, Sports, Reflexology, Shiatsu, Lomi Lomi, Lymphatic Drainage, Pre/Post Natal (pregnancy), Reiki, and Chakra Balancing. Pricing ranges from $95 to $165 depending on the technique and length of service. Call (760) 365-8371 to schedule an appointment in advance of the SPE Retreat.

Sound Bath at the Integratron
The Sound Bath is the Integratron’s signature experience. “It’s kindergarten naptime for grown ups in a sound sphere.” This is an unforgettable group sound experience for those who seek deep relaxation, rejuvenation, and introspection. Sound Baths are 60-minute sonic healing sessions that consist of 25 minutes of crystal bowls played live and the balance of the hour to integrate the sound and relax in the sound chamber to recorded music. You will be resting comfortably in the deeply resonant, multi-wave sound chamber of the Integratron while a sequence of quartz crystal singing bowls are played, each one keyed to the energy centers or chakras of the body, where sound is nutrition for the nervous system. The results are waves of peace, heightened awareness, and relaxation of the mind and body. The historical Integratron structure is a resonant tabernacle and energy machine sited on a powerful geomagnetic vortex in the magical Mojave Desert. Its creator, George Van Tassel (1920-1978), claimed that the structure is based on the design of Moses’ Tabernacle, the writings of Nikola Tesla and telepathic directions from extraterrestrials. This one-of-a-kind 38-foot high, 55-foot diameter, all wood dome was designed to be an electrostatic generator for the purpose of rejuvenation and time travel.

A-Z West and A-Z Enterprise Tour
Visit A-Z West and the A-Z Enterprise, where you will be led on an intimate tour of Andrea Zittel’s home, studio, Wagon Station Encampment, Homestead Cabin, Regenerating Field, and shipping container compound. A-Z West is located on thirty-five acres in the California high desert next to Joshua Tree National Park. Since 2000 the grounds have been ever evolving as Andrea Zittel's test site for designs for living, where all aspects of day-to-day living—home furniture, clothing, and food all become the sites of investigation in an ongoing endeavor to better understand human nature and the social construction of needs.

Noah Purifoy's Art Park Tour with Adriene Jenik
Noah Purifoy's Outdoor Desert Art Museum consists of 7.5 acres of open land displaying Purifoy's assemblage sculptures, created between 1989 and 2004 on the site of his home in Joshua Tree. Constructed entirely from junked materials, this otherworldly environment is one of California’s great art historical wonders. Noah Purifoy (1917-2004) lived and worked most of his life in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, A founding director of the Watts Towers Art Center, his earliest body of sculpture, constructed out of charred debris from the 1965 Watts Rebellion, was the basis for 66 Signs of Neon, a landmark group exhibition about the riots that traveled to nine venues between 1966 and 1969. A retrospective of his work Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada recently was held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This very special tour will be lead by Purifoy’s close personal friend, Adriene Jenik, Professor and Director, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts School of Art at Arizona State University. 

ABOUT SPE: Prior to the 1960s, photography was taught primarily in departments of journalism at American universities. SPE emerged at a time when art departments were beginning to offer photography in their curriculum. 

Nathan Lyons, then associate director at the George Eastman House, recognized the newly emerging academic field; he coordinated and hosted a conference in November 1962 in Rochester, NY to address the concerns of these educators. Beaumont Newhall, Walter Rosenblum, Arthur Sinsabaugh, Aaron Siskind, Henry Holmes Smith, John Szarkowski, Jerry Uelsmann and Clarence White were among the thirty attendees at the “Invitational Teaching Conference.” Representing the intersection of fine art practice, education and history, these early participants aimed to formulate the goals, future and improvement of photographic education.


Contact Information

  • Registration and Conference: Erika Gentry 
    Phone: 415-370-4359

    SPESOUTHWEST Questions: 
    Patti Hallock

    SPEWEST Questions: 
    Amanda Dahlgren

Payment Instructions

  • Online Payments Accepted Only with Visa or Mastercard
    No Checks

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