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  • Sunset at Mojave Desert in Twentynine Palms, CA

HIKING MY FEELINGS: TRAIL OF LIFE – SELF REFLECTION WORKSHOP w/ Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park
Do you want to “recalibrate” yourself after a year of pandemic isolation?

What have you survived and celebrated on your Trail of Life so far? How can you connect the dots on your lived experience to move into the new year with intention? Sydney and Barry Williams have been hiking and brainstorming for years, and it has revolutionized the way they live their lives and the way they do business. By combining mindset techniques acquired as a Division 1 athlete, competitive skydiver, and corporate executive, incorporating playful techniques from improv (“yes, and!”), and encouraging mindful movement, they’ve developed a self-reflection format to help you unlock your best ideas, open the flow of creativity, and bring your best self to life, love, and work. Join them for a judgment-free weekend where transformational healing is possible. They introduce participants to mindfulness and the healing power of nature, and the results are lasting improvements to mental, physical, and spiritual health.

About the Instructor: When former collegiate athlete and competitive skydiver Sydney Williams unexpectedly found herself on the receiving end of a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis while grappling with unresolved trauma from a decades-old sexual assault, she set out on a mission: turn her pain into power. Two hikes across Catalina Island and 80 miles later, she founded Hiking My Feelings® to help others tap into the mind-body connection and healing power of nature that helped kick her self-limiting beliefs and disease into remission.

With more than 12 years of marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies and emerging brands, Sydney uses her “truth juice” storytelling style to break wide-open tough conversations with practical, powerful content and experiences. Over the years, she’s been featured on the SXSW stage and in Health Magazine, Diabetic Living Magazine, Huffington Post, Psychology Today, US News & World Report, and numerous other publications. Today, she is the author of Hiking My Feelings: Stepping Into the Healing Power of Nature and travels across the country, empowering others to summit their personal mountains on their way to becoming Well Beings.

Register today for the “Hiking My Feelings: Trail of Life – Self Reflection Workshop” wilderness wellness course!

HIKING MY FEELINGS: INNER WILDERNESS w/ Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park
Do you want to “recalibrate” yourself after a year of pandemic isolation?

How can we draw inspiration from the natural world to better manage stress, emotions, and mindfulness? What is possible when we get intentional about our time spent in the desert and equate the outer wilderness with our inner wilderness?

Join Sydney Williams, author and founder of Hiking My Feelings, for a weekend of wilderness wellness at Joshua Tree National Park. Through hiking, mindfulness activities, self-reflection practices, and community connection, participants can look forward to unearthing a connection to themselves, each other, and the world around them. Sydney’s proven framework for tapping into the healing power of nature will empower you to build resilience, self-trust, compassion, and empathy. Integrating the skills learned in the park into your daily life back at home will help reduce stress, improve your mindset, and help you feel connected to something bigger than yourself.

About the Instructor: When former collegiate athlete and competitive skydiver Sydney Williams unexpectedly found herself on the receiving end of a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis while grappling with unresolved trauma from a decades-old sexual assault, she set out on a mission: turn her pain into power. Two hikes across Catalina Island and 80 miles later, she founded Hiking My Feelings® to help others tap into the mind-body connection and healing power of nature that helped kick her self-limiting beliefs and disease into remission.

With more than 12 years of marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies and emerging brands, Sydney uses her “truth juice” storytelling style to break wide-open tough conversations with practical, powerful content and experiences. Over the years, she’s been featured on the SXSW stage and in Health Magazine, Diabetic Living Magazine, Huffington Post, Psychology Today, US News & World Report, and numerous other publications. Today, she is the author of Hiking My Feelings: Stepping Into the Healing Power of Nature and travels across the country, empowering others to summit their personal mountains on their way to becoming Well Beings.

WINTER LIGHT: PHOTOGRAPHING DESERT PRESERVES w/ Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park
Join Desert Institute for a day of photography in two special desert places off the beaten track: Whitewater Preserve and the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve.

Winter is an excellent season to photograph the low desert, with its cool temperatures, longer shadows, and views of distant peaks.

The day consists of photographic field sessions, group instruction, and one-on-one assistance from your instructor. You will learn tips and techniques for controlling sharpness, exposure, making panoramic photographs, and using lenses, along with creative exercises in photographing the desert landscape. Class begins in the morning, close to the rugged cliffs of Whitewater Preserve. After lunch, the class will relocate to Big Morongo Canyon Preserve for afternoon field sessions among the cottonwoods. Hiking at each preserve is easy – to moderate; you will be walking on trails that are mainly level. Participants are encouraged to bring a tripod with their camera(s).

About the Instructor: Craig Fucile, B.A., Physical Geography, currently teaches photography for the University of California, Riverside Extension. He has also taught for UC Irvine Extension, UC Santa Cruz Extension, the University of La Verne, the Sierra Club, and Friends of Photography. A long-time instructor, Fucile has taught numerous photography workshops on western landscapes that he enjoys photographing, including Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Eastern Mojave, Owens Valley, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Anza-Borrego, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia. During Fall 2017, he was an artist in residence for Angeles National Forest/ San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. He received the Fall 2010 Instructor Excellence Award from UC Riverside Extension and the 2007 Distinguished Instructor Award from UC Irvine Extension.

A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO INCREDIBLE IPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY w/ Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park
Join Joshua Tree-based photographer and artist Rose Cefalu for an evening of iPhone photography!

Participants will meet Rose at her workshop and organize a walk to a beloved trail location. Before leaving, you will learn some of the awesome power of the iPhone. She will also talk about design basics, like “Rule of Thirds” and “perspective,” to maximize the potential of images. In the last hour of class, you will edit your pictures in her workshop, print them 8.5 x 11, and mount them in a white beveled 11 x 14 mat suitable for framing. Students will explore the power of image maximizing the iPhone in conventional and unconventional ways. No prior photography experience is needed; all levels are welcome. All printing materials and supplies are included in the course fee.

About the Instructor: Every day, you can find Rose Cefalu obsessing over her iPhone photos and over-posting on Instagram. She thinks about traveling, taking pictures, printing imagery, and mixing new colors in her spare time. In 2019 Rose launched a cyanotype workshop to get her “ hands dirty” again and reintroduce this vintage art form to a new audience interested in becoming skilled with alternative photographic processes. Rose has been a guest lecturer worldwide for 12 years as adjunct faculty at the Art Institute of California at both Hollywood and Los Angeles campuses. She is also producing award-winning content at a variety of outlets. Currently, Rose is the Photography Director at Emmy magazine. Her work is on display throughout various galleries and stores in the high desert. She is also a yearly participant of MBCAC’s Art Tours, where she opens her studio and home.

Register today for the “A Beginner’s Guide to Incredible iPhone Photography” field class!

PHOTOGRAPHING THE HI-DESERT w/ Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park
Grab your camera and put on your hiking boots for this intensive all-day photo workshop.

*The Big Morongo Canyon Preserve is the proud sponsor of this class.

Craig Fucile will guide the class in seeing the park’s natural beauty through the camera lens. The course will begin with early morning light at the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve, followed by a mid-morning instructional program at Black Rock Canyon Visitor Center. The afternoon session will relocate to a special “photographers only” session at Keys Ranch, focusing on how to capture the buildings and historic remnants at this remarkable homestead. Fucile will share tips on recording unique rock formations and vast views of the park. Participants are encouraged to bring a tripod with their camera(s).

About the Instructor: Craig Fucile, B.A., Physical Geography, currently teaches photography for the University of California, Riverside Extension. Fucile has also taught for UC Irvine Extension, UC Santa Cruz Extension, the University of La Verne, the Sierra Club, and Friends of Photography. A long-time instructor, Fucile has taught numerous photography workshops on western landscapes that he enjoys photographing, including: Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Eastern Mojave, Owens Valley, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Anza-Borrego, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia. During Fall 2017, he was an artist in residence for Angeles National Forest/ San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. He received the Fall 2010 Instructor Excellence Award from UC Riverside Extension and the 2007 Distinguished Instructor Award from UC Irvine Extension.

Register today for the “Photographing the Hi-Desert” field class!

PLEIN AIR PAINTING WITH OILS WORKSHOP w/ Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park
This workshop will help you to simplify and organize what you see and go on to create satisfying, dynamic paintings.

Painting the landscape from life is thrilling and can be challenging as well. The world is filled with an infinite variety of color and value and an overwhelming amount of detail. Patterns of shadow and light are constantly changing. This workshop will help you to simplify and organize what you see, and go on to create satisfying, dynamic paintings with strong, logical dark and light patterns. Topics include composition, focal point, perspective, value (dark and light), underpainting, painting ala prima (layering wet paint without making mud), color theory, mixing paint, and more. The Saturday session will start with a demo painting as Jessica explains her step-by-step method. Students will be given individual feedback and guidance. Some previous painting experience is advised.

About the Instructor: Jessica Schiffman has been a working artist for over twenty-five years. Her oil and acrylic paintings, including desert landscapes, forest scenes, figurative works, and more, are widely collected. In addition, she has illustrated sixteen children’s books and created several murals. Jessica has taught art for fifteen years at venues including the Idyllwild Arts Academy and Summer Program, the Desert Art Center in Palm Springs, and the Create Center in Palm Desert. Jessica has a BFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Register today for the “Plein Air Painting with Oils Workshop” field class!

CYANOTYPE PROCESSING WORKSHOP w/ Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park
Join Joshua Tree-based photographer and artist Rose Cefalu for a half day of experimental printmaking, known as Cyanotype printing.

You will learn about the process’s history and hands-on work producing fine art prints. Your images will be enlarged to 8 x 10 negatives and will be contacted printed, harnessing the Sun’s UV light and developed in water. You will also do the same process as a photogram, where the image is made without a camera by placing objects directly onto the surface of the light-sensitive cyanotype paper and then exposing it to light. The usual result is a negative shadow image that shows tone variations that depend upon the objects’ transparency.

Sharing her wealth of knowledge, Rose will start each morning with a brief overview of the process, followed by paper coating and a walk in a private location in search of the objects and plant flora students can use later in the day for photograms. Students will use this 20th-century photograph technique in conventional and unconventional ways to explore the power of image-making. No prior photography experience is needed; all levels are welcome.

About the Instructor: Every day, you can find Rose Cefalu obsessing over her iPhone photos and over-posting on Instagram. She thinks about traveling, taking pictures, printing imagery, and mixing new colors in her spare time. In 2019 Rose launched a cyanotype workshop to get her “ hands dirty” again and reintroduce this vintage art form to a new audience interested in becoming skilled with alternative photographic processes. Rose has been a guest lecturer worldwide for 12 years as adjunct faculty at the Art Institute of California at both Hollywood and Los Angeles campuses. She is also producing award-winning content at a variety of outlets. Currently, Rose is the Photography Director at Emmy magazine. Her work is on display throughout various galleries and stores in the high desert. She is also a yearly participant of MBCAC’s Art Tours, where she opens her studio and home.

Register today for the “Cyanotype Processing Workshop” field class!

PHOTOGRAPHING JOSHUA TREE BY MOONLIGHT w/ Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park
Seeing the desert illuminated by moonlight is an experience not to be missed.

It’s a chance to encounter a peaceful world of deep shadows and pale highlights, perceived by the eye as a soft-edged, nearly black and white landscape, where a familiar scene in the daytime can start to look mysterious. Absent all but the brightest stars and planets; the sky attains steely darkness. Yet as our eyes adapt to the dim light, we can notice the subtle beauty of the desert under the moonlight.

In this evening field class, you’ll learn helpful photographic techniques such as camera placement, focusing, exposure, lens settings, and photo composition. Craig Fucile, photography instructor at the University of California Riverside Extension, will guide and assist participants in taking moonlight photographs at two locations in the Park, away from city lights. Participants should bring a tripod and remote (or wireless) switch for their camera. Don’t miss this opportunity to find new ways to focus on Joshua Tree National Park.

About the Instructor: Craig Fucile, B.A., Physical Geography, currently teaches photography for the University of California, Riverside Extension. He has also taught for UC Irvine Extension, UC Santa Cruz Extension, the University of La Verne, the Sierra Club, and Friends of Photography. A long-time instructor, Fucile has taught numerous photography workshops on western landscapes he enjoys photographing, including Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Eastern Mojave, Owens Valley, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Anza-Borrego, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia. During Fall 2017, he was an artist in residence for Angeles National Forest/ San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. He received the Fall 2010 Instructor Excellence Award from UC Riverside Extension and the 2007 Distinguished Instructor Award from UC Irvine Extension.

FIELD SKETCHING FOR NON-ARTISTS w/ Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park
Would you like to enjoy the beauty of Joshua Tree National Park more fully? Are you a person who “could never draw?”

This class will teach you the basics of field sketching, focusing on using the simplest, most lightweight tools, methods, and materials to streamline the process for non-artists. You will learn how to focus your natural powers of observation to complete a finished sketch that is accurate in detail, scale, and proportion using easy-to-learn skills that you can practice anytime and anywhere. All materials are provided. Class size is limited to 8.

About the Instructor: Fran Calvert has lived near Joshua Tree National Park for ten years. She enjoys sketching, riding horses, hiking, and backpacking year-round in the park. Fran is a retired technical writer with a B.A. in fine arts and art history from Columbia University. She has been a Desert Institute volunteer since 2014.

Register today for the “Field Sketching for Non-Artists” field class!

A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO INCREDIBLE IPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY w/ Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park
Join Joshua Tree-based photographer and artist Rose Cefalu for an evening of iPhone photography.

Participants will meet Rose at her workshop and organize a walk to a beloved trail location. Before leaving, you will learn some of the incredible power of the iPhone. She will also talk about design basics, like “Rule of Thirds” and “perspective,” to maximize the potential of images. In the last hour of class, you will edit your pictures in her workshop, print them 8.5 x 11, and mount them in a white beveled 11 x14 mat suitable for framing.

Students will explore the power of image maximizing the iPhone in conventional and unconventional ways.

No prior photography experience is needed; all levels are welcome.

About the Instructor: Every day, you can find Rose Cefalu obsessing over her iPhone photos and over-posting on Instagram. She thinks about traveling, taking pictures, printing imagery, and mixing new colors in her spare time. In 2019 Rose launched a cyanotype workshop to get her “ hands dirty” again and reintroduce this vintage art form to a new audience interested in becoming skilled with alternative photographic processes. Rose has been a guest lecturer worldwide for 12 years as adjunct faculty at the Art Institute of California at both Hollywood and Los Angeles campuses. She is also producing award-winning content at a variety of outlets. Currently, Rose is the Photography Director at Emmy magazine. Her work is on display throughout various galleries and stores in the high desert. She is also a yearly participant of MBCAC’s Art Tours, where she opens her studio and home.

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