Fond memories of The Desert 2020 and looking forward with excitement

Barb Solem2020, Art Retreat in the Desert, Art Retreat on the Prairie, classes, Danny's Epic Adventures, Events, facebook page, General Information, News, Rebel Heartistry, The Desert - 2020, Vivi Magoo LTD, VIVI MAGOO NEWSLETTER, Vivi Magoo Presents Art Retreats and Other Inspirations

Thank you so much!


We hope you enjoyed yourself in Tucson – growing as an artist – deepening friendships with your art sisters and brothers – and learning a thing or two about yourself along the way.

This was our largest and best retreat to date – four hundred students, twenty-two instructors, eleven classrooms and six days of awesome classes taught by the best-of-the-best instructors. We love our new home at La Paloma and hope you do as well. As with any change, there were things we had to work through, and we appreciate your patience with us as we maneuvered through a new venue and new hotel staff. In general, we think things went well; and we want you to know there are a few things we are definitely going to focus on next year:

Nightly Get Togethers

It sounded good on paper to have everyone bring a glass of wine or another beverage back to our Registration Area each evening after class, but it didn’t translate well in practice. Next year, now that we have the most important part of our operation down pat (instructors, projects, classrooms), our focus will be on providing a more formal area for us to meet and congregate in our Terrace Foyer. Tables, chairs, and a no-host bar (if the hotel will agree to providing that for us) are top on our list of to-dos. We missed spending time with each of you and know you missed spending time with each other too. Know that it didn’t go unnoticed by us, and we promise to work something out for everyone’s benefit.

Classroom Space

While most of our classrooms were ample in size, there were a few that were sorely lacking in the space department. We are grateful to Robyn and Richard for cramming themselves into less-than-optimum-sized rooms and have plans for each of them to enjoy roomier accommodations next year. On top of it all, who knew a Polar Vortex would descend upon us and force everyone to hunker down inside and not be able to take advantage of the roomy covered patios each of them had available! Honestly, the best laid plans seem to always go awry….Anyway, thanks to all of you who shivered and sidled your way through classes with each of those true-blue instructors, and know that won’t be happening again next year.

Vivi Magoo Survey

As is our custom each year, we will be sending an anonymous survey in the next few weeks – asking you to share your thoughts and suggestions about The Desert 2020. Questions about the venue – about the instructors – about the projects – about Vivi Magoo. All geared to gain insight into ways we can improve on what we do and how we do it. There will also be a section where you can offer suggestions about types of projects, techniques you’d like to learn, new instructors you’d like to see us bring in – All meant to improve Vivi Magoo for your benefit. We appreciate any and all comments sent in a friendly and respectful manner, knowing you have our best interest at heart.


There were a few things left behind, and if any of them belong to you, let us know, and we can either hold them for next year or send them to you.


We are already working out the details for 2021! Can you believe it! We’ll be back at the Westin – La Paloma again – dates are still being worked out, but basically the same as this year. We’ll be bringing back many of our fabulous instructors and adding new and awesome ones to our roster next February.  Check back periodically on our website for  updates as they become available. We will open pre-registration for you in mid-July (we’ll email you the exact date soon), so be ready to grab your first choices as soon as we open so you don’t miss out. We hate it when we see sad Vivi Magoo faces….


Rebel Heartistry.

featuring Jessica Cote. Don’t you just love that young lady! We sure do! She’s an old-soul who is incredibly gifted in many ways. She has taken on this annual event and made it a mission for herself and those who attend. To become more self-confident jewelry designers and more self-aware women navigating life. To look at tools and equipment in a new light and use them in unique ways. To take the least bit of metal or wire and fashion it into something that is personally yours and something to be proud of because it is totally you who created it. Equally important is the space we give you to become bonded and united with the other Rebel Heartists who attend. Women supporting women. Women feeling safe and secure in an environment to share their thoughts, feelings and history without fear of judgment or backlash. Honestly, this is so much more than simply making jewelry….Our hope is that you will ponder the possibility of attending this year. We can safely guarantee you will return home a changed person – thankful you took a chance and made the plunge.

Metals Week

is a new brainchild of ours, geared to be an offspring of The Desert or The Prairie from years ago. We have found a venue in the Phoenix metropolitan area that has graciously agreed to allow us to run three simultaneous classes over a three day period this coming fall. Smaller and more intimate than The Desert, it is menu-based (meaning you can take as few or as many classes as you’d like and pay for those you sign up for), and you can either reserve a room at the hotel or travel back home each evening. The hotel is affordable, offers a hearty breakfast each morning and a happy hour each evening complete with appetizers that are filling enough to be considered dinner for many. Full disclosure – those amenities are only offered to guests who are staying on property, so be aware that, should you decide to go home each evening, they don’t offer any way for you to pay a fee and enjoy their hospitality (we wish it weren’t so!).

We are thrilled that Ace McCasland (aka Studio Luna Verde) has agreed to teach for us, and we round out the lineup with Robyn Cornelius and Jim Dailing. All have incredible classes, and there is sure to be something that calls your name and entices you to attend. We opened registration before The Desert 2020, and many classes are either sold out or filling rapidly, so don’t hesitate too long to add your name to an instructor’s roster!

Danny’s Epic Adventures

features Danny Wade, and this year, he is bringing Ken Burwell with him to help in the creation of awesome squash blossom necklaces. Yes – you heard us correctly – squash blossom necklaces. This is a big undertaking, and we have carved out three full days for you to design, create and finish your projects. Pricing is for all three days – there’s no skimping on timing – it will take all of three days to get this big mama done! Danny and Ken are currently back in their Albuquerque workshop, working out the timing details for each day and creating tools and dies for you to use in the process of creating your very own necklace, inspired by our western neighbors – the dear and beloved indigenous peoples of the Americas. We are excited and enthusiastic about this three-day experience we have in store for you. Pricing is affordable, and we’ve made it convenient for those of you who live local who wish to return to your own home each evening. We are holding a block of rooms at the hotel (the same hotel where we are running Metals Week) if you should prefer to stay on-property with us throughout our event.


It was a pleasure bringing The Desert 2020 to you, and we look forward to seeing you again soon – If not at one or another of our events throughout 2020, then back in Tucson at The Desert 2021!

We hope you know we are blessed by you, our Vivi Magoo family – knowing you – serving you – loving you.

In love and friendship,

Barb and Erin