Well, the Joshua Tree National Park is open just in time for the long Memorial Day weekend. While confirmed COVID-19 cases in some California counties have decreased or leveled off., our San Bernardino County cases continue to rise. It seems we’ll either have folks coming in from places with high confirmed cases, putting us at further risk, or they may pick up something from an asymptomatic or infected person here. Quite the dilemma.

We also seem to have come to a place where it’s the “maskers” versus the “non-maskers.” With some of the “non-maskers” making a point to let the “maskers” know, directly or indirectly, that they disagree with the mask. I put it this way because it has been my own personal experience. Before one proposes to share one’s sentiments on this with a stranger in public, please stop and think about what you’re doing. The world’s problems are much bigger than pointing out who is, and who is not, wearing a mask. Be like Buddha: “If you propose to speak, ask yourself, is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?” Choose kind.

On Sunday, Joshua Tree artist and gallery owner Colleena Hake started her live performance piece by sheltering-in-place inside her La Matadora Gallery for 17 days. Colleena is offering one-on-one live art services through the gallery’s walk-up windows.

Her live art service include:

•“SMIZE: The Gallerista is Present,” a intensive session of smiling with just the eyes with masks.

•“Confessional with St. Corona,” a confidential and non-judgmental listening, with penance provided.

•“The Doctor is IN,” á la Lucy from Peanuts.

To see all the services and the schedule, visit the gallery website at www.lamatadoragallery.org.

Visitors can also help Colleena out by purchasing a “Get out of the Gallery Free Pass” ($7 for 1 hour) so she can “walk my dog, take a bath and run amok!” Get in on the fun and visit. The live show will close June 2. La Matadora Gallery is located at 61857 Twentynine Palms Highway in Joshua Tree.

If you’re a photographer looking to hang out with other photographers during this “recess,” check out this virtual meet-up hosted by Joshua Tree resident Sant Khalsa, founding director of Joshua Tree Center for the Photographic Arts.

Each participant is invited to share up to five images on screen during the Zoom meeting. This is not a critique, but an informal get-together for local photographers. This free event will happen at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Space is limited. To register, email Sant Khalsa at joshuatreephotoarts@gmail.com to receive log in information for the Zoom conference platform.

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