Sunday, December 2, 2018

Barbara Downs

I’m thrilled to be a presenter at the 40th Yuma Symposium in February 2019.  I will be discussing my interest in bridging the divide between 2D and 3D, and how I’ve migrated from one to the other (and back and forth again, and again, and again…).

In the 80s and 90s I worked as a draftsperson, back in the days of pencil and paper and t-squares.  At the time, I tried to isolate my studio work from my drafting work.  Now that I’ve had some distance from that job, I’ve begun to appreciate the inherent drafting “brain-wiring” that I acquired and to take advantage of it in my studio work.  It’s become apparent to me how much both my 2D and 3D work owe to my drafting background.

Iceland Island 4 

   Untitled Barn 2

In my presentation, I’ll be talking about this, and about working in mixed-media and multiple mediums, how I think about 2D versus 3D work, and also about the personal origin of my ideas and how a series may develop.

Artifacts 3

Artifacts 4

Artifacts 2

Much of my recent work is based on the Icelandic landscape, a place that I have grown to know and love over the past few years.  That landscape has both a strong visual pull and a strong personal attachment for me, and I will discuss both how and why I do this particular work.

Making My Own Paradise

Making My Own Paradise - Detail

Making My Own Paradise -  Detail

Talisman 8

Barbara working on drawing

Barbara Downs will speak at this year's Yuma Art Symposium in February 2019
For more information on Barbara's work please see her webpage HERE
For more information on Yuma Art Symposium please see webpage HERE

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Dukno Yoon

I am honored and excited to participate in the YUMA Symposium 2018 as one of the presenters. 
My artistic journey started from a fascination with machine and has been an exploration of mechanism for its purely minimal form and vitality from interactive movements. 
In my main kinetic work series “Wings,” I place a pair of feathers on the tip of the finger or on the top of a metronome pendulum. The feathers are devised to flap as the wearer bends the finger or the metronome ticks. Mechanically constrained, fragile feathered wings come to life and resonate with wearers and viewers. They are intriguing and whimsical, yet evoke sympathy as if holding a fragile life in your hand or reflecting on a life in the mechanized world.
The presentation will also include other projects including collaboration with costume designers for television shows in Korea, for which I created various metal props. Also, I will share how digital processes have evolved my design and studio practices.

Youtube video links:

See Dukno Yoon's Website HERE

Monday, February 5, 2018

Chris Leonard

Hard Luck and hard Candy is the name of …the game.  Shoot.  Bang.  In essence this is a reflection upon my station in the American Dreaming.  Right here right now. Maybe I should wake up.  When I made the proposal a year ago I may have stepped in it.  Did I exercise any wisdom or foresight?  Actions and reactions.  What seemed like a good idea at the time has become:  The All American City Kid Passes Judgment.  The two definitions for judgment offer a whole lot of ground that should be organized could be covered. 

Judgment –
·       the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions:"an error of judgment"synonyms:discernmentacumen, shrewdness, astuteness, sense, ... more
·       misfortune or calamity viewed as a divine punishment:"the crash had been a judgment on the parents for wickedness"
Make enough sense to keep filling a leaking glass (metaphorically speaking…a dog that needs to be walked/a lawn that needs to be mowed/another teachable preachable moment in time) ALL THE WAY TO OVERFLOWING in a sea of mixed messages and multicultural…madness would be alliterative but impolite…mayhem, same…REALITY is the name of this game.  I am taking aim at some challenges and art heroes in order to balance my checkbook and manufacture harmony with disharmony with additional efforts to fuse the political furor and energy of early Peter Saul with the classic form follows function of Mingei-sotaed/functional pots of Warren Mackenzie. 
Who and What, as far as standard operating procedure goes:
Peter Saul:  The ICE BOX!  A container for politics filtered through psychology or is it the other way around?
Warren Mackenzie:  The unabashed/unassuming or solid straightforward all pot all day/any time is function time with eight glazes, stoneware and gas fired reduction.
Chris Leonard:  The cat, the dog (particularly the Fu Manchued Fomo), Santa Claus (with a cigarette), The Jimbird, a Large Lunker or two in and on clay/canvas/paper with a general sense of careening out of control in some sort of hodge podge collage.

Living in a border region here in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley in the All American City of McAllen in the now/the troubled times of the early twentieth century I find both great similarities and also some distracting differences when compared to my native Midwestern home base of Ankeny/and the nine time All American City of Des Moines, Iowa (We are in the lower Midwest here in the RGV says me), I am a slow singles hitter that may have developed a taste for the home run. Several fellow artists within my geographical region and circle of influence insist that art must be engaged in political commentary specific to our current time and place or it all falls apart into decorative fluff stuff that may as well have been shaped by and in Denton or Des Moines or Detroit…Let’s go!
Two artists spoke of the border region in Texas during very well presented talks last year.  Photographers Liz Cohen with  Canals, Cars, Bikinis and Rags and Colin Blakely’s Disrupted Views tied their work and ideas to the open space and natural beauty of the Big Bend region way the heck up the river about 700 miles from us down at the tip of Texas where the Rio Grande empties into the Gulf of Mexico.  I hoped to find some romance, sweet or bittersweet, here, too in the lower Rio Grande Valley.  Cohen, who does a variety of complex combinations through “work that is interdisciplinary, bringing together inquiry in women’s studies, literature, poetry, and auto mechanics as well as expertise in documentary photography”.  Cohen’s  documentation of the creation process  in making an  effectively powerful and attractively cool 1973  El Camino-ish ride from an economically inefficient economy oriented 1987 East German Trabant was several flavors of amazing.  Promising much and delivering….what?  Who has that much time and money and hard working get up and go?  Why would anyone try to combine a low rider with a bare bones beast of burden?  Why would anybody wish to see what happens when you put peanut butter on your grilled cheese or mix the excess of Peter Saul with the restrained of Warren Mackenzie?  Will it taste good or be a bitter lesson?  I already drive a 99 Tacoma which has the muscle, economy, and promised effectiveness of both the El Camino and Trabant, though it is not particularly cool.  Or is it?   I just drove it off the lot almost twelve years ago, made forty eight painful payments of $325.00 and now need to quit dreaming and make purposeful art, not reposition my skills in the creation of that segment of the four wheeled American Dream.  I can’t fit into a bikini and the car culture attraction seems to blink in and out intermittently of my psyche but what a transformative concept.   And transformation is part of my American Dream.  Dreaming is a big part of what I do, but what exactly will I do?  Blakely didn’t step into social commentary, he escaped into the majesty of nature, another type of transformational force.  Ramping up the documentation of these forces beyond our control, he tied his work and ideas to painters with Photoshop enhancement skills, Albert  Bierstadt and Thomas Cole.  Drama!  Nature does directly tie to beauty and majesty, and if we tie into the American Spirit shouldn’t we take a bite or two out of that apple AND TRY TO CONTROL or USE the forces of nature  FOR GROWTH OR PROFIT because we can?  What is the purpose of social commentary?  What can it do? Pleasure seems to have to take a back seat while serious art provides more than encouragement to…act…escape…think…all of the above…Do I need a mission statement?  What would/will the end result be?  Where can I fit in and what visuals, functionally useful or not, accomplish the most in the short or long run? 
To summarize the rambling rumbling in my brain and varied creations I am involved with right about now:  My value to the institution where I am employed to teach several variations of art (appreciation in addition to some ceramic action, where by definition APPRECIATION means to EVALUATE something FAVORABLY) has me present art based upon specific roles/platforms that the artist fills for which I have crafted the following mnemonic device:  World Record For Valentine…Artists allow us to SEE the WORLD as the artist sees it/See the world through others’ eyes.  Artists RECORD people, places and events from the artist’s time.  Artists make FUNCTIONAL items more pleasurable and meaningful and in turn make life more pleasurable and meaningful.  Artists give VISIBLE FORM to the immaterial---feelings, the spiritual/metaphysical realm, and universal truths (whatever they might be because that stuff always seems to be shape shifting and fairly fluid, possible controlled by those in POWER!)  So I’m going to Power through with Plan A, stick stuff together in pursuit of a dream like state and that is to make a set of bodacious bottles that borrow and blend each of these roles.  We should see collaged conglomerations with lots of peanut butter and cheese and hard luck and hard candy.  These bottles, though perforated, shouldn’t be empty; in fact, they can fill you up with what you NEED.  And if that lines up with what you WANT, so be it….

Working title:
Part 1.
 Eleventeen Eight Legged Jake Legged Borderline Feel Like I’m Going To Lose My Mind Your Own Businessers (Bomb Pups/ Aquel sonido espantoso me hel√≥ la sangre en las venas)
Part 2.
Until the Twelfth of Never Man (XOLOYOLO)

Parts 3 and 4 ---With a little eye candy for the wall, too, fragments that have not been stitched together, they’ve been cemented into thrift store frames…I want it all but will most likely need to choose between…

(Not in My) Backyard Blues A
Moody Blue
How Now Brown Meow (Cat on a Hot Tile Roof/And he ain’t coming down soon.)
Tell Me Am I Getting Thru

(Not in My) Backyard Blues B
Into the Great Wide Open
Upside Down/Boy You Turn Me
Unlimited FOMOing

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Adam Ekberg

I am excited to speak at the Yuma Arts Symposium and I look forward to discussing my work in terms of intentionality and the creative process.
I am interested in representing the ephemeral, transitory, and delicate balance between presence and absence. While these are all arguably serious things, my work has a playfulness to it that hopefully creates a space for viewers that is simultaneously poignant and funny.
My photographs are all unmanipulated pictures of events that I make happen in the world. They exist at least long enough to be photographed. The creation of these photographic moments often requires a friend to do an odd activity, a commonplace object to be repurposed, or a remote location where less explanations to passersby are required. Along the way I have come to appreciate this part of my practice—the misadventure, fumbling, and even failure that eventually leads to realizing the image I wish to make.

See Adam's Website at the link below:

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Tom Lamb - 2018 YAS Presenter

Tom Lamb

Many years ago at Summervail we heard of the YUMA symposium from Neely and Peter however it took a few too many years for me to actually get to Yuma and have been returning as often as possible ever since.

During my visit this year, I want to give an update on the Summervail Art Workshop Legacy Project we are working on: What - are and going

SummerVail Art Workshop Poster

As a presenter, I will be talking briefly about where I came from and how I got inspired by the YUMA Art Symposium and of course the opportunity to present my current aerial photography. I call the series the view from here Marks on the Land


Birch Road

Figure Drawing

Stitch Over Time

I am interested in the abstract balance between the natural world and man's mark on the land. Soaring above ground, leaning out of the open side of the helicopter. Looking toward earth, directing the pilot to spin around, dip the nose, fly sideways or backwards, and even cut the engines to float downward-all to capture the right image. With a helicopter and its pilot, it's like doing a dance the higher the flatter the perspective - creating the abstract work is my dream state.




LA River

As a landscape and ethnographic photographer, I use photography as my primary tool, along with pioneering trends in new media. Through the art of storytelling, I create memorable photographs championing environmental awareness.

Tom Lamb

My introduction to the art movement, Abstract Expressionism, came while I was a graduate student at the Rhode Island School of Design in the late 1970s. At that time, I was fortunate to assist Aaron Siskind well known for his abstract photographic work exploring the microcosm of humanity.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

DEB STONER - 2018 YAS Presenter

I first went to Yuma each year from 1986-89 when I was in grad school at SDSU, and when I look back at the presenters list from those years, my heart just swells.  So many names of people who had such an impact on my work, on my life.  The demos were super memorable: Phil Baldwin lighting his cigarette with a hot ingot he was forging, Dave Pimentel's Julia Child style demos of raising copper, Leslie Leupp taught us how to rivet, and Claire Sanford taught us to patina.  The photographers always left me looking at the world in differently:  I remember seeing a slide show from Jim Stone who showed pictures of landscapes with x's.  (So of course I started looking for x's and made some pictures too.  That's what students do, right!).  David Graham showed us the extraordinary in the ordinary.  I remember showing my slides for the first time to anyone ever in "Multiple Slide Abuse," sleeping in a big rented RV nicknamed the "Yumabago,"  and eating Moo Goo Gai Spam.  The first big lecture I ever gave was at the Yuma Symposium in 1993, and I can tell you that the opportunity to present was just such an honor.  It was Boris Bally and Roy's first lecture too, and I'll always remember sharing joy and nervousness with them.  It was cool.  It was also a career launcher.  Because it was 1993, there are no facebook memories of it, no Instagram feeds that I can go back to check out, and if anyone did actually take any pictures, it is likely that those slides have become someone's fabulous crafted lampshades.  Here are some pictures of the eyewear I was making at that time. 

“Ball and Socket”, 1991. Brass, steel, lenses. 

“Might Have Been a Coathanger”, 1992, steel, brass, lenses.

“Howard’s Nail”, 1991, walnut, nickel, sterling, nail.

So in my lecture this February, twenty-five years after my first one, I'll talk about my career.  As an artist, I’ve cobbled together a life of part-time teaching, making art objects for others, designing eyewear for fashion industry, and running my business of being self-employed all under the name of “small artist at large” for over two decades. Photography has always been a part of it, but had been the part of my artistic practice that gets attention when I’m not too busy doing other things to earn a living. In the past five years, that has changed, with my full time commitment to making still life photographs of flora and tiny fauna.

“Chaos”, dye sublimation print on aluminum, 30”x40”. 2016

detail of “Chaos”

“Other Things That May Be Happening During the Eclipse”, 2017. Dye sublimation on aluminum, 40”x56”

Detail from “Other Things That May Be Happening During the Eclipse”

I’ll tell you secrets like how it is that the grasshopper is as big as a watermelon. I’ll talk about all the work I did that led me through designing, making and teaching about eyewear as a jeweler, and then how it is to change directions to a different art form, photography, with complete serious intent, as an older person. My “demo” will be more of a show and tell, showing my collection of handmade eyewear, as well as some photographs. I’m also looking forward to showing off my saw, file, and soldering skills at the appropriate moment.


Check out more about Deb Stoner at the link below.  See you in February!!