This blog highlights the talents of this years symposium presenters. For more information about attending this years symposium, please see

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!!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Susana Arias

My new series of sculptures “Sailmaker” are large anagama and soda fired ceramics. They are representations of people going through passages in life. Abstracted, cocooned people traveling in vessels, the sculptures are about our secrets, the things we have within us, unseen, unheard.

I concern myself with the contrast between primitive cultures and contemporary aesthetics; and I explore man’s attempt to control nature in an entropic world.

My work is done in series.  Each series is inspired by a glimpse of nature, a word in a book or maybe a nagging thought such as how can I simplify this form to it’s essence.  The most amazing part of the creation of a series is the conversation between art and artist. I may begin with a specific thought and then the work starts talking to me, whispering it’s needs and guiding me through a process of growth and development that may even change the original concept and make it more profound and imperative.

See Susana's Website HERE

Susana Arias, a native of Panama, is an internationally recognized artist.  Her work is in the permanent collection of museums in the United States and Latin America.  Arias has lectured and taught workshops in Universities and Museums in the United States and Latin America and has participated in Symposiums in many Latin American countries. 
She was 2013 Santa Cruz County Artist of the Year; she received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1988 for her sculpture series “Earthworks”; and some of her other awards include: 2012 Project of the Year at Beach Area Roundabout in Depot Park, Santa Cruz, Ca., Santa Cruz Archaeological Society Presidential award for “Artistic Achievement and Advancement of Archaeological Awareness” for her Public art sculpture “Finding our Past”.
Susana has a strong interest in Public Art and working with the community.  Some of her projects include “Finding our Past” a bas-relief sculpture on Porter St./Bay Ave. Underpass, which won the “Environs Enhancement Award” given each year by Cal Trans to one California project.  She worked with Gateway Students on a traffic circle on King Street “Light time”, a working sundial; with 150 third graders, on the tiles for the Santa Cruz Police department; and many other public and private commissions.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Marissa Saneholtz's CollaboNation

A year ago, when I was writing my proposal to present at the Yuma Symposium, I had too many ideas, because I am far too passionate about metalsmithing and making in general. 

I ended up narrowing it down to two possibilities: a very metalsmithy demonstration on pin back mechanisms or a presentation on the collaborative projects that I have been working on.

When I was informed that I was chosen to be a presenter, and would have an opportunity to share my collaborative research projects with the Yuma Symposium crowd, I was over the moon!

What better venue to talk about the magic of collaboration than The Yuma Arts Symposium!!  The event that we will all be attending and enjoying this February is a superb example of how collaboration can inspire people and be something that is enjoyed for years.  The Yuma Symposium, and the friends that started it, have motivated younger generations, and we have hit the ground running in search of building our own collaborative relationships.
 Me, hard at work on my presentation.

I am happily working on my presentation, where I will share stories and artworks made during two recent collaborative partnerships: one with Leslie LePere, an illustrator who lives in Washington state, and one with Taekyeom Lee, a graphic designer and tech wizard who lives in North Carolina.

    Collaborative piece from Leslie LePere and I in the kiln.
     Collaborator Taekyeom Lee working with a altered 3D printer.

 Some 3D printed PMC before firing.

I will also speak about the artist residency Smitten Forum, which my good friend Sara Brown and I have collaborated on for the past 4 years.  

Recently I have been hitting the studio making some fresh collaborative work, and Sara and I have been finalizing Smitten Forum 2017, so I will have a lot of new things to talk about when February rolls around!

The benefits of working together can be highly energizing and inspiring on so many levels, bringing us closer and making distance dissapear!  It really is a "CollaboNation."

See More of Marissa's work HERE