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

Monday, January 28, 2019

Sydney Scherr

Mohan’s Chariot: A Journey into Divine Creativity

I want to thank the Presentation Committee for selecting “Mohan’s Chariot: A Journey into Divine Creativity” for this years Yuma Symposium. It is an honor to introduce your audience to the extraordinary history, and experience, of the chariot maker. 

In the Hindu religion chariots are used as traveling temples, called temple cars, that are used to bring temple festivals and prayer to the community when the community members are unable to find their way to the temple. Chariots are made with a sense of reverence and devotion that is breathtaking to see and feel: it is considered a blessing to work on a chariot and I now know this is true.

I was invited to join a team of silversmiths from Tamil Nadu, India, to participate in the creation of a chariot for Sri Ganesar Alayam, a Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I am the only women in the world to have been given this honor as this is a specifically male creation made by those who have learned this ancient art at the feet of their fathers and grandfathers.

In addition to being a chariot maker, I documented the process of creating this splendid moving temple that is 22 feet tall, weighs over 1 ton of silver and is comprised of many thousands of chased and repoussed silver panels, 7000 hand made silver nails and 102 large enamels. It is the only chariot in the world adorned with enamels, and these were my contribution to this remarkable rolling temple. To witness and participate in this creation, and the lively environment where it was made, is to enjoy the embrace of a community of metalsmiths so rich in similarities yet distinctly culturally unique. This journey is not only in recognition of the historical and spiritual depth found in Mohan’s studios, this journey describes a familiar thread that engages all creative individuals. It is the intuitive connection to work and working that compels us as artists

Sydney Scherr will present at Yuma Art Symposium 2019

See more about Sydney's work HERE

See more about Yuma Art Symposium HERE

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Karen Jilly

It is truly an honor to have been selected as a Yuma Arts Symposium presenter. For approximately 30 years, I have been making paintings, drawings, and prints of the contemporary urban landscape.

Being a native of Los Angeles, cityscapes hold a special kind of beauty for me which require embracing all aspects of them: from the gritty to the refined. Within my pieces, I try to portray feelings such as hope, struggle, grace, fragility, and strength, so that my work becomes a metaphor for life and all that it encompasses.
I use the complexity of architectural elements, often in the form of freeway columns, telephone poles, and construction scaffolding, to provide structure and stability.  Barbed wire, hazard signs, and traffic cones depict ideas of strife and despair, while exaggerated perspectives create psychological tension.  In contrast to the darker elements, the use of backlighting represents hope and dreams. While all of my works are devoid of human figures, many contain house or roof shapes that symbolize a life within the landscape.

Home, Mixed Media with Varnish on Paper, 48 x 72 inches, 2015

City of Angels V, Charcoal on Paper, 38 x 52 inches, 1991

Pacific Coast Highway V, Oil on Paper, 30 x 42 inches, 1991

Watch, Trip, Crash, Soar, Oil on Wood Panel, 72 x 96 inches, 2005

In addition to an overview of selected images from my career, my presentation will feature a time-lapse sequence covering the six-month evolution of my painting entitled Nest, from its inception to its completion. 

The series of images will encompass the good, the bad, the ugly, the cussing, the distress, the obliteration, and the final rectification.  This sneak peek into my mindset while working, will also cover some of my influences, as well as a couple of cool tricks that I use to draw perspective.

Nest, Acrylic on Wood Panel, 48 x 48 inches, 2018

In 2001, Master Printer (and past Yuma Arts Presenter!), John Armstrong, introduced me to the Dremel Tool as an etching drill for use on monoprint plates.  I began transferring this activity to other surfaces.

I will conclude my presentation with a Dremel Tool demonstration, not only as a technique for etching printmaking plates, but also as a drawing device, both additive and subtractive.  The below images all contain different examples of Dremel tool use.

Footnote, Power Tool engraved Monoprint, image 21 x 13 ½ inches on 30 x 22 paper, 2002

On The Drive II, 15 x 10 inches, 2001

Misfit, Mixed Media on Paper, 33 x 60 inches, 2003

See more information on Karen Jilly  HERE

See more information on Yuma Art Symposium  HERE