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

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Scott Grove

THE GROVEVOLUTION                       
I’ve been an artist all my life; that’s all I’ve ever known. As a boy I played with crayons, markers, pencils, pastels, wire, string, feathers, bones; I built forts with rocks and wood; I drew, I sculpted, I created; I turned everything I could get my hands on into something else. I saw the world very differently than my childhood compatriots.

In high school I spent time on the shores of the Hudson River creating art from found objects – driftwood, shells, bits of glass. At 16, I sold my first sculpture to a local gallery. At 16, I won a county-wide drafting award and worked as a draftsman for a lamp manufacturer. At 16, I became a professional artist.

As I honed my aesthetic eye, my focus turned to photography, which drew me to Rochester Institute of Technology. While photography had captured my eye, it was at RIT where I discovered that sculpture had captured my heart – and that the market for sculpture wasn’t as lucrative as the decks that my partner and I were designing and building during college summers.

An interesting tidbit about RIT: it has one of the largest juggling communities in America, and while there, I learned high-level juggling, like juggling fire, as well as clowning. On weekends, I would juggle and clown; it was fun and I made good money. I was actually accomplished enough to be accepted by Ringling Bros., but after discovering that I would do the same act nine shows a week, ten months a year, I declined. Not having creative freedom was a deal breaker, but it confirmed that I needed fun to be part of anything I do, whether it’s furniture design or teaching a class.

After graduation, my partner and I launched a business in millwork, cabinetry, and renovation for Rochester-area homes and businesses. We also offered architectural reproductions that helped keep historical integrity for Western New York’s buildings with new finials, cornices, capitals, and facades. In the mid-1990s I became the sole owner of that business.

During this time, I pursued my art, and realized that if I put glass on top of one of my sculptures, I could turn it into a table – which was functional and therefore more saleable at the time – thus I started making art furniture.

My art furniture business had a national scope - I sold my work in galleries and art shows across the country. Each piece features highly figured, lustrous veneers displaying amazing depth and “chatoyance”, or the way the light plays on its surface, as well as carved textures and polychromatic finishes. This work is tantalizing because it’s as if they want to be touched. In fact, I often put a sign on them – Please Touch – because they’re so tactile and I want everyone to enjoy that feeling.

Poly idol
42” x 12” x 34”
Trompe L’oeil-carved Sycamore, Walnut Burl, Amber,
Ebonized Oak, Palm, Semi-precious Gemstones,
Sterling Silver, Copper

In Rochester I worked with interior designers and architects designing and building corporate reception desks, conference room tables, executive furnishings and the like, as well as interiors and play spaces.

My sons were born in 1990 and 1991; artistically I connected with their curiosity and inquisitiveness about the world and found great inspiration from them. I’m an incredibly proud father: one is now a VP of Marketing for a social marketing company in Los Angeles, and after a stint at Tesla, my youngest now works for Apple in their new product development building (their secrets are safe—he tells me nothing about his job.)

After RIT, I met Wendell Castle and his highly-figured veneer furniture. Two things happened at that moment. One, I felt validated because after finding sculpture, by itself, hard to sell, I began dabbling in sculptural furniture. One day, I decided to put a pane of glass on a piece...and suddenly I had a coffee table. I felt like I invented sliced bread, but of course Wendell had been doing this for 20 years already. Seeing his work validated what I was doing. Two, I saw his highly figured veneer—rare, Curly Redwood—and it took my breath away. It was a “wow” moment. I knew I wanted to learn everything possible about veneer, which ultimately became the focus of my work. I like to create pieces that make you go “wow” and want to touch them. My relationship with Wendell eventually came full circle: he first inspired me and, years later, I became his studio director and ran his shop for a time.

Since I’m self-taught in veneer, and a little defiant, I questioned while I learned and tried things. When they would say you have to book match, I’d ask, ‘why?’ So, I developed my own techniques of asymmetrical matching and the spiral match. My wavy contour seam technique came about after learning the double-bevel cut on a scroll saw in a class with Silas Kopf.

Size 48” x 96” x 30”
Materials Avidore’, purple heart, quilted maple, various gems, silver, copper.
McKenzie Childs ceramic legs

And, I developed my extreme compound veneering technique––which won a Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge Award in 2012––when I took a mold of a nude woman and veneered her torso.

Size  13” x 30” x 6”
Walnut burl veneer, FRP

72” x 22” x 30”
Olive Ash veneer, Wenge

In 2006 I reconnected with a high school crush, my heart’s desire, Nancy Napurski. We were on the gymnastics team together in high school; one of my earliest works at this show was given to her for her 13th birthday, and she first modeled for me when she was 16 years old.

She is my muse, my inspiration, my partner. We married on 11-11-11 and have become a dynamic team; we are filled with infectious enthusiasm for art, travel, romance, dance, new experiences. She complements me, encourages me, supports me, and allows me to grow in my own ways.

And now I’m a master craftsman, artist, sculptor, teacher, author, tool designer, and social media personality. I lecture, demonstrate, and judge at national conferences as well as regional and local woodworking groups, and I’m an expert in veneer and inlay, I have an unconventional approach to all I do, and I constantly push boundaries to develop new and unique methods of creating functional art.

With life changes and a maturing, unending creative flow, I find myself drawn to new challenges in woodworking and woodturning, and investigating new ways of using materials like resin and inlay. I’m also exploring the exciting world of YouTube and TikTok and embracing social media as an artistic outlet as well as a teaching medium.

The GrovEvolution reveals my art throughout my life so far, from high school through today. I hope you’ll enjoy the view.

See Scott speak about his work at Yuma Art Symposium 2020!!

For more about Scott click HERE

To see Scot at Yuma Art Symposium 2020 click HERE

For more about Yuma Symposium click HERE

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Hosanna Rubio

Making Meaning from Mayhem OR How to Over-Share at Parties

You know the people who you can tell have just had a “life”? Like, life with a capital L: Life. We smile till our cheeks hurt, but our eyes say we have seen some things. I am one of those people, whose casual anecdotes typically get one of two responses: “Wow, you should totally write a book”, or stunned silence followed by a slow escape. But if pop culture and a generalized knowledge of art history have taught me anything, it’s that I’ll never lack for experiences to draw from to make art.

If you have ever met me, chances are you know that I was raised in a Fundamentalist Pentecostal church. Our church leader had been prophesying the end of the world since the mid-seventies, and with every passing year the congregation became more emphatic that we were living in the end times. For as long as I can remember, I was taught not to fear death, but to welcome it. People would often tell me, always with a glow of religious fervor, “This isn’t our true life. Our true life comes after we die.” This constant discussion of death filled me with existential dread from such a young age that it drove me to seek out why something that was so reassuring to those around me could be so terrifying for me.

Morbid from a young age, I threw myself a funeral at age five. “Here lies Hosanna”

I developed a fascination with subjects that touched on the macabre, such as Vanitas paintings, which used imagery like bones and wilting flowers as reminders of man’s mortality. The word Vanitas was derived in part from Ecclesiastes 1:2, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” While the original Hebrew word “hevel” means a “breath,” or “vapor,” and symbolized fleetingness, later translations substituted the word vanity, which has Latin origins meaning empty, vain, and idle.

Hevel. Steel, sterling silver, copper, brass, enamel. 6” x 3.5” x 1”

In the Shadow of your Poison Tree. Steel, silver, copper, brass, bronze, laser etched enamel, tulle, acrylic, cigarettes, rubber. 18” x 6” x 2”

In Medieval Christianity, disease and death were seen as divine punishment, and it was common for individuals to examine their moral conduct to determine how they had brought illness upon themselves. In some form or another, this belief lives on today. I was never a healthy child. The other members of our church saw my constant injuries and afflictions as an indication of a moral failing on my part. This pressure to fear my pain and illness, to feel ashamed of it, drove me to try to find a way to redefine the situation for myself, to reclaim the beauty in the transience of life.

Keen Brooch Series: Shadow, Uphill, Void. X-ray, acrylic, paper, copper, brass, silver, steel, enamel, hair, wood. 7” x 3.5” x 1”

Prick. X-ray, acrylic, silver, copper, brass, bronze, rubber. 20” x 3.5” x 1”

Mourners. X-ray, acrylic, silver, steel, brass, rubber. 20” x 3.5” x 1”

This lecture and demonstration explores a body of work consisting of jewelry and sculptures that delve into personally significant issues such as mortality, religion, and gender, while also striving to push the boundaries on what constitutes expected jewelry materials and processes. I will share the techniques I have developed over the course of my studio practice, such as galvanic etching, which allows me to make my mark on the world just as it has left its mark on me.

We Came Together and We Came Apart. Cast silver and bronze, acrylic, X-ray. 2” x 1.5” x 1.5”

Creating layered, detailed pieces allows me to find balance in the chaotic, to attempt to exert control over the uncontrollable aspects of my life and in the world at large. While my experiences are not universal I hope to inspire an atmosphere of dialogue with my work to show that sometimes moments of pain and tragedy can offer us the greatest opportunities for beauty and transformation (And hey, it’s cheaper than therapy!)

Opening, Witness, Barrier. Enamel, china paints, copper, brass, steel, silver. 5.5” x 3.5” x 0.5”

I am so excited and honored to be presenting at the upcoming Yuma Art Symposium (can you tell??)

Come see Hosanna at Yuma Art Symposium!!

Register for Yuma Art Symposium 2020 HERE 

See Hosanna's  Webpage HERE

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Judy Stone

Enamel Layering: 3 D Color on 3 D Form

It is my great honor to be chosen to be a presenter at the 2020 Yuma Symposium.
I have been working in my medium since 1972.  Along the way I have developed a unique composite of enameling techniques based on the contemporary work of the late Fred Ball and the teaching of the late Bill Helwig.

Sgraffito through liquid white from Fred Ball’s Experimental Techniques in Enameling 

I work mainly on formed copper.  Most of the vessel shapes are cut and then rejoined with woven copper wire, copper rivets, and copper tubing. 

sewing a copper bowl

I call these "destructed" vessels Burnt Offerings because they not only represent my homage to the medium and the power of heat and fire, but also they challenge me to heal what has been destroyed and hopefully make it more beautiful. As I began making my vessels several years ago I was not conscious of the Japanese ceramic tradition of Kintsugi which is about healing broken vessels. In time I began to see my vessels as representing my attempt to make a broken world whole again, much like the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam.

 Kintsugi vessels

The vessel form, which is dimensional, has taught me to look at my enameling as narration much as historically vessels have contained some form of narration.

 Keith Haring ceramic vessel

The fact that my enamel narration is frequently on both sides of my vessels has created the challenge of finding balance and harmony between the enamel and the form. It is always exciting when I succeed.  

I work in thin layers of enamel in which I try to evoke the looseness of painting on canvas. I see the layers as creating 3-D color which reflects and refracts light through and off of the various layers and the copper.  Light, optics and dimensionality are everything to me.

 Ball Study 3

Hermioni 3

See more of Judy's work HERE

Find out how to see Judy at Yuma Art Symposium HERE