Copper bowl displayed at the symposium.

Art and great company: What more could you ask for?

Want to open up your mind and heart? What to feed your artistic side? There will be no better way than to attend Yuma’s 31st annual Art Symposium, February 24-27 which has people coming in from all over the country.

Registration for this annual extravaganza is as simple as coming to Historic Downtown Yuma starting Thursday, February 25th at 3:30 in front of Lutes Casino. This is when all attendees become artists and get to make custom pins as part of the opening ceremony. They also get to hear all about the 12 artistsin metals, clay, fiber, wood, photography, painting/drawing and sculpture who have come here to share their knowledge and their personal experiences.

Tompkins, known affectionately all over the region as simply “Neely,” has been an art major, “Since first grade really. I can’t imagine doing anything else.” Neely is involved in the Symposium and the arts, in general, because     “something magical comes out when exposed to art. In bringing new art to Yuma, the symposium wants to inspire our talented local artists, art educators and students to expand their horizons by seeing what is going on in the “big art scene” out there.” 

The Symposium brings “artists in various media, from all over the US, to share their work and ideas in an informal, stimulating forum of presentations, socializing, pin swapping, pin auction, exhibitions, 5 minute slide shows, dancing, socializing, imbibing and more,” said Tomkins.  She adds, the symposium is a way to “increase your visual arts awareness by attending presentations by nationally and internationally known artists.

This incredibly elaborate event originated at AWC and gradually spread out with the college’s loyal support. Neely Tomkins, a key orchestrator of this four day long extravaganza owns a beautifully white and red painted art gallery, Tompkins Pottery which is located in Historic Downtown Yuma. It is lighted with natural rays of sunlight making the already gorgeous artwork even more breath-taking. “Yuma isn’t on the edge of the state for nothing–this is a great chance to hear all manner of artists address the conceptual, design and technique issues pertinent to all media, “from the goofy to the sublime.”

 Pre-Symposium fun kicks off on Wed. 24 at AWC and here is there schedule of presenters:

9:25-10:40 Jennifer Anderson

10:50-12:05 Sam Chung

12:15-1:30 Lunch

1:40-2:55 Zig Jackson

3:05-4:20 Patrick Stafford

For more information on Neely’s work at Tomkins Pottery visit and to get more information and register for the uniquely engaging experience, check out See you there!

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