Art in Yuma often doesn’t get the exposure it deserves, but The North End Art Walk is a distinct exception. The event, which took place downtown on the evening of Nov. 15, showcased the talent of local artists in various genres – pottery, spray paint art, encaustic painting, to name only a few.
Arizona Western College was represented well, as art major Eian Sosinski and his father, Shaun, set up a table where kids were lining up to take their turn at spray painting canvases and small objects such as blocks. The elder Sosinski also had a viewing section for his detailed landscape paintings.
“My father and I have been in this art show for about five years now,” Eian said. “My dad has paintings, hydro dip art and carbon fiber texture art.”
One artist, Andrew Layne, a block print painter and winter visitor from Alaska, displayed his artwork along the crowded Main Street sidewalk, showing particularly interesting paintings with ocean and desert themes.
“I’m actually here with the North End Art Walk Co-op,” Layne said. “We try to display art to the community as much as possible.”
Layne explained that the block print technique involves creating a stamp that is pressed onto paper, cloth or another material using ink, adding that he has been drawn to art for as long as he can remember.
“I’ve loved art from day one,” he said. “I can always remember loving to paint and draw especially as a kid.”
Judy Phillips was another unique artist, displaying fused glass art that requires stacking two or more layers of compatible glass together to make a design. The stacked glass is placed in a 1400-degree environment where it melts together. Phillips’ most intriguing pieces are holiday-themed including fused glass that look like snowflakes.
“I wanted to bring out some holiday pieces as we’re nearing Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said Phillips.
Some of the most striking art came from Mark Wall, a winter visitor from the San Juan islands. Some of his art uses the technique of encaustic painting, and some of it uses a technique that involves heated beeswax to which colored pigments have been added. The liquid/paste is then applied to a surface, usually prepared wood, although canvas and other materials are often used.
“Encaustic painting is actually one of the oldest forms of painting in the world,” Wall said. “Most people don’t know that”.
Pecan Grove Garden Club and Desert Farm LLC also had tables, which were set up with artwork and collectibles. Other genres of art were represented such as photography and carving.
Besides giving exposure to local artists, community showcases such as the North End Art Walk give kids a positive extracurricular activity that can last a lifetime. In a world increasingly reliant on mass electronic media, such local displays are a powerful attempt to keep art alive.