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Art symposium wraps with soldering contest
Over a dozen teams dressed in wild costumes competed during the National Saw, File and Solder Sprints held in the Historic North End on Saturday afternoon. The contest, followed by a barbecue, was the final event of the annual Yuma Art Symposium.
“People have come from all over the country for the art symposium,” said Kris Patzlaff, the coordinator of the contest. Patzlaff, who traveled from Humbolt State University in Arcata, Calif., to participate in the symposium, has won the contest three times in past years.
“We've had about 400 participants in the symposium. As you can see they are coming from near and far.”
During Saturday's competition, two teams at a time faced off during each round. The first member of each team sprinted down the lane and sat at a table. Once there, they cut a solid oval from a piece of copper. They then ran back to the starting line and gave the copper to the second member of their team.
The second member ran to the table, and filed the copper to prepare it for soldering before handing it off to the third member who then shaped the ring to fit a finger of a team member, soldered the metal, and pickled it.
The team that completed an acceptable ring in the shortest amount of time won.
“This is all about fun,” Patzlaff said. “It is not about art or making a nice ring. It is all about seeing how fast you can work and having a good time. Beer is a huge aspect of these relays.”
The current record time was set by a team of students from Arizona State University in 2001.
Trophies created by artists from around the country were awarded to the first, second, and third place winners. A “Nice Try” award was also given out. In addition, a style award was given to the team who wore the best costumes during the contest.
“They are very artistic and beautiful,” Patzlaff said about the awards.
The contest is an excellent way to close out the Yuma Art Symposium, she added.
“It is the end of the symposium. Then we are going to go over to the Gowan's and have a big barbecue and dance. This is the last night. The last hoopla.”
Patzlaff was grateful to the Gowan Company for allowing the contest to be held in their parking lot, and for letting symposium organizers host their barbecue behind the business.
For more information about the symposium, log on to http://www.yumaartsymposium.memberlodge.org/.