Established and emerging visual artists from around the nation will share their creative talents and techniques with art lovers over three days beginning Thursday.

The occasion is the 41st annual Yuma Art Symposium, which this year brings to town nine artists working in seven different disciplines – metal, clay, photography, printmaking, wood, painting and fiber.

Described by its organizers as a “total immersion art event,” the symposium will fill each of three days with exhibitions, lectures and other events – some of which are free and open to the public, and some open by registration.

This year’s slate of artists include Marie Bergstedt, a San Francisco artist working in the medium of textiles; Frol Boundin, a printmaker from Oceanside, Calif.; Frank Gonzales, a painter from Mesa, Ariz.; Scott Grove, a woodworker from Canandaigua, N.Y., and Abbey Hepner, a photographer from Troy, Ill.

Also participating this year are Daniel Kariko, a photographer from Greenville, N.C.; Hosanna Rubio, also from Greenville, working in the medium of metals; Kazuma Sambe, a ceramics artist from Tucson, and Judy Stone, an enamelist from El Cerrito, Calif.

The symposium got its start in the 1970s when George Tomkins and Pete Jagoda, both art professors at Arizona Western College, recruited former classmates in graduate school to come to the AWC campus to teach workshops as visiting artists. Over the decades, the symposium has grown to include events for the public in general.

It has evolved and gone since as an event that hosts as presenters artists from around the nation.

“It’s our gift to the community,” said Neely Tomkins, executive director of the symposium. “We hope people come out and take advantage of it.”

This year’s symposium will feature “J. Fred Woell: An American Vision,” a documentary fill by Richard Kane about the life and artwork of Woell, an early symposium presenter and one of its biggest supporters.

Those who register for the symposium will be able to attend educational presentations by the artists describing their techniques. Admission to the film will also be by registration.

Registration is $95 for students and $190 for all others. People can register online at, or they can register in person on Thursday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Lutes’ Casino, 221 S. Main St., or Friday from 9 a.m. to noon at Tomkins Pottery, 78 W. 2nd St.

For more information, call Neely Tomkins at 928-782-1934 or email her at

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