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Yuma Art Center exhibits look for ‘silver linings’ from the past year

-Editorial

The Yuma Art Center will premiere its first new exhibits of 2021 with works featuring a range of emotional responses to the events of 2020. 

“While our exhibit and events calendar dissolved and pivoted over and over again last year, we were still seeing amazing artwork being created and realized this would be the perfect opportunity to showcase the power of art in Yuma,” said Arts and Culture Program Manager Lindsay Benacka.

The Yuma Art Center, 254 S. Main St., is currently open to the public from noon to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. There is no admission fee to visit the galleries.

Beginning Jan. 12, the Art Center will feature the following exhibits.

Silver Linings Exhibit (Central Gallery)

This unjuried, communitywide exhibition features nearly 50 artists from the Yuma community who spent 2020 – the year no one expected – creating. While every artist had a unique experience during the past year, collectively they found a silver lining: making art.

Participating artists include: Alma Aispuro, Mercedes Aldreti, Caleb Braxton, Bill Butler, Camille Castro, Carol Chen, Cody Cloud, Ty Cook, Diana Creighton, Yaoyao Crilly, Nathan Downing, Michaela Fabiani, Lorraine Fielding, Rosa Gonzalez, Jeremiah Grande, Holly Hendrick, Ricardo Hernandez, Vincent Higgins, Scott Jones, Tyler Ledwell Lia Littlewood, Ally Martinez, Ruben Martinez, Mona Mcilvenna, Rocio G. Montiel, Hilary Mulherin, Mariana Nunez, Ana Padilla, Judy Phillips, Taylor Rice, Sabrina Romero, Sally Rose, Elisa Saporito, Arlene Towne, Mark Wall, Linda Willets and Larry Yanez.

“Paired with the artwork on display in the Silver Linings are artists’ statements describing how they were impacted both personally and artistically throughout the events of 2020,” Benacka said. “These exhibits showcase how art fosters healing, helps us process and express emotions, and cope with stress.”

Covid Madness: Ceramics by George Tomkins (North and South galleries)

The 2020 recipient of the City of Yuma’s Tribute of the Muses Award, Tomkins has been a staple in the Yuma arts community since 1971, when he arrived as an artist in residence through the National Endowment for the Arts and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. He taught ceramics, drawing, painting, design, and art history at Arizona Western College. 

After retiring, he has continued to work in his studio at Tomkins Pottery and is involved with Yuma Art Symposium. His work is included in numerous private and public collections including Arizona State University, the Tucson Art Museum, the Phoenix Airport Collection, the City of Yuma, and the Arabia Ceramics Collection in Finland.

In addition to his pottery on display, Tomkins will give a Virtual Art Talk at 3 p.m. on Jan. 20, which will be streamed on the Yuma Art Center’s Facebook page and Instagram (@yumaartcenter) feed.

Unknown: Installation by Alonso Delgadillo (West Gallery)

When plans went out the window and artist Alonso Delgadillo was in town creating two new murals downtown, the opportunity presented itself for him to paint a site-specific mural on the gallery walls in the West Gallery. Painted on the eve of the tumultuous 2020 election night, “Unknown” features portraits of uncertain and ambiguous faces that represent the emotional rollercoaster of major events in 2020.

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