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Artist of the Week: Neely and George Tomkins

Posted by John Wolfe on 3rd Apr 2018

The newest supplier at Sibley's West is Tomkins Pottery of Yuma.

Neely and George Tomkins produce functional and decorative stoneware with Southwest colors and glazes.

We have some of their mugs, in two sizes, a ewer, and a platter. The mugs are unique in that George has "pinched" the sides to produce a grip for some users.

The Tomkinses have been a part of the Yuma arts community since 1971.

George, a native of Upland, Ca., studied at University of California-Santa Barbara and then earned a master's degree in fine arts from Arizona State. He moved to Yuma to teach at Arizona Western College.

Neely, a native of Lima, Ohio, has a bachelor's degree from Wittenberg University and a master's in fine arts from ASU. She moved to Yuma in 1972 to marry George.

The two, along with Peter Jagoda, became Yuma's first Artists-in-Residence from a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Neely opened a gallery for their works and became very involved in the Yuma arts community. For the last 10 years she has coordinated the Yuma Symposium.

George produces much of the functional pottery and their glazes, while Neely leans toward unique, free-form-shaped pieces.

George has now retired from AWC after 40 years teaching ceramics and art history, although he still teaches one class at the school. 

If you are ever in Yuma, you can visit them on 2nd Street in the downtown area.