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You Dream, I Design


Shea Stanfield
Arts Columnist

“You ponder, I innovate; you dream, I design; together we amaze,” a spellbinding reflection from Tile Art Works founder and local artist Scott Donars. Scott’s creative scope is boundless; each one of his tiles, sculptures, pieces of furniture, and decorative features are one of a kind. Scott’s creative possibilities are endless: hand-carved clay tiles, masterfully sculpted metal pieces, beautifully worked wood, and stone, as well as brilliantly fabricated glass. His patrons have adorned their walls with stunning mosaics, enhanced their kitchen or bath countertops, created eye-popping fireplaces, and create endless conversational focal points as indoor and outdoor furniture. Your imagination and Scott’s design create a provocative and exciting array of decorative and functional art masterpieces. 

Scott developed a keen eye for the detail and the wonders of nature at an early age.  Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, he was fascinated with the smallest and most delicate items in nature: the intricate patterns in the wings of a dragonfly, the prism-like structure of an insects eyes, or the fascinating array of color found in the shimmering wings of a resting butterfly. All provided inspiration for a developing design mind of an emerging artist.

As a young man, Scott developed his “design for action” by obtaining an AA in Graphic Arts and Web Design from the College of Dupage, then moving on to complete his BA in Marketing from Utah State University. In 1983, Scott took a job selling advertising space for a Chicago newspaper; it was not the selling he was after, but the designing of ad campaigns that really caught his interest. In those days, individuals working in advertising design actually need to know how to draw, hand letter, and paste up layout boards for the camera-ready art, all of which would eventually make its début in one of the nation’s popular or trade publications.  By the 1990s, computers were silently creeping into the everyday world of advertising.  Scott recognized early on the possibilities these hard wired, plastic, and glass inventions would provide for the world of art. He opened the door for the computer, a possible partner in his future, by night classes at a local college. Soon, the new millennium found Scott designing Web sites for his former newspaper clients.

Typical of many “Chicagoites” who find their way to the promise land of the great American Southwest, Scott’s family traveled to Tucson many times over the years he was growing up. During one of these trips, the family discovered Santa Teresa Tileworks, where they would purchase concrete benches and cover them with their own tile designs. Finally, in 2010 Scott moved to Arizona. Here, he would obtain an “up-close and personal” pursuit of his artistic interest at the Mesa Arts Center. He began with clay and has since gone on to attend classes in welding, lapidary, and glass fusing, all of which are used in his art today.

Scott works in his home studio in Scottsdale and manages The Gallery at el Pedregal in North Scottsdale, where he currently exhibits. An example of Scott’s outdoor mosaic work “Luther’s Rose” can be seen in the outdoor courtyard of Living Water Lutheran Church, 9201 E. Happy Valley Road, in Scottsdale. Scott also offers workshops at his studio; one of the most fun and innovative “hands on” experiences is Scott’s Mosaic Tile Party. He brings to your home a mobile display stand and thousands of small handmade tiles. The participants then create their own trivet or wall hinging.  Scott advises, “Stay tuned on my Web site, to follow my latest creations, schedule a Mosaic Tile Party, purchase a piece, or consign your own design.”

Contact Arts Columnist Shea Stanfield at