Each month we spotlight a local non-profit with our Giving ProjectDoing Well, by Doing Good.

For the month of October we’re spotlighting a new non-profit in Southern Arizona that focuses on creating beauty and building community.

Angie Torres enjoys the hands-on art classes at Santa Theresa Tile Works.

She’s a 5th grade student at Imago Dei Middle School, a tuition-free private school in Downtown Tucson.

Torres and her classmates take art classes at the school’s sister non-profit Santa Theresa Tile Works.

Santa Theresa was started in 1986 by Tucson artist Susan Gamble.

Susan has now retired from the Tile Works and Imago Dei has stepped in.

“We hatched a wild plan for the school to take over Santa Theresa,” said Cameron Taylor, head of Imago Dei. “We did that. We reincorporated it as a non-profit, under our umbrella of programming. Imago Dei Middle School, you can see, our kids are here taking classes.”

With reductions in school budgets for art, Santa Theresa also offers these ceramics classes to other schools in the area who can’t afford it.

“Especially ceramics and this type of art is something that most schools no longer have access to and most kids no longer have access to,” Taylor said. “So in addition to providing the education around that, Santa Theresa’s also out in the community doing neighborhood art and big mural pieces all over town.”

You’ll likely recognize mosaics around Tucson done by artists or students from the Santa Theresa Tile Works.

That includes the USS Arizona mosaic sculpture by the U of A student union, currently being repaired at Santa Theresa’s.

“I think it’s really fun to come to an active art studio,” said Holly Hancock von Guilleaume, director of Santa Theresa Tile Works. “I mean, we’re also going on tours with them and showing them the projects. They’re working with real artists that are actively creating either pieces for our showroom or doing some huge installation pieces for other non-profits in town. I think that is a real opportunity.”

You can donate a number of ways to Arts for Kids and the Santa Theresa Tile Works: text givingproject to 50155, visit the Giving Project section of our website, or simply use the form below.

All the money raised goes directly to Santa Theresa Tile Works. Our partners in The Giving Project, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, will again match the first $500 in donations.