Help Beautify Downtown & Create Team Morale with Your Own Hands

April 6, 2015

Artists decorate one of the planters on Toole Ave.

Artists decorate one of the planters on Toole Ave.

By Cristina Manos

Downtown Tucson Partnership and Santa Theresa Tile Works will team up this year to rally community participation in the “Toole Avenue Planter Project” –an initiative to inspire creativity and team-building for the continued beautification of Downtown.

For businesses, organizations, schools and families who want to engage in community public art as part of the transformation of Downtown, this is the perfect opportunity to give and receive while engaging in creative teamwork.

The act of giving is gratifying, and many Tucsonans do it just for the love of localism and community spirit. The “Toole Avenue Planter Project” is a way for donors to contribute to the revitalization of Downtown and Toole Avenue while receiving recognition for their actions and their creativity.


A completed planter brings color to the streetscape.

Here’s how it works:

  • The cost for one tile planter is $1500, paid by the sponsoring group or organization.
  • A team of 10 to 15 members from the sponsoring group or organization will select a workshop day, on either a Monday or Saturday, from 5pm to 7pm. The team will then meet on their workshop day at Santa Theresa Tile Works (440 N. 6th Ave) to decorate tiles, which will then be placed on a planter along Toole Avenue and will sport the group’s name and/or logo.
  • The team not only learns a new skill, they also engage in the co-creation of an advertisement and a piece of community art. What better way to build team moral while establishing brands that believe in the beautification of their community!
  • Refreshments are provided at the workshops.
  • Workshops will run from March 2015 until Unveiling Day in the fall of 2015.

Susan Gamble, the owner of Santa Theresa Tile Works, teaches the workshops. Gamble demonstrates and teaches a certain decorating technique that ensures success for every team engaging in the creative process. Tiles are decorated by “firing on” glazes, which are applied by brushes, squeeze bottles or both. Once the team decorates the tiles, they are placed into a 1900 degree-fahrenheit fire, and then placed onto the designated planter by a professional tile setter.

Brighten up this planter with your team!

You can brighten up this planter with your team!

There are 13 planters along Toole Avenue in need of tiling, creating 13 opportunities for locals to contribute to the beautification of our Downtown Historic Warehouse Arts District. All 13 planters will be different, yet Gamble will use a circle theme so that there will be some esthetic uniformity to the row along Toole Avenue.

Once the project is complete, in the fall, an Unveiling Day celebration will be held, complete with photo opportunities, activities, refreshments and entertainment.

Help us celebrate the revitalization of Downtown by creating something beautiful that will be seen by locals and visitors for years to come.

To sign up contact Brandi Haga-Blackman at