602-369-6180 nina@ninasolomon.com


Artist Statement

Since 1996, Nina has been working professionally on public art projects including mosaic murals, chairs and benches, sculpted forms, wall design for poured-in-place construction, and standpipes. She often uses a Styrofoam, fiberglass mesh and polymer reinforced concrete system to build or modify large sculptural forms. She incorporates other materials as needed, including laser printer generated photo tiles, steel grates, steel and masonry infrastructures, poured concrete, as well as rock and pebble mosaics. She enjoys the larger possibilities for creativity that the variety of materials afford.

Some of these projects have been entirely artist made, while others have included communities in the tile making process. Participatory projects are an interesting and rewarding endeavor both for the artist and the residents. The artist contributes the vision and knowledge that allow the community to reshape their visual environment. People from the community create individual ceramic tiles that become part of a large mural. They bond with each other and feel a great sense of accomplishment. As years pass, they return to the project with friends and family and tell stories of its creation. It becomes a marker in time for them because they worked together with others in their community to create something larger than their own efforts. This is an ancient role for art that is often lost in our modern world. Art in this context helps strengthen communities.



Nina Solomon is a sculptor, currently working on public art. Many of her projects include participation by the neighbors in design, tile making /glazing and installation. Nina enjoys empowering communities to enhance their visual environment, thereby creating a point of pride for their neighborhood.

Nina was born in Michigan City, Indiana. She was interested in art even as a small child. During her early teenage years, she lived in Gary, Indiana and spent summers studying at the nearby Chicago Art Institute where she developed a love for figurative drawing and sculpture. After moving with her family to Cleveland, Ohio, Nina took life drawing classes at the Cleveland Art Institute during high school. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Art Education degree from Kent State University in Ohio. After moving to Arizona, she took classes at The Scottsdale Artist School, working with master figurative sculptor Bruno Luchessi and anatomist Jon Zahouric. At Arizona State University, she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture. For her thesis show, Nina reexamined the Adam and Eve story from a feminist viewpoint in five large-scale clay sculptures, which included a 7-foot-tall clay column. This was her first taste of working on a large scale.

Nina has taught art at many levels from elementary to college. While working as an art teacher at Sunnyslope Elementary in Phoenix, she worked on a thirty-seven-foot-long participatory mural with the school’s artist-in-residence. Working large scale with a community on a project that had a designated site was such an interesting process, that she soon found herself teaching less and working more and more on public art.






(download PDF)

Commissions, Public Works, Exhibits

Interrupted, a tile mosaic on display at Shemer Art Center group exhibit: Only Black & White, November 3, 2021 – January 6, 2022 

We Are Broadmor, Irrigation Standpipe Art Enhancement, a participatory project, S. Ventura, just south of Broadmor, Tempe, AZ 

Our Furry and Feathered Friends, Irrigation Standpipe Art Enhancement, a participatory project, corner 13th St & Maple Ave, Tempe, AZ

Welcome to Maple Ash, Neighborhood Entry Marker, Irrigation Standpipe Art Enhancement, a participatory project, corner 10th St & Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ

City Flow, Metro Light Rail TPSS artwork installed. Nina Solomon & Heidi Dauphin

Extracting Shadows, Pinnacle Peak Reservoir Wall Designs, Phoenix. Nina Solomon & Heidi Dauphin

History in Green and Blue, Palmateer Park Sign, Goodyear, AZ. Nina Solomon & Heidi Dauphin

Maple Ash Through the Ages, a mapping history of the Maple Ash Neighborhood, Irrigation Standpipe Art Enhancement, a participatory project, corner 10th St & Maple Ave, Tempe, AZ

Eagle Pebble Mosaic, Sunnyslope Elementary School, Phoenix, AZ
Metro Light Rail TPSS Art for 19th Ave. Extension. Nina Solomon & Heidi Dauphin-Design Only

Maple Ash Celebrates Trees, Irrigation Standpipe Art Enhancement, Maple Ash Neighborhood Association, participatory project corner 10th St & Ash, Tempe, AZ
Floating Weft Mosaic, with Heidi Dauphin, based on a weaving design by DY Begay, Heard Museum, Phoenix

One Fish, Two Fish, with Heidi Dauphin, Tempe Art in Private Development
Scroll of Memories, with Heidi Dauphin, Beth El Congregation, Phoenix, AZ

Sky Castle Bench, Pyramid Bench, Sunnyslope Elementary School, Phoenix, AZ

Our History of Flood Irrigation, Irrigation Standpipe Art Enhancement, Seating and Hardscape, MANA participatory project, corner 13th St & Ash Ave, Tempe, AZ

The Windows of Maple Ash, Irrigation Standpipe Art Enhancement, MANA participatory project, corner 9th St & Maple Ave, Tempe, AZ
Pebble Mosaic/Concrete Hawk, 9’ x 6’, Osborn Middle School, Phoenix, AZ

Pebble Mosaic Frogs and Turtles, Tempe Beach Splash Park, Tempe, AZ

Cloud City, Artist Designed Bus Shelter, Corona del Sol High School, Tempe, AZ. Nina Solomon and Sue Chenoweth with Corona Del Sol ceramic students’ participation
From the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners, six cement chairs covered with glazed ceramic tile in an outdoor garden setting. Phoenix Arts Commission Public Art Program. Nina Solomon and Sue Chenoweth

TMA Education Building Courtyard Renovation Project, a part of Working Smart with Art. Tucson Museum of Art, Howenstine High School student participation, Tucson, AZ, Nina Solomon, Alex Camacho, Stacey Stickler

Arcadia Passages, 28’ X 4’ participatory ceramic tile mural, Arcadia Neighborhood Learning Center, Scottsdale, AZ. Nina Solomon and Sue Chenoweth

The Never-Ending Journey, 9.5′ X 19′ participatory ceramic tile mural, Shadow Rock Congregational Church, Phoenix, AZ. Nina Solomon and Sue Chenoweth

Take Someone’s Hand, 9′ x 27′, participatory ceramic tile mural, Age Link, a child development center, Phoenix, AZ. Nina Solomon and Sue Chenoweth

Habitat for Learning, ceramic tile fountain, reading rocks and desert education environment, Laurie Lundquist, Sue Chenoweth, Nina Solomon, Sunnyslope Elementary School

1994 – 95
Primavera, 37′ x 6.5′ ceramic tile mural: Nina Solomon, Sue Chenoweth, Jefferson East and the children and community of Sunnyslope Elementary School, Phoenix, AZ

The Waiting Room, 4′ x 6′ fiberglass relief wall sculpture, Maricopa Medical Center


Valley Forward Environmental Excellence Award for Maple Ash Standpipes

Arizona Republic, Tempe Section, Oct. 17, Flooded with Artwork, page 1, 3
Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, June 20, 2008, Making a Grand Entrance: Navajo–Inspired Mosaic Beautifies Museum, Honors Volunteer, page 33

Tempe Beautification Award for Maple Ash Standpipes
Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, Phoenix, March 9, 2007, Scroll of Memories: Beth El Creates Piece of Community Artwork, pages 1 and 21

Mosaic Style and Art, JoAnn Loctov, Quarry Books, page 130
City of Tempe Flood Irrigation Newsletter, Summer 2004, Tempe Irrigation Standpipe Art Project Finished!
East Valley Tribune, April 17, 2004, article and photo about the neighborhood participation in the “Windows of Maple Ash” Irrigation Standpipe Project
Ceramics Monthly, January 2004, “ASU Ceramics Research Center, 2003 Studio Tour” by Sandra Luehrsen, photo page 66

Creative Garden Mosaics, Jill MacKay, Lark Books, photos pages 9 and 11

IMLS.gov web site, A Closer Look: Highlights of the Month, July–Aug 2002, Tucson Working Smart with Art, Tucson Museum of Art Ed. Building Courtyard Renovation

Creating with Concrete, Sherri Warner Hunter, Lark Books, photos pages 11, 72

Selected Exhibitions

9th Annual Ceramics Studio Tour, ASU Ceramics Research Center

Mosaics Art International 2007, Mesa Contemporary Arts, Mesa, AZ

4th ANNUAL CERAMICS STUDIO TOUR, ASU Ceramics Research Center
Em.Body.Ment, Invitational Figurative Sculpture, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ

Art for Art’s Sake: Invitational Benefit Exhibition & Sale, eye lounge contemporary art space, Phoenix

Peaceable Kingdom Invitational Exhibition, Herberger Theater Center Steele Pavilion Gallery, Phoenix
Reality Check, Arizona Commission on the Arts Traveling Exhibition, AZ and Utah sites

Fired Up II: Figurative Works in Clay, Invitational, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ
Scene and Unseen: 2nd National Art Exhibition, Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico
The Electronic Gallery, a national juried show in video format, Nat. Art Ed. Association Convention, Chicago, Illinois, Best of 3-D, Best Series

Face to Face: Traditional and Contemporary Masks, national exhibit, Tempe, AZ, Arts Center Satellite Gallery
History/Herstory: Tales from the Garden, one person show, City of Phoenix Visual Arts Gallery, Phoenix, AZ
The Human Form as Mythic Vessel, during the 25th Annual N.C.E.C.A. Conference, A.P. Tell Gallery, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ
The Terrible Dance of Power: Artists React to War, Alwun House, Phoenix, Arizona

The Taste of Fear, The Five Senses Exhibit, Matthews Center (ASU Art Museum), Tempe, Arizona

National Sculpture Society’s 55th Annual Exhibition, national juried show, Grace Building, New York

Fascinated by People, two-person show, Phoenix College Art Gallery, Phoenix, Arizona