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Jon Arvizu, MoD a+p, Ty Gillespie, John Randall Nelson, and TEAM COART

Scottsdale Gateway Marker Project

Five artist finalists were chosen through an artist call and selection panel to design new, iconic gateway markers for Scottsdale. The five artists selected are Jonathan Arvizu (Arizona), MoD a+p (Arizona), John Randall Nelson (Arizona), Thinking Caps Design (Arizona), and Ty Gillespie (Colorado).

The artists came to Scottsdale in August for a site visit. They will submit their designs by October 15. Those designs will then be presented to the community, and residents will be able to vote for their favorite designs. After the voting period, the winning design or designs (there may be more than one successful design proposal awarded) will be presented, and fabrication will begin.

Artist Bios

Jon Arvizu

Illustrator, designer, and versatile artist Jon Arvizu has been professionally involved in advertising and the fine arts for more than 19 years. His illustration and design work has been featured through a variety of publications and clients, some of which include Netflix, Popular Science, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews, Frito-Lay, Quaker Oats Co., Oregano’s Pizza Bistro, and the National Football League. Arvizu’s retro modern serigraphs and fine art prints are available at and at local retail partners in Phoenix and Tucson. At High Jinks Apparel, Arvizu and his wife, Jenn, produce a line of well-crafted graphic tees, hats, patches, and accessories. For Arvizu, the spunky Arizona-themed apparel line is a family affair. Take one illustrator, add one witty project manager, toss in two spirited boys, and you’ve got certified boisterous fun.

MoD a+p

MoD a+p is a progressive design firm that has been embedded within the greater Phoenix metro community for nearly 10 years. Our focus on design, urban planning, and placemaking has led to multi-family, urban infill, adaptive re-use, and urban planning projects that enrich and connect communities. With innovative design solutions, materials, and a keen sensitivity to how each project relates to its surrounding context, we have designed numerous projects in downtown and historic districts of Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley as well as other cities within the United States. All of our team members have been Valley residents for over 15 years with one of our members living in Scottsdale for 34 years. Together, we have personally watched the Valley of the Sun develop, and we truly understand the historic, artistic, and architectural richness of the city.

Ty Gillespie

Ty Gillespie has been producing art since he was in grade school, winning numerous art and design competitions along the way. In 1968, he graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor of architecture, and for 20 years, he operated Design Concepts, an award-winning store display company in

San Francisco that supplied major department stores across the United States and Canada. The next six years, he and his wife, Helen, sailed around the world on their 38-foot sloop, the Azura. Upon returning, they opened Azura Studios, an art studio in Minturn, Colorado. Then, in 2007, they opened the Azura Winery + Gallery in Paonia, Colorado. In recent years, Gillespie has entered and won several major public art competitions.

John Randall Nelson

Tempe-based artist John Randall Nelson is inspired by the idea of creating a social conversation through the use of sign and symbol. His focus is on projects that are thoughtful and functional. The mission is to encourage the public to interact and engage with the work. With 18 years of public art experience, he has successfully collaborated with other artists, contractors, municipalities, engineers, and the public. He has completed commissions for clients as diverse as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Visa Corporation, and the cities of Tempe, Scottsdale, and Phoenix, in Arizona, and Sante Fe, New Mexico.


Julie Wolf leads the TEAM COART. Throughout her career as an environmental graphic artist, Wolf has strived to evoke an emotional connection to places. She chooses the built environment for her canvas, punctuating the cityscapes, civic parks, cultural destinations, and trailheads navigated by residents and visitors alike. Wolf is passionate about connecting people to place and connecting movement to the environment. For the past 25 years, she has been a principal in charge of Thinking Caps Design Studio, crafting experiential graphic design for brand identity, wayfinding, and interpretive information systems in the built environment. Wolf is known for balancing clarity and delight in her urban designs. She engages in alchemy, simmering away the non-essentials to discern the pure essence of an identity before rendering it dimensionally. She has an extensive background in design for civic and cultural destinations, from parks to convention centers and performing arts institutions—all serving local communities. She has delivered visually articulate projects with local municipalities, including Scottsdale, Tempe, Phoenix, Peoria, and Chandler, several of which involved extensive stakeholder engagement. Wolf has a bachelor of fine arts from Arizona State University.

She is joined on TEAM COART by Jeremiah Scheffer and Eric Bolze. Scheffer is an industrial designer with Thinking Caps Design, co-developing concepts and conscientiously detailing the material selection and technical specifications. The final creation is influenced by Bolze, an extraordinary craftsman and civil engineer who brings dimensionality to the design through sculptural fabrication, finishing, and installation. For more than two decades, Bolze’s firm, E Squared Innovations, has employed state-of-the-art equipment, processes, and technology to fabricate signage and artistic sculptures for the environment. Thinking Caps Design and E Squared Innovations have 20 years of experience in partnering and successfully delivering custom solutions for the public to enjoy.



LocationScottsdale, AZ, USA

ArtistJon Arvizu, MoD a+p, Ty Gillespie, John Randall Nelson, and TEAM COART

DatesTo be determined

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