Meet Dominique Scaife #LOCALartIS


Dominique Scaife is an emerging, self-taught, polymer clay figurative sculptural artist. Born, raised, and is currently practicing art in Pittsburgh. Dominique Scaife’s art is the telling of the story of African American culture through sculpture pieces. The intent of her art is to capture the vastness of what it is to be African American, and showcase beautiful images of what that looks like. She uses polymer clay to show details in skin tones, hairstyles, and to communicate the stories of her figurative pieces. Each piece is visual story of the culture. An open invitation to recognize, celebrate, and converse around issues or topics of current and past. Dominique is a current member of Pittsburgh Society of Artists Guild, Women of Visions Inc., and Society of Sculptors Pittsburgh.

You are relatively new to the arts, how did this journey begin?
My journey into art began as I really think about it long ago. I just didn’t realize it at the time. Thinking back I was always creative just being me; I was always an observer. But the journey into actually sitting down and seriously creating the art pieces that I create now began in the fall of 2015. I was on this journey of peace/healing and a new decade in my life. I literally just sat down got quiet and thought about what I would like to see in art in my home and around me. Who was I and what do I want to leave on this earth. No training, but I just started going with the stories and images in my mind and began to create. At some point in early 2016 I became brave enough to show people and thus began the journey.
What was it about clay that got you hooked?
I get this question a lot. I like the touch. It is calming to me. It feels like home where, and what I am supposed to be doing.  I like the motion of moving the clay through my hands and creating a 3D freestanding effect. I love to celebrate who I am and my culture in this way. I got hooked because when I really got quiet I knew that this was my purpose, and it felt good.
Tell us a little about your inspiration for the pieces you’ve been doing?
The inspiration for the pieces I have been creating are the celebrating of me, my ancestors, the people around me, and the stories I see. In all pieces I am telling a story in the physical characteristics, pose, and just the being of the piece. In addition, I usually have a written poetic story that goes along with each piece.
NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts), what was that like for you?
NCECA was something so unexpected and Wowing if that’s even a word!!! It was the ultimate clay/ceramics get together. Usually it has felt as if it is usually about the painters, drawers, etc…. but this was a showcase of clay. It was amazing to see the amazing diversity of clay. It is limitless. It was amazing to meet fellow “claymates” who get you. It was amazing to be able to go in any number of neighborhoods and see an exhibit devoted to clay. It was amazing to meet people from across the country and the world who converged upon the Burgh in the name of clay. It also was a confirmation that I, as a self taught artist, also have something to share too that is great and a part of the arts community.


What are your plans for the rest of 2018?

My plans for the rest of 2018 are to continue to create and share my work. Continue to grow and evolve as an artist. I am currently a member of Women of Visions Inc., Pittsburgh Society of Artists, and Pittsburgh Society of Sculptors; so I would like to continue to show with these groups. But….. I am also working on pieces to have my first solo show. It takes a lot of time to create my pieces so I am going to continue to learn, have fun,  be patient with myself, tell the stories through my art that I am blessed to receive and make great artwork.