For over a decade, Shannon Driscoll and Kayli House operated their studio and art supply store near the intersection of Polk and Davis streets in Oak Cliff. The store came to life in the fall of 2010, shortly after Driscoll and House met while volunteering for the Better Block neighborhood improvement project. Called Oil and Cotton — named after two natural resources often associated with Dallas and two of the most basic art supplies — Driscoll and House’s business grew out of this volunteer work. They improved their neighborhood by giving it an artistic outlet, first in one place, then in another, across the street.
This year they brought their mission to West Dallas. In August, Driscoll and House bought what they call their “forever studio” on Beatrice Street and made the move permanent in January after their Davis Street lease expired. Their new home is in a quadrangle of women-owned businesses, but the appeal is the same. The art supply store has always been a welcome mat, a way to bring people in and expose them to Oil and Cotton’s true purpose: education. Trained professional artists teach weekly classes in drawing, painting, sculpture, embroidery, leatherwork, photography and just about any other discipline, to everyone from toddlers and teenagers to empty-nesters. “You really can’t escape without learning something from an artist,” House says.
In their new location, Driscoll and House now feel a bit more accessible to the greater Dallas area. The goal is to engage more with the rest of the city through team-building activities, programming partnerships with Dallas ISD, and more summer camps, as well as pop-up events that take advantage of their most big space. They are also working on a membership program for frequent longtime supporters. They just want more art in more people’s lives.
“You don’t have to come in and already know how to do something,” House says. “You don’t even have to know anything about art.”
Keep your budding Picassos busy during the break with these art camps scattered across North Texas.
Wildflower Art Studio Spring Break Art Camp: In this four-day K-5 art camp, kids will learn art techniques and develop right-brain creativity. March 14-17. 715 N. Locust Street, Denton. 940-435-0041.
Old Settler Arts and Crafts Camp: The Old Settler Recreation Center in McKinney has a fun craft for your child (ages 6-12) for every day of the week. March 7-11. 1201 E. Louisiana St., McKinney. 972-542-5014.
Quiggly Clayhouse Spring Break Camp: At Quiggly’s Clayhouse in Richardson, every day is potter’s wheel day. There is also glass fusion, clay sculpture and painting on canvas. March 14-18. 1344 E. Belt Line Road, Richardson. 972-234-2644.