• Oil and Cotton opened in September 2010. Blending an appreciation of the past with current multidisciplinary art practices, our students are invited to engage in the expressive languages of both music and visual art. Our hands-on classes are taught by professionals with knowledge of traditional and contemporary practice. We provide creative space for education, exhibition, performance and exchange between the public and the art community.
    Owners and instructors, Shannon Driscoll and Kayli House met while volunteering for the Better Block, a neighborhood improvement project that included a free public art studio. Shannon had been working as an art conservator of works on paper as well as teaching adult workshops in traditional handcrafts and materials-based projects. Kayli was a piano teacher and children’s arts curriculum writer who had recently relocated to Dallas to raise a family. The community response to the Better Block studio was positively overwhelming. Neighbors of all ages came into the space to create together using a variety of donated materials with guidance from area artists. The synergy was perfect. Encouraged and assisted by our friends and neighbors, we decided to make our temporary outpost permanent.

  • Since our beginning, we have steadily grown, well first we shrank to a cozy space on Davis Street to afford rising rents, then we scrimped and saved until we were able to purchase our forever home now in West Dallas, near Commerce & Beckley. This dream studio was designed and built by us and includes large professional teaching studios, cozy kids studios, upstairs music, textiles, and office space, and a beautiful retail store for our growing collection of awesome supplies. We owe it all to our community of artists, students, neighbors, family and friends.

  • We continue to cut cardboard, accept donations, offer scholarships, and work tirelessly to keep this dream alive. Our teaching artists and creative staff have gone on to form their own artists spaces, non-profits, or are impacting positive change in great positions throughout Dallas. We are so grateful to know them as colleagues that bolster the beauty and thoughtfulness of our ever-evolving city.

“Our motivating philosophy is to make do with what you got.”

  • Mission

    We place a high value on the resourcefulness within ourselves and are dedicated to doing things the old-fashioned way. Whether it is through the reuse or repurposing of materials, like turning fallen walnuts into archival ink, or by accepting the possibilities of what can be created by hand, we honor the pioneering spirit of our elders and the character of our community.

  • Vision

    Oil and cotton are natural resources of Dallas, Texas, and also the foundation of the most basic art materials. Oil is a binder in paint and inks. The binder imparts adhesion, binds the pigments together. Cotton is used to produce textiles such as canvas and paper. We believe the arts, like most natural resources, are essential for our survival and quality of life, and we envision a community where all its members can access the arts, make with their hands, speak up with their creative voices, and connect with their neighbors.