Vote for Studio Arts in D Magazine 2012 Poll!

Studio Arts is thrilled to be nominated for the D Magazine 2012 Best of Big D Readers’ Choice Poll.  This is a huge honor and we’d love your help by voting for Studio Arts today!  Voting runs May 14-27 and you can vote once daily online or via your mobile phone.

To vote today (tomorrow, etc.) please go to or on your phone go to and click the “Vote” button.  However you vote, you will find us under the “Services” category.

We are so  excited for this honor and thank each of out  students, staff and faculty for making Studio Arts such a wonderful place.

Pre-Portfolio student, Age 12

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Summer Classes and Camps

Enjoy the offerings at Studio Arts
Sign up now to save a spot!
Kid, Teen, Adult Classes + Camps


Natalie gets serious on the wheel.

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Love Is In The Art At Studio Arts

Valentine’s Day was lovely at Studio Arts!


We have ongoing pro-rated enrollment for kid classes.

Creating With Heart, The Artist’s Way begins this Tuesday. Want to get your creative freedom back? Call 214-827-1222 for details. We have 3 spaces left, last count.

Adult classes begin again soon. Have a look-see here!

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Leaving The Nest

“Every people’s heart explodes with happiness when you do art!’ – Sydney, Age 6

First continuous line drawing of Breyer Model Horses.
Pilot point and watercolor. By Nik, age 13.

What happens when our Portfolio Class leaves the nest?

Jim Hastings and I cry. We sit down and bawl like big fat babies because our family of a dozen young artists are ready to take on the art world without us. These 12 kids, aged 13 turning 14, have mastered many mediums as they created a 20 piece portfolio of carefully executed and finished work. It’s overwhelming – really looking at the finished product from each student as we spread these precious documents of artistic growth out over the short preschool tables – the QUALITY is just so fine.

We take 7th graders in Spring 2012 (starting February 21) for Pre-Portfolio and let them really see if they like making art with direction and consistency, homework and critiques and if they do, they can continue into our Portfolio Class which begins Summer 2012.

This class allows a child to experience college level art education with lots of support. Four Studio Arts classroom hours a week and at least that much homework. I am not sure how any other candidate who tries out for Arts can get this job done without so much support. Gosh our kids work hard.

We sat with Nik and some other students who had their audition the next day. They said things that I will paraphrase as they felt very private: ‘I knew I was talented, but my passion wasn’t ignited – this class gave me the spark to know my path’, said one. Another said: ‘I learned how to create value without the horrible lines that happen between shades’. And another: ‘I couldn’t have done it without you. I can’t believe how much I’ve grown’. Words spoken from children looking you directly in the eye, but really speaking directly heart to heart. When everyone’s eyes fill with saline, it’s a good clue it’s your hearts are talking.

Nik’s self portrait. Ebony pencil.

We see them audition for Arts Magnet (BTWSVPA) over the next two weeks. We know they have every chance because they worked SO hard for this. Jim and I are ever amazed to find such a beautiful way to contribute to our kid’s lives.

Good luck our dearhearts! You don’t need luck though, because you’ve got SKILLS!

Barley and Jim

Postscript: If you know a 7th grader interested in applying to Arts Magnet in 2013, call us ASAP at 214-827-1222. Pre-Portfolio starts February 21. We are happy to accept late joiners, but prefer to start on time.

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Amy Lou Abernathy sent this to me. ‘Helena was assigned to write an essay on “something you thought would be really difficult.” She wrote about the continuous line drawing she’s working on right now at your studio. Thought you might be interested in reading it:’

Well, I was. It is a wonderful insight into a student’s world:

by Helena Abernathy
Sharpie and Watercolor.

‘It hangs above a window. Halfway painted with layered shades, tones, tints, and colors, depicting cakes, goblets, plates and doors, it reflects a still life. Lemon-greens, aquamarines, orange-reds and red-oranges, it’s a rainbow of my creation. I never thought I would be able to draw this picture. I never even wanted to start, it sounded so difficult. The part I though would be hardest of all was the simplest. The whole picture needed to be constructed out of one line.

I had to create this artwork because I am taking an art class. I want to get into Arts Magnet, and the connection between the two is fairly self-explanatory. I thought this technique of one-line contour drawing would be hard. A contour drawing, or continuous line drawing, is a piece of artwork where the artist uses only one line to create a picture. In this technique, you must trace back over outlines you’ve already made to reach other areas and shapes. Since I have trouble with simply sketching still-lifes, I couldn’t imagine trying to make one with a single, continuous line. When I was to begin, I set up a ‘drawing horse’, a special clipboard-supporting bench that an artist straddles in order to sketch an object correctly. I clamped a large sheet of paper onto a huge clipboard and got to work. I started my line in the bottom right corner. The table with the still life was draped in fabric, so I began my piece by outlining the cloth. When I first started, it was very difficult. I continued to draw folds in the fabric too early or too late, and made my lines too long or too short, but as time went on, I started to get the hang of it. The picture started to flow out as easily as the ink from the tip of the pen. When I finished drawing the whole still-life on the table, I was surprised and a little worried because the picture only took up half the room on the paper. I was at a loss of what to do, until I realized that the picture didn’t have to end where the still life did. Behind it were tables, rolls of paper, the entrance to the building, the exit sign above it, lights hanging from the ceiling, pieces of art that other children had done, and strange objects set up in other still-lifes around the room. So I decided to draw everything I could see, to put it all on the paper. And, when I was completely done, I put down the fine-tipped Sharpie I was holding, looked at my work, and felt proud.

Even though I thought that the continuous line drawing would be the most difficult piece of art I had ever made, I tried it, and I’m really glad I did. I learned that I enjoy this style of drawing, and that proportion, the aspect I find the hardest in all still-lifes, is much easier in a contour drawing. I think that this is the best piece of art I’ve ever made. When I look at it, and when I think about making it, it seems to flow from one object to another, one line linking everything together. That suggested the perfect name for it: Legato, a Latin musical term that means smooth and connected. Now I think that contour drawings may not be so difficult after all.’

Helena Abernathy, Age 13

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Our Mission

Our mission at Studio Arts Dallas (formerly the Lakewood Arts Academy) is to promote curiosity and support passion in every child and adult. Since 1992, our art classes for children have introduced hundreds to a deeper understanding of themselves through the art process. Our teachers guide students through carefully designed explorations of the fundamentals of art making, encouraging them to hold their innate creativity in confidence as they grow. Your child’s investigations into a wide variety of media develop creative outside-the-box problem-solving skills and nurture imagination in an inspirational, supportive atmosphere that addresses the individual needs of every student. We are pleased to welcome you and your family.

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