From Our Kids

I have never been to a more welcoming and accepting place than Studio Arts! The staff is always happy to help out with anything and gives great instruction. In fact, I probably would not have been able to get into Booker T. if it weren’t for their portfolio program. I’ve made some of my closest friendships there, and have grown as a artist so much from their help.

Myah Hasbany (Booker T. Student)

I feel so lucky to have found Studio Arts Dallas. Barley has become not only a mentor but a friend and her dedication led to me getting into Booker T. Furthermore the year spent at the studio was a creative boost that inspired me beyond making pieces for my portfolio. I feel loved and at home when surrounded by my friends and teachers. I feel like I have found my place.

Felipe (Portfolio Class – current; Booker T student)

Studio Arts is my art home.  It is an amazing place with people who give great support and guidance.  It has helped me become a better artist and attend the high school of my dreams…Booker T. Washington HSPVA.  I love Studio Arts!

Grace (5th grade – current; Booker T. student)

I have been going to Studio Arts since I can remember and I would not be where I am today without Barley (and staff).  They are amazing and have created an amazing environment, and they helped me push past the barrier that needed to be broken. Thanks to them I now currently go to Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

Elise LaBella (age 6 – College Portfolio Class)

The studio is basically a big family. I have met most of my closest friends here in the best environment in the world. The teachers do not just teach you, they are there for you. Thank you Studio Arts.

Andrew Witcher  – (Portfolio Class)

I am one of the lucky few who has been able to experience Studio Arts from multiple perspectives; first, as a student, later as an assistant, and now as a seasoned instructor.

I was six years old when my parents first signed me up for camp at Lakewood Arts Academy – the earliest incarnation of Studio Arts Dallas – and the gigantic papier-mâché spoonbill bird I created that summer has been a staple of my childhood bedroom ever since. Over the years it has been joined by clay-and-feather fairies, papier-mâché cat puppets, and oil paintings produced under the tutelage of the great instructors there.

Even before I began working alongside the artist who teach there, it was so apparent to me that they and the rest of the Studio Arts staff genuinely loved their work. You cannot fake the energy, joy, and engagement that our instructors bring to each class. Studio Arts Dallas also develops high-level artistic skills in a welcoming, low-stress environment. As a student, I considered the school my creative refuge; this is a place that just exudes inspiration and serenity, and I see so many first-time students and their parents sense that as soon as they walk through the door. Here, students learn the elements and principles of art through unconventional means, developing their imaginations as well as their artistic abilities.

We help kids produce some amazing work, and we provide a creative environment that simply doesn’t exist elsewhere in Dallas. As a former student who has been involved with Studio Arts since 1996, I have to warn you: there’s a big chance your child will get attached to this place.

Caitlin Taylor  – (Penguin Books, NYC)

Studio Arts was an amazing place to grow up. As a student, an assistant, and a lead teacher, my childhood and teenage years were filled with wonderful art, wonderful people, and wonderful learning.

Marthe Turlington (Professional Teacher)

Studio Arts is the best experience you could go through. It will change you forever and you will learn to observe things through different eyes. The hard work is more than worth it. Not only did I learn how to draw, but I also felt at home. I made so many friends and created many works of art. Thanks to Studio Arts, I am on my way to Booker T.

Sophie Everitt  – (Portfolio Class; Booker T. student)

Thank you so much for helping me make my dreams come true and believing in me!

Netanel Sasso  – (Portfolio Class; Booker T. student)

While Studio Arts is a great place to find creativity in yourself and others, it is also a place that supports and advises people to bring out the full potential in a their artwork and themselves.

Natalie Crenwelge  – (Portfolio Class; Booker T. student)

Barley is my spirit animal.

Ryan, (Booker T. student) 


Experiencing the classes and the creative, colorful, and welcoming atmosphere at Studio Arts awakens the sacred imagination. Explore, express, and enjoy the discovery of your inner artist.  Prepare to be inspired and transformed!

Sibyl Dana Reynolds – Artist, Author, Spiritual Director

If you want your child to learn to be an artist, there is no better place than Studio Arts.

Barry Waranch – Parent

Enter the colorful, creative and nurturing space of Studio Arts and there is magic. Hearts open and the expressive beauty of art blossoms forth.

Karen Blessen  – Founder and Artistic Director, 29 Pieces

I was once an art student myself and I know a great art school when I see one. Studio Arts is a place where a young student can begin to make their mark in the history of art.

Chris Frantz  – Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club

My little mermaid is graduating in five weeks. Gulp. Thanks for giving her some great memories at Studio Arts! So much of the art around our house comes from her classes there…

Amy Lou Abernathy – Parent

This is one of Audrey’s favorite places to go during the summer. Barley Vogel and her art instructors are delightful, and Audrey always comes home with wonderful stories about her experience and the new friends she makes. She loves taking pottery, comic book making, drawing and painting…sign up and carpool …the studio is at Northwest Highway near White Rock Skate…in an old A-frame Whataburger!

Julia Gibson – Parent

Studio Arts is a place that gives the freedom to create with teachers who encourage students to experiment with what they see and feel. They do not depend on a path to copy a slide on the wall or works that have been done by another artist. There are no mistakes. Student art does not come out of the Studio all looking alike. Dallas is very fortunate to have such a place with teachers like Barley Vogel and her staff. An amazing place!

Suzy Bruce  – Former art teacher and Curator of Education, Art Museum of Southeast Texas

Both of my girls have loved going to weekly Art classes for the last 2 summers. I am a former Art teacher and love the creativity and art skills incorporated into the projects at Studio Arts. I am thrilled that even though my girls are 6 years apart in age, I could sign them up for the same time with different teachers. I also love that we can spread out the lessons over the entire summer, going once a week, as opposed to everyday for one week. Studio Arts is one of the highlights of our summer.

Jane Brass – Parent

What an adventure this has begun! I always saw Brennan’s talent, but you have opened his mind. He has grown so much this past year and is so eager and ready for the next challenge. Thank you for all the guidance, nurturing, tough love and inspiration! He will no doubt always have this class in his heart.

Susie Nichols – Parent

Studio Arts is a very professionally run studio plus all the warmth and care that our kids need to teach, nurture and encourage them towards their goal.

Jamie Eisenberg – Parent

Studio Arts has been the primary creative force in my life for almost a decade. I feel completely at home in Barley’s magical work space, and she and her awesome instructors have inspired and encouraged me and my artful companions to create a myriad of projects using an array of techniques over the years. Studio Arts is fun, inspiring and transformational!

Elizabeth Bonesio – Students, Creating with Heart

I have taken adult classes at Studio Arts for more than 10 years.  Barley and Joanna have always emphasized the process of creating art as a playful yet sacred and emotional learning experience, one to be shared with others who are also seeking to delve deeper. These classes have helped me grow as a person and as an artist, and we have so much fun too! They have created something AMAZING.

Paula Menendez – Students, Creating with Heart

The Portfolio Class

Studio Arts has been a fantastic experience for our family. Not only did the studio help get our daughter admitted into Booker T. Washington Arts Magnet through the portfolio classes, but also nurtured a young talented artist with confidence and basic skills. Watching Hailey grow as an artist over the years has been a joy, and seeing the advancement of her talent has been nothing more than amazing. The staff helped her through struggles that all young artists go through and instilled a self confidence that has gone way beyond her art. Thanks to Barley and the rest of the staff for creating a home where young artists can discover themselves and grow, not only in their work, but in life.

Robert and Karen

Studio Arts is an enclave of art, a collective, and an incubator of talent. It is here, with great care and intention, that our children are nurtured to allow their talents to mature and flourish.  They grow artistically, but magically you also witness their confidence take off and their identity as an artist begin to form.Enter Studio Arts and you can feel the spirit, the energy of artists.  Our daughter and our family will forever be changed and blessed for having walked through these doors.

Cathy and Ellyn

We LOVE Studio Arts! Richly rewarding, imaginative, and fun art adventures for kids and adults. Filled with gratitude for the wonderful art instruction and the nurturing light that shines on all students as they cultivate their skills to more fully express themselves creatively and confidently. My daughter’s dream to attend Booker T. is now fully realized thanks to Studio Arts’ amazing guidance and portfolio prep program. Her experience at Studio Arts has made a lasting and memorable impact on her young life. I also highly recommend the art classes and camps for teens, which are excellent for young emerging artists. Simply put, Studio Arts is the BEST.

Kathy Everitt

This is such a great program. Barely and the other teachers are fabulous instructors, not only do they challenge their students, they are incredibly supportive.  Lauryn was fully prepared for the audition (for Booker T.) and she met her future classmates as well. Thank you for providing such a nurturing environment.

Eric and Leslie Shaffer

Barley, I truly can’t thank you enough for your role in Veronica’s growth and development, your influence goes far beyond art work and technical skills. Thanks, I truly appreciate you and the Studio Arts team. You do great work!

Grace Carleton

When I enrolled my son in Studio Arts Portfolio Class, I expected him to produce wonderful art for his Booker T. audition. He finished with wonderful pieces, that was just a small part of what he gained. I witnessed my son transform into a confident artist and person who viewed himself and the world around him in a new way. Thank you!

Sharon Seal

The teachers are passionate, talented, smart and open-minded.  They are able to teach what they know in a way that gets students excited.  Studio Arts has had a very positive influence on our family.  We keep going back.  It has a fun and comfortable vibe.  We love it.

Carly and John Daughty

Portfolio class not only prepared her for that audition, but illuminated her strengths, improved areas that were weak, and gave her an inner confidence that remains invaluable. The instruction is professional and draws from a wealth of experience, which becomes evident in each student’s finished portfolio. The supportive environment of Studio Arts results in a strong bond amongst the students and our daughter had the benefit of starting her first day at Booker T. with friends who had shared this experience. The investment in Portfolio class will pay for itself multiple times over…those students going to Booker T. are basically getting a private school education for a public school price. College scholarships are abounding, and who can put a price tag on the maturity and insight those kids gain by working with Barley (and staff)

Tina Wolf

Camille was accepted To Booker T., but I can honestly say that even if she had not been accepted, The Portfolio Class was well worth the time she invested and the tuition we invested. Her skill level greatly improved through the year. Even better, her confidence in her skill improved as well. The firm, yet nurturing hand that Barley provides her students in my opinion is priceless.


As well as good preparation for the portfolio, Studio Arts does a good job of preparing the student for the audition, which is rather grueling. It lasted 3 1/2 hours and the students had to show proficiency in various areas. James did just fine and I think he felt okay because he was well prepared. He didn’t have to deal with any surprises and just worked confidently through the various stages of the interview.”

Jennifer M

Barley Vogel and all the other immensely talented instructors at Studio Arts are doing great work. In all of our lives we each encounter certain individuals who show us the way and change our lives profoundly for the better. Barley is such a person in my son Parker’s life. My appreciation and gratitude will always be as immeasurable as the far-reaching and positive effect that she has had on him as a flourishing young artist and adolescent.

Jennifer Turney

The Portfolio Class was instrumental in my daughter being admitted to Booker T. Washington’s Visual Arts program. She had never had a private art lesson before attending Studio Arts. All of the terrific teachers put her at ease and guided her in using her talents to create a beautiful portfolio with the variety of work required to audition at BTW. An added bonus is that she now has friends she made in her Portfolio Class who will also be attending BTW in the Fall. I highly recommend the Portfolio Class and the wonderful Studio Arts teachers!

Michelle Crenwelge

We just wanted to thank you for the amazing instruction you’ve given to Robert. From the day he was able to hold a crayon, he’s been doodling, drawing and designing and we’ve always admired his talent and imagination. A couple of years ago, a friend told us about Studio Arts so we came in for a visit and absolutely fell in love with the groovy, artsy environment. We knew this was where Robert needed to be to hone in his drawing skills. Now here we are, in Post-Portfolio enjoying all the beautiful artwork he’s created throughout the past few months and looking forward to even more accomplishments as he continues his art education at Booker T. Washington – his ‘dream school’. Barley, your obvious love for the arts and your ability to help your students expand their natural talent is a true gift and we’re so happy you have shared this with our son. With much love and appreciation from very proud parents,

Roy and Lark Swofford

Over the course of one year, through Pre-Portfolio and Portfolio class, my daughter went from thinking art was a fun hobby, to becoming absolutely certain it was her life’s calling. The classes stretched her and challenged her. She learned time management, and she occasionally failed. But the kind instructors at Studio Arts were consistently supportive, gently tweaking her work until she evolved into an amazing artist who had gained the skills and confidence to ace her BTW audition. We couldn’t have done it without the love, support and talent at Studio Arts. We are forever grateful.

Rachel Hugo

Dear Barley, As you know, my son has wanted to attend Booker T. for high school since he learned about the program at age 9. After discovering the Studio Arts Portfolio class, I struggled over whether or not it would really make a difference or if it was worth the cost. Now that he got his acceptance, I can honestly say that the Portfolio Class is the main reason he got in – worth every penny! Not only did he learn important skills needed to build a strong portfolio, but the biggest value was that you helped him build his confidence. He went in to the auditions knowing he had worked his hardest on his portfolio and felt so prepared for the different parts of the audition. One of the reasons I decided to sign him up for the class was because I thought it would be a good test to see if he loved art enough to commit to an arts high  school. What he discovered was that he loved every class, was so excited about doing the work, and never once complained. The staff at Studio Arts is so supportive and you really helped him reach his potential. Thank you for all you did for Sam. It was invaluable.Thank you.


We are very grateful to have found Studio Arts. Beyond preparing our son Felipe for Booker T., Barley and her crew inspired him to express himself through art and to work hard and be disciplined to reach his goals. Felipe also found a community of friends and mentors at Studio Arts and a place where he always feels loved and at home. This place is a jewel and we can’t be happier!

Emely and Andres

Studio Arts is developing the next generation of visual artists!! The  staff has established a community that is supportive, challenging, engaged and fun! It has been a quality environment for all four of our children.

Victoria Martin

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