Kayli House Cusick is co-owner of Oil and Cotton. A native of Dallas and graduate of Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts, where she studied music and visual art, she went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Reed College in 1997 and a Master of Music in Composition from the University of North Texas College of Music in 2002. Prior to opening Oil and Cotton with Shannon, Kayli worked as an arts curriculum designer, piano teacher, and composer (as well as a waitress, photo retouching studio manager, traffic engineer’s assistant, algebra tutor, yoga teacher, pizza maker, waitress, waitress again, music theory tutor, choral accompanist, oh yeah, and waitress). When not running Oil and Cotton or teaching piano students, she can be found still slingin’ hash at home in Oak Cliff with her husband Matt Cusick, their daughter Kathleen, and dog Ginger.
Voted the “Best Place to Start a Revolution” by the Dallas Observer, Oil and Cotton originally opened in conjunction with the first 2010 Better Block, a neighborhood activist event protesting car-centric zoning laws. Oil and Cotton is a place to generate and share ideas and make things happen, serving students and artists of all ages through classes, exhibitions, and in partnership with the major cultural institutions of Dallas. They are known for bringing their resourceful and thoughtful hands-on learning activities to museums, schools, and public events, as well as surprising their followers with classes ranging from taxidermy to childbirth to hardware hacking. In 2013, Oil and Cotton became the first educational facility to be displayed as an art exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art. Oil and Cotton has been featured in D Magazine, Dallas Observer, Advocate, Dallas Morning News, D Moms, Southern Living, and the New York Times.