Oil and Cotton Educational Programming

Oil and Cotton’s educational partnerships foster collaboration with cultural institutions, schools, and non-profits offering fresh and thoughtful curriculum responding to art now that is founded in an appreciation of art history, material science, and process. We tailor flexible, excellent and affordable programming to the unique needs of our partners. Quality art education that makes efficient and responsible use of resources and connects students with excellent teaching artists is the core of our mission.

Adamson High Scholl
Back Porch Studio
Bike Friendly Oak Cliff
Dallas Arboretum
Dallas Children’s Theater
Dallas Contemporary
Dallas County Community College
Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas Medianale
Dallas Public Library
Go Oak Cliff

Goss-Michael Foundation
Latino Cultural Center
Nasher Sculpture Center
Oak Cliff Cultural Center
Oak Cliff Film Festival
Performance SW
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Society of Women Engineers
Team Better Block
The Power Station

The Reading Room
The Read-Rite
The Texas Theatre
The University of North Texas
The Writer’s Garret

Cedar Hill ISD
Dallas First Presbyterian Church
Dallas ISD
First Baptist Church of Dallas
Garland ISD


Girl Scouts of North Texas
Kidd Springs Academy
Methodist Health System Foundation
Promise House
Rosemont Early Childhood PTA
Rosemont Elementary School
Springhill Montessori School
Temple ISD
The Kessler School
Wee Volunteer
Wesley-Rankin Community Center

Adamson High School - Visual Arts Exhibition

Oil and Cotton seeks opportunities to engage with neighboring schools through collaborative programming, scholarships, portfolio development and and teacher outreach.  An exhibition highlighting the work  of Adamson High School visual art students celebrated the students and teachers at our local public high school. The exhibit was curated by visual art instructors, Erik Tosten and Laurie Gonzalez and explored a range of media, from collage, paper mache and zine making to ceramic sculpture demonstrating a diverse array of conceptual and creative self-expression. Oil and Cotton continues to provide exhibition opportunities to emerging and established artists of all ages. 2014.

Back Porch Studio - Design/Build Summer Camp for Teens

Founded and created by architect Alfred Pena, the Back Porch Studio is a design-build studio for high school students. Throughout the two week project students learned basic design principles from local professionals practicing in the field of architecture and urban design. Students submitted design proposals and elements from each proposal were integrated into the final design. Donations of materials from The Home Depot and time, labor and expertise donated by local contractors contributed to the  building of an outdoor porch to extend Oil and Cotton's usable space. The porch and surrounding garden serve as an open air classroom and laboratory for many of our fiber and plant based workshops, as well as a sunny spot for play and relaxation. 2013.

The Better Block Cuatro

Oil and Cotton and The Better Block organized the 4th Annual Better Block at the intersection of 7th and Tyler and Davis. A major focus of the project was to demonstrate the positive impact of creating a public plaza at the intersection of Kings Highway and Tyler Street. The temporary plaza functioned as a shared use space for the community to hold markets, performances and events. In addition to creating an outdoor communal space, the plaza demonstrated how we could mprove safety at this dangerous intersection. Many of these plans, ideas, and dreams came from Matej Vakula's MAP 2013 project Manuals for Public Space in collaboration with Oil and Cotton and members of the Oak Cliff community.

The intersection of King's Highway and 7th Street was shut down and THE PEOPLE'S PLAZA was be built in just a few hours. In the center of the intersection Instrument for Listening, a large Megaphone sculpture and sound piece made by artist Oto Hudec and teenagers from Oak Cliff in collaboration with MAP 2013 was installed. The megaphone looped recordings of community members, including dancers, artists, journalists, mothers, teachers, musicians, and business owners, sharing stories, opinions and dreams.

Trees and plants were brought in to beautify the plaza. The plaza featured a market, food trucks, bocce ball courts, and performances by Aztec Dancers and local high school marching bands. KIDICAL MASS, a group of kid cyclists and Bike Friendly Oak Cliff hosted a bike rodeo and give a bike safety workshop. Temporary pop-up shops and art spaces inhabited vacant storefronts. Existing local businesses like MFA Gallery, CoCo Andre, and Ends of the Earth opened their doors and offered interactive programming like poetry readings and sunset yoga.

Oil and Cotton addressed the vacancy of art spaces in North Oak Cliff by organizing artists, curators, and entrepreneurs as an integral part of the project. Locally produced art was showcased and neighbors were educated about how they could be involved in new art mediums, including but not limited to video, performance, and sound. The Nasher Sculpture Center, Randy Guthmiller, The University of North Texas Fiber Art Department, Studio Fresca, Tiny Thumbs Arcade, as well as others are inhabited vacant buildings and storefronts near the intersection.

This project was in collaboration with local business owners, The Better Block, Make Art with Purpose (MAP) and Manuals for Public Space, and Oil and Cotton. 2010 and 2014.

The Dallas Contemporary - Taking It To The Streets

During this week-long graffiti art camp artist and Oil and Cotton teacher, Jessica Trevizo taught the art of silkscreen printing and how to make wheat starch and paste posters. 2012.



Dallas Museum of Art

Late Night with Mark Bradford – Oil and Cotton lead two interactive art projects in response to the Mark Bradford exhibit in the DMA's Center for Creative Connections. The Tech Lab was transformed into a space for an ephemeral, large-scale community collage mixing digital and traditional media. A rotating selection of Dallas maps was projected onto a wall framed with small hooks used as anchors for a variety of cord, rope and thread. Visitors were encouraged to create an intricate web of materials inspired by the map projection, their own sense of place, and Mark Bradford's layered art making process. A second classroom was transformed into a landscape of landscapes. Visitors used repurposed materials such as cardboard boxes and paper scraps to make layered landscape collage necklaces. Again, this project sought to create both geographical and conceptual connections to place. 2011.

Late Night with Jean Paul Gautier – Oil and Cotton curated a one night only site-specific art installation of contemporary art and domestic craft in the DMA's Fleischner Courtyard. Guests were invited to spin wool and contribute to a community weaving with June Covington, who shared her expertise on domestic and fiber arts history. Crisman Liverman performed his dress, a billowing patchwork of fabrics, which created an interactive dance party for museumgoers to enter, participate in, and behold. Rebecca Carter created an installation of her delicate threaded text pieces created specifically for this event. 2011.

Late Night with Mark Manders – Oil and Cotton teacher Emily Riggert created a project responding to the formal and conceptual aspects of Manders’ work. The project explored the poetics of memory and space, and became a “portrait (of multiple selves) in the guise of an imaginary building.” Museum visitors were given repurposed cardboard pieces cut from boxes, colorful tapes, and paper strips and constructed self-portraits of memories in the form of buildings. Throughout the night the individual buildings were connected to form a portrait of collective conscience. 2012.

Available Space - “DallaSITES: Available Space was a unique moment in the DMA’s history. It was the first time in over 30 years that the Museum opened its doors wholeheartedly to the local arts community in such a hands-on way.  Over 50 community artists worked with each other and Museum staff to transform the DMA’s central Barrel Vault galleries into an experimental project space for the summer, surprising museum regulars as well as drawing new visitors to the DMA and the Arts District. Shannon Driscoll and Kayli House Cusick of Oil and Cotton Creative Exchange were Available Space champions and leaders in partnership with the DMA, infusing the project space with their community-driven collaborative spirit as well as designing a satellite studio full of curiosity cabinet–like awe, creative people, and inspiring materials that draw out the playful and creative in all ages. They really created a unique space and educational environment unlike anything that the DMA could ever do itself—thereby resulting in new public perceptions of the Museum and deeply engaged visitors. One of my favorite things about our partnership with Oil and Cotton and their studio space at the DMA is how much it inspired staff—whether it was Human Resources or Accounting staff dropping by the study to make and play during the workday or Education staff who envisioned new ways to stretch programs or spaces elsewhere in the Museum.” -Nicole Stutzman Forbes, Chair of Learning Initiatives and Dallas Museum of Art League Director of Education. 2013.

Dallas Medianale

Oil and Cotton and Dallas Video Festival partnered to bring Cracked Ray Tube for a  workshop that used the cathode ray tube as a platform to teach students how to make DIY audio/video synthesizers and analog video transmitters. Students learned techniques such as soldering, hardware hacking and circuit bending, and gain knowledge of analog and digital audio/video synthesis and DIY electronics. The workshops will incorporate theories of reappropriating technological e­waste for artistic purposes, and discovering new and alternative aesthetic purposes for obsolete devices. 2015.

Goss Michael Foundation

FacebookBook – Oil and Cotton developed and lead an adult collage class responding to the work of artist British collage artist, Linder Sterling. Attendees were asked to reflect on the identity they have created for themselves via social media platforms juxtaposed with the self that they have left on the cutting room floor. How do we curate these public profiles to position ourselves in the most flattering light? Students used images from mass media, their own Facebook or other social media profiles, and various paper ephemera. The clippings were cut and adhered on transparent pages of the book to create layers of meaning. 2013

The Latino Cultural Center

Second Saturdays – Oil and Cotton creates and leads monthly drop-in family art projects that respond to the Latino Cultural Center’s rotating exhibitions and events. Past workshops have included a drum making activity for families attending the opening of American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music. Children interpreted traditional rhythms such as Mambo, Samba and Cha Cha into visual patterns to decorate their drums and shaker instruments. 2012-Present.

MAP (Making Art with Purpose)

Instrument for Listening Exhibition – Oil and Cotton hosted a visiting MAP artist Oto Hudec, who works both in sculpture. Hudec created a large scale megaphone installation, through which community members were invited to speak and be heard. This endeavor is the result of a collaboration with Janeil Engelstad, an artist, friend and amazing woman who is bringing her project MAP (Make Art with Purpose) to Dallas. 2013.

Manuals for Public Space – Oil and Cotton partnered with MAP to offer a free workshop connecting internationally recognized artist, Matej Vakula with Oak Cliff community activists. Matej led a workshop on his ongoing public artproject Manuals for Public Space (MfPS), in which collaborators contribute to an open source library of manuals that are exhibited and shared worldwide. The workshop focused on re-addressing the Kings Highway crossing and the very dangerous intersection of Kings between Tyler & Davis. There was once a plan and budget to turn that block into a public park, but it had gone dormant. Reigniting this project lead to The People’s Plaza (see Better Block). The workshop addressed the importance for the safety of Oil and Cotton students and need for a vibrant public space in the rapidly changing Tyler & Davis district and shared our plans with an  international art community to implement real social change. 2013.

The Nasher Sculpture Center

GROW program – Invited to be a part of the Nasher GROW program, Oil and Cotton created space dedicated to the ins and outs of WEAVING!!! Paricipents were invited to join a weave-in a hang out in our  LOOM DOME. Fiber artists lead families through three weaving projects: a sculptural wire basket, a shag necklace and circular looms. 2014.

Pushing the Envelope – Oil and Cotton created an interactive adult workshop responding to to the work of artist Thomas Heatherwick on Exhibition at the Nasher Sculpture Center. Participants created mailable art. 2014.

Oak Cliff Film Festival

"Brave and independent filmmaking of all stripes" takes over Oak Cliff every year during the Oak Cliff Film Festival.

Cinema 16-style screenings of avant-garde and experimental art films at are hosted at Oil and Cotton as well as film related hands-on workshops such as Direct Filmmaking Animation with Brooklyn based Mono No Aware. 2012-Present.

Perot Nature and Science Center

Social Science Nights – Oil and Cotton creates adult programming for “Social Science” late nights at the new Perot Nature and Science Center. Each Social Science evening features dynamic performances, talks, guest scientific speakers, demonstrations, films, hands-on experiments and more. 2012-Present.

Discovery Days – Oil and Cotton offers monthly art based science programming for Discovery Days on the Second Saturday of the month. Programming includes a Take-Away Activitiy and Art+Science Zine, a Toddler Take Over Table, and Sketching in the Galleries.  Families discover science together: create their own experiments, view the live demonstrations, enjoy performances, participate in art-making activities, and more with local community experts. 2012-Present.

The Power Station

Power Station “Generations” – Oil and Cotton and The Writer's Garret are created a day of fun and interactive art at the Power Station. This all ages event celebrated creative process, idea generating, and exploration. Projects responded to this contemporary art space housed in an old Dallas Power and Light Building. Oil and Cotton developed a self-guided book project that invited visitors to document their experience and encouraged connections with the Power Station’s brick and mortar and art collection, an Iphoneography workshop and photo-scavenger hunt, and a drop-in art project that allowed young artists to explore the glue-tear process used by artist in residence Nikolas Gambaroff. 2012.

The Reading Room

The Yankee Doodles Sing-A-Lot Sing-A-Long was a collaboration with Karen Weiner, Danette Dufilho, Anne Lawrence, Carolyn Sortor and friends. The Yankee Doodles, featuring John Dufilho on drums and guitar, performed a short musical program of American Revolutionary era songs and action rhymes. Visitors were encouraged to sing, drum and dance. Oil and Cotton conducted a hands-on art activity that included making your own personal flag. Teacher and artist Jessica Sinks worked with Oil and Cotton students (ages 3-16 years) to develop work responding to notions of the individual versus collective action and thinking. These projects were exhibited in The Reading Room Gallery. 2012.


The Kessler School – PK Art After School Enrichment Program – Draw, paint, sculpt, collage and print as you learn the elements of art: LINE, SHAPE, COLOR, TEXTURE and VALUE. Little ones get exposed right away to artists, art vocabulary, and art material safety. Story time, songs, exploration with the senses, and movement help to engage the littlest artist.  We study living, recent, and canonized artists for inspiration. Students finish original and expressive works, using real art materials for drawing, painting, collage, cutting, sculpture, and printmaking. 2013-Present.

Kidd Springs Home School

Oil and Cotton brought our hands on art history based curriculum into this small neighborhood home school. “Now that we have gone through the first six weeks of school, we are looking back and reflecting on these first weeks together.  One of the biggest positives of our first term has been the partnership with Oil and Cotton. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your wonderful projects, for your inspiring teaching, and for working with and loving our kids here at Kidd Springs Academy.  Our students get so excited about your art classes each week, and they are learning so much!” Elizabeth and Edwin Shafer, Kidd Springs Home School Directors. 2011.

Rosemont Elementary

Oil and Cotton has developed a collaborative relationship with neighboring school, Rosemont Elementary. We work with art teacher and offer merit-based scholarship for our after-school art program to a student from the upper and lower elementary each semester. 2011-Present.

Wesley Rankin Community Center

Oil and Cotton developed summer art camp curriculum for over 200 children at a neighboring West Dallas Community Center with Shellie Ross, Director of Children’s Education. A drawing camp introduced students to charcoal. They worked with our teacher to draw from a still life of sunflowers. A bookbinding camp focused heavily on repurposing materials. Book covers were made from discarded corrugated cardboard boxes. Donated printer paper was used for the text pages and spools of telephone wire found in an alley were used as the sewing material to connect the cover and text papers. 2012.

The Writers Garret

Paper Explosions Zine Camp – Summer 2012 marked Dallas' first installment of zine camp, a weeklong exploration of self-published literature. Oil and Cotton teamed up Joe Milazzo and Evan at The Writers Garret to offer two summer sessions of intensive writing and art for ages 10 and up. Participants created their own series of handmade zines, learning tools for written self-expression while exploring art techniques behind the visual components of zines and their production methods. Visiting artists such as Matthew Cusick, Brandi Strickland, Mylan Nguyen, and Jessica Trevizo shared their collage techniques, silkscreen printing, and approaches to incorporating text into their work. Expert teacher Lisa Huffaker guided the children through creative writing exercises.

“The shop's back studio space turned into a youth think tank where kids from late elementary school up to early high school learned the ins and outs of zine culture. Then, they each chose a personal emblem (which ranged anywhere from "Dubstep" to "Wormholes") and created small, hand-bound books on their topic. Each zine was filled with original artwork, short stories and poems. Then, when it seemed they couldn't get cooler, they silkscreened their own covers. It was a celebration of youth creativity at its best, and when camp was over, each student left knowing that their stories were important and worth publishing”. Dallas Observer. 2012-14.

The University of North Texas College of Visual Art and Design

Community Classroom – Oil and Cotton partners with UNT to bring visiting artists, experts, students and faculty from UNT into our classroom and community. Nurturing a student culture, offering professional development to creatives, and giving people an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the creative process in our community is important to our mission as educators, and we feel strongly that this is a necessity if we are to further establish Dallas as supportive home for artists. Our first community classroom project was a collaboration with Fiber Arts Department. Visiting artist Pat Hickman taught a class using animal intestines. Students experimented and discovered ways of working with hog intestines (sausage casings) as a skin membrane. Pat Hickman, known for her work with this material, demonstrated techniques and discussed the history and potential for expressing ideas and meaning using gut. More recently, Metalsmith Dauvit Alexander taught an electro-etching class in collaboration with the UNT’s Core Design, Metalsmithing and Jewelry program. 2012-Present.

Introduction to Bookbinding – Oil and Cotton worked with UNT professor, Karen Dorf to develop a bookbinding series for students from the Communication Design department. Students learned to make portfolio post bindings for annual reports and presentation bindings at a two-day workshop taught at Oil and Cotton. 2012.

Internship Program – Oil and Cotton hosts University of North Texas interns. Interns work on all aspects of a small privately owned community art center, including administration, assist teaching during children's art classes and adult workshops, special event coordination, public relations, social networking, and community outreach. Working directly with owners Kayli House Cusick and Shannon Driscoll, an internship at Oil and Cotton provides invaluable exposure to the art world, art education, and community activism for those pursuing a future in the creative arts. Our internships are geared toward people seeking experience in art, art history, arts administration, art education, curatorial studies, and museum studies, or public relations. 2011-Present