Get messy on purpose, enjoy lake views at Art Barn ATX in Leander

Art Barn ATX owner Amber Gordon uses resin on a project. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
Art Barn ATX owner Amber Gordon uses resin on a project. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)

Art Barn ATX owner Amber Gordon uses resin on a project. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Art Barn ATX owner Amber Gordon uses resin on a project. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Art Barn ATX owner Amber Gordon uses resin on a project. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Art Barn ATX has a ceramics room where creators have an array of project options. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Art Barn ATX has a ceramics room that includes pottery wheels. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Creators can utilize "the smasher" to safely pummel glass bottles and use the pieces for art. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Bottles for smash glass projects are housed next to book folding art. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The splatter room allows creativity to fly. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The splatter room allows creativity to fly. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Amber Gordon poses in the splatter room, which also glows in the dark. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Art Barn ATX has an arcade room where patrons can play during down time. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Art Barn ATX has an arcade room where patrons can play during down time. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Projects cover the walls at Art Barn ATX. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Projects cover the walls at Art Barn ATX. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Projects cover the walls at Art Barn ATX. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Art Barn ATX is located in Leander near Lake Travis. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Art Barn ATX sits atop a hill overlooking Lake Travis. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Art Barn ATX sits atop a hill overlooking Lake Travis. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Students love visiting the chickens at Art Barn ATX, owner Amber Gordon said. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Students love visiting the chickens at Art Barn ATX, owner Amber Gordon said. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
Art Barn ATX is more than a studio—it is a creative destination. Apart from making unique crafts, visitors can picnic beneath the trees outside, swing, visit the on-site chickens and play vintage video games in the on-site arcade.

The business, which opened about four years ago, hosts birthday parties and summer camps along with art sessions for all ages. Individual families or pods typically book projects for Thursday or Friday evenings and the weekend. Crafts are not just for kids; the activities are also fun for adult birthday parties or date nights, and patrons can bring their own drinks, owner Amber Gordon said. The party room overlooks the lake and includes a full kitchen.

“My studio is not a traditional painting or ceramics studio,” Gordon explained. “It’s all media. We smash glass, work with resin and fire, make neon signs. The hardest part about art is gathering all the supplies and having a safe space to get messy. That’s what I provide.”

Gordon is a full-time art teacher for Leander ISD. The parents of her students often asked her about additional classes outside of school, and she had always wanted to open her own business, she said of the studio’s origins, citing the aid of her husband as instrumental.

“I love my job,” she said. “But Art Barn ATX gives me the outlet to provide more in-depth projects.”

The main party room, the clay and pottery wheel room, splatter and glow-in-the-dark room, and grounds are all utilized in Gordon's summer camps for children. Each week features a different theme, including Art and Science; Castles, Dragons and Unicorns; and new for this year: Art, Fun and Chickens.

“We got chickens as a family thing, but the studio kids loved them, and they said they wanted a chicken-themed art camp,” Gordon said with a laugh. “I listen to the kids and the community.”

Those campers will create clay figurines, glitter paintings, do printmaking, canvas work, book folding–all with a chicken theme.

On the final afternoon of each session after campers have wrapped up all their art projects, they play on a 60-foot inflatable water slide, eat snow cones and more.

“What’s summer camp without a water day?” Gordon said.

Last summer Art Barn ATX hosted seven weeks of camp with zero COVID-19 issues, a fact Gordon said she thanks God for.

“As a mom, I want to be safe, too,” she said. “I follow CDC and CDC summer camp guidelines to the T, and at the end of each session I clean for four to six hours. The kids were also all good at following directions, just like they’re doing at school.”

Once people learn about Art Barn ATX, they come back for more, Gordon said.

“It’s a creative haven where you can relax and make whatever you’d like,” she said. “Come have a good time and enjoy the serenity of being out here.”

Art Barn ATX is located at 14284 FM 2769, Leander. 512-563-2675. www.artbarnatx.com.


By Sally Grace Holtgrieve
Sally Grace Holtgrieve solidified her passion for news during her time as Editor-in-Chief of Christopher Newport University's student newspaper, The Captain's Log. She started her professional career at The Virginia Gazette and moved to Texas in 2015 to cover government and politics at The Temple Daily Telegram. She started working at Community Impact Newspaper in February 2018 as the Lake Travis-Westlake reporter and moved into the role of Georgetown editor in June 2019, and in addition, editor of Leander-Cedar Park in August 2020.


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