Shelly Hye said her husband encouraged her to open an art gallery in Keller, but with 17 years of experience teaching art, she chose a slightly different path.

A house on South Elm Street caught their eye, and she opened Elm Street Studio in 2012.

“I didn’t know anything about starting a gallery, but I did know about teaching art,” Hye said. “I felt like that was something I could manage.”

The big picture

Many mediums are taught, such as watercolor, gouache, drawing, oil paint and graphic art. Hye described her teachers as “fabulous" with diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise.

Nye said the school accepts students as young as 6 years old.

“I always try to share that art teaches you how to think in a different way and problem-solve in a different way,” she said. “Even if you’re not interested in being a professional artist someday, the problems solved though art broadens your thinking in a way a math or history class won’t. There is more value in studying art than people recognize.”

A closer look

Inquiries come from people who would like to commission a piece of art. When they describe what they are looking for, she connects them with a local artist, often teachers from the studio, such as watercolorist Jacinda Boneau, who can accommodate the request.

“I do lots of house portraits for people who have bought their first house or left a beloved family home," Boneau said. "I’ve done pet portraits and scenes from weddings. My favorite is bridal bouquets–I specialize in florals.”

She said she has found adult students come in for therapeutic purposes or to explore their skills, such as a man who wanted to learn how to illustrate his own comics.

Over time, the number of instructors and variety of curriculum have increased, but Hye said one thing remains the same: “Our focus is on sharing the love of art and art education with the community.”

Elm Street Studio