Gardner Village Blog Gardner Village Welcomes The Art Cottage
Tuesday Aug 9 2016

It's always an exciting feeling when a new shop opens its doors in The Village. But when the shop is also a school, the fun levels really climb. Introducing...

The Art Cottage!

This sweet shop has so much to offer. Step inside, and you'll discover:

1. Bonnie Merrill, the shop's resident artist (and general manager), who will likely be sitting inside the door, painting a pretty something. 

Bonnie created this masterpiece, as well as many other beautiful works on display and available for purchase in The Cottage.

Want to paint with Bonnie? By all means, pull up a chair. The shop is set up in such a way that guests are encouraged to take a seat and join in the fun. 

2. Art from other local artists, including this beauty, painted by Brityn Bennett. You can actually bring in a photograph and request that it be turned into a painting, as was the case with this piece. Wouldn't that be a cool gift to give this Christmas?

3. An assortment of art supplies so you can get started on your own creation. 

4. Handmade gifts. After all, art comes in more than just the on-the-wall variety. 

5. Lovely home decor pieces. You're sure to fall in love with the look of this shop. It's gorgeous! And nearly everything on display inside can be taken home so you can re-create this look at home. 

Dibs on the rocking chairs! ;)

6. Frames! The Art Cottage offers some of the most competitive framing prices in town, and they have an excellent selection of styles to choose from. Want something framed? Bring it in for a quick quote. Odds are, you'll like what you hear. 

7. A full classroom upstairs. The Art Cottage is more than just a store. It's a place to come and learn and have fun and try something new. 

The classroom takes up the entire upstairs, so there's plenty of room to stretch out and feel comfortable. Plus, the light pouring in from the windows makes it an ideal setting, complete with a pretty view of The Village!

Classes and events being offered include:

* Watercolor classes for children and adults

* A Coloring Book Club

* Children's art classes for ages 6+

* Date nights and paint parties

* Special event activities, including Halloween make-and-takes this fall (pumpkin painting, witches wands, etc.)

Being new on the block, classes are priced competitively so people will come and give them a try. It's all about the word of mouth, so they're welcoming you at great rates to help get that word out. Call the store soon to get in on these deals 801.561.1372. Or visit their website for more info.

The Story Behind the Art Cottage 

I had the pleasure of sitting down with the owners of The Art Cottage on the night of their ribbon cutting ceremony. It was such fun to meet the family behind this charming shop and hear how their dream became a reality. 

It started while owners Brent (seen in first photo above) and his wife Naomi were vacationing with Naomi's sister, Bonnie (Naomi on left, Bonnie on right), and her husband Sam. Bonnie wasn't thrilled about the idea of going back to work after being away (pretty common scenario) and Brent, who is also an artist, asked her what would make her happy in life. From there, the group started dreaming up the idea of The Art Cottage. 

During this discussion they began to talk location, and Brent actually said, "It has to be the perfect location. Something like Gardner Village." 

When they got home from their trip, Brent took a chance and swung by The Village, just to see if they happened to have a spot. Turns out one had just opened up. But the person Brent spoke with was almost apologetic in stating it was a location with an upstairs. Brent was thrilled by this news, as it was the perfect spot for the classroom component of their cottage and school.

Seems it was all quite meant to be. And, if you can believe, the shop went from an idea dreamed up to a reality in two short months. Isn't that incredible? Sometimes the pieces just fall into place as they're meant to. 

All behind the shop will agree that it was very much a group effort. Another involved was Spencer, seen here. He designed the logo, which was inspired by the building itself. So cool! 

And Bonnie's dear friend, fellow artist, and elementary school teacher, Heidi Tessier, came on board to be a second teacher (alongside Bonnie), specializing in the children's classes. With a master's degree in curriculum and instruction, two reading endorsements, and 21 years of teaching experience, including art in art in early Montessori and upper grades in public schools, she comes highly trained. She's excited to connect with your children in this fun and engaging way. 


The Ribbon Cutting

The ceremony was such fun that I thought I'd share a look at the event with you as well. 

To toast the celebration, everyone was handed a bottle of tasty red soda. This has much significance for the family.

I loved chatting with Grandma and hearing all about the red soda history.

You see, Bonnie and Naomi come from a family of merchants. Their great grandfather opened the first grocery store in Snowflake, AZ. At that time, in celebration, they enjoyed a bottle of red soda. A single bottle. For everyone. lol They all took a swig from the bottle, which was a big deal and special treat. 

The family continued in business, with the next generation opening a shopping center. Again, in celebration, they each took a drink from a single bottle of red soda. 

Fast forward to today, and the soda was again a pretty part of the party. Though, we each had our own bottles this time. And we raised them with a cheer as the red ribbon was cut. 

Time for treats (Yum!)...

And friendly chitchat. 

Perhaps the most memorable part of the event came when Bonnie, through tears, had this to say:

"It's not very often in someone's life that someone says, 'what is your dream? why don't we make that happen!'" 


We're so glad that you did make that happen. Welcome to Gardner Village! 


Megan Hoeppner


Labels: gardner village, art cottage, shop, ribbon cutting, art classes, paint night, date nights, watercolor, local art, utah, salt lake