Fun Fact: Did you know our mill is listed on the National Historic Register?

Gardner Village Blog New Business, New Opportunity, New Friends
Wednesday Jun 20 2018

Who, at one point or another, hasn’t thought of what it would be like to open a business? After working years in the oil and gas industry, and, before that, the tech industry, Paul Ashby decided it was time to take such a leap as a small business owner.

paint parties in salt lake

“I was looking for a startup to purchase when I saw the posting for The Art Cottage. I love Gardner Village and the feel here. I knew this could be a great fit… better than the laundromat I was also looking at,” Paul said with a laugh. 

It wasn’t long before Paul was the proud owner of his own retail shop, education facility, and event space. But he isn’t going at it alone. His two children are by his side, eagerly helping out.

the art cottage a family business

“It’s awesome to see the kids actually learn and do the art,” 11-year-old Chloe exclaimed. “Sometimes I go in the classes and participate with them. I love it! I mean, look at this amazing drawing this little tiny girl is doing in there right now. She's SO good!” 

utah drawing classes for children

Image by Chloe Ashby

Chloe’s enthusiasm is impossible to resist. Having such jovial energy in the art classroom is such a treat and adds to the fun of it all. Her 12-year-old brother, Evan, is also involved and quite the artist. Check out the clay fish he made in the Children's Mixed Media Class. He turned sequins into scales! So clever!

kids mixed media art classes


“A huge part of the appeal here at The Village is that kids can come with their parents and are free to simply enjoy themselves. They don’t run into keep off signs or a list of stifling does and don’ts. Instead, they just enjoy a unique and beautiful spot in Utah together. The Village is even dog friendly! It’s a special place that brings people together… it definitely brings our family together,” Paul said, shooting his cute girl a smile.



It’s no wonder Chloe appeared to be on cloud nine. Art is in her blood. Her maternal great great grandfather, Stuart Beck, was a member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists in London. There’s even a book about him, which is on display in The Art Cottage if you’re interested in learning more about his unique story and seeing his amazing creations. 

stuart beck


Under new ownership doesn’t mean The Art Cottage you know and love is changing in any drastic way. Bonnie and the teachers you adore are still there, sharing their passion and art knowledge with students of all ages. Find a completet list of classes here

watercolor paint classes in west jordan utah

“We’ll offer more watercolor paint parties, as well as classes using other forms of paint,” Paul said. “We’re even looking at ways of taking our painting lessons out into The Village. We’re surrounded by inspiration to experience and enjoy!”

You’ll notice a slight shift in the inventory offered at The Art Cottage in the coming weeks and months. You’ll still find high quality art and art supplies for the serious artist, but you’ll also discover more generic options for those looking for a happy, creative treat. Speaking of treats, the tasty gelato isn’t going anywhere either. 

art inspired home decor

“Besides the birthday parties and other fun happenings we already offer, we have plans to introduce more art-related events,” Paul said. “This includes festivals and hosting guest artists and well known personalities who make creating fun!” 



To meet this cute family is to adore this cute family. It’s clear Paul, Chloe, and Evan have exciting things up their sleeves. We can’t wait to see it all unfold. Keep your eye on this blog and the Gardner Village and The Art Cottage social media channels to get the latest on what’s happening. In the meantime, stop by and say hi sometime soon. If you come between now and this Saturday, June 23, you can still get in on the fairy excitment and paint a magical wand at The Art Cottage, or you can sign up for one of the inspiring art classes they offer. Either way, you're in for a treat as you connect with this kind family and your own creativity!

woodland fairy festival

Megan Hoeppner


Labels: the art cottage, paint parties, utah, salt lake area, west jordan, mixed media, children's classes, summer art camps