Art Teaching Studio Opens in Libby

By Karen Morrissette


Are you artistic, or wish you were? Our DIY Studio, which held its Grand Opening this past Saturday, may just be the motivation you need to explore your creative side. A joint venture between Robin Tarbert of Red Robins Designs and Carla Darrar of My Happy Place, Our DIY Studio hopes to empower individuals while bringing small groups together for a fun and rewarding interaction. Robin stresses that they want to teach their students the process so that they can develop a sense of accomplishment and possibly stimulate a creative desire to learn more, not just complete a finished project to put on a shelf or hang on a wall. She and Carla both find this approach more gratifying for themselves and for their students.

Both women lived in the Libby/Troy area early in their lives, then moved away and later returned. Robin turned to art after a particularly trying time in her life. She started by teaching herself the art of jewelry making, then later branched out to woodwork, unique decorative signs, and ceramics. Carla is also largely self-taught, although she started with pour painting and then traditional canvas painting. Both women worked as vendors in the local area, including at the Libby Vendors Market where they came to realize that they had a tremendous amount in common. Robin and Carla have both been teaching classes independently, but felt a desire to have a dedicated space that could become a creative and social hub for the community.

During the Grand Opening, guests were able to select 3 of the 6 sample sign designs, choose their own background, and paint the designs in a way that made it their own. A couple of nights before, Carla taught a pour painting class using vases and bowls. Carla and Robin will soon start posting a calendar of classes for each month and eventually hope to have visiting artists from around the area come occasionally to use the space and teach classes in their different art forms. Given the limitations of the space, class size will be small in most cases.

Carla is excited to have the new space where groups can come for a fun time together. Want to bring your bridal party to celebrate and make signs for the bride’s new home? How about making pour paintings as part of a birthday party or a girls’ night out? Maybe even take a class in preparation for a holiday? She and Robin are also interested in possibly including older kids by doing school projects and in making the studio a potential destination for tourists. In the future, they plan to develop a DIY kit of the month that can be purchased and completed at home, possibly as a family project. Giving back to the community is important to both of these ladies, who have donated works in support of worthy causes in the past and plan to continue to do so through Our DIY Studio.

Robin and Carla will continue to be part of the Libby Vendors Market and hope to be at the Irish Fair in March. A limited number of their completed projects, currently used to decorate the new space, will be available for sale at the studio, but it is not meant to be a shop as much as a creative venue for classes. Our DIY Studio is located at 417 Mineral Avenue in Libby, in the space previously occupied by Aunt T’s. There will be no set hours but if you come by and see someone inside, feel free to drop in and say hello. An Our DIY Studio page is being developed for Facebook but not yet active. The class schedules will be posted primarily online but will also be available at the studio. If you have questions in the meantime, or are interested in scheduling a private class for your group, you can reach Robin at (208) 661-4615 or Carla at (208) 640-6036. Take the chance to exercise your imagination through art.

The Job Service

Employer Committee Presentation, Feb. 15

The Job Service Employer Committee and Montana Department of Revenue will host a presentation on Montana Business Tax Updates, Montana Wage Withholdings, and Cannabis Taxes.

The presentation will be held at Henry’s Restaurant from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. on February 15.  Meeting will also be available via ZOOM.

Lunch will not be provided by the Libby Job Service.   Please RSVP to Job Service Libby at 406-293-6282 or email


Submitted by Janelle Kimberlin,

Job Service Libby