LinkedInDawn Cleaves

Dawn Cleaves

Owner/Decorative Artist at Artisan Finishes LLC

Dallas/Fort Worth Area
Fine Art
  1. Artisan Finishes LLC
  1. Hudson Scenic,
  1. Cobalt Studios
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Artisan Finishes LLC

Artisan Finishes LLC

Owner/ Decorartive Artist

– Present

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Dawn Michelle Cleaves is experienced as a scenic artist and muralist. She grew up in Austin, Texas and started her career designing, building and painting sets for local theaters. She moved on to film work and was often selected for specialty tasks such as murals, subtle aging, faux marble and art reproductions. Various projects led her to New York where she worked as a carpenter on films and at the Metropolitan Opera. After being accepted as a USA scenic artist she worked at Broadway scene shops and on TV and films in New York. Working in the entertainment industry has given her the opportunity to work with great artist from New York, LA and Europe; thereby learning techniques and styles from the living masters.

Specialties:Decorative Arts, Matching existing marble and wood, Murals


Owner/ Decorartive Artist

Artisan Finishes LLC
– Present (3 years 11 months)

Manage all aspects of Client relations, Business formation and management, Advertising, Networking, Designing and Painting jobs. Murals, decorative finishes, faux finishes, venetian plaster.

Scenic Artist

Hudson Scenic
(3 years)

"The Producers", "Mama Mia". "Lion King", "La Boheme", "Spamalot", ....


(1 year)

Backdrop painting

Honors & Awards

Designers' Choice Award for Decorative Finishes/Faux Finishes

ASID Texas Dallas Design Community

Artisan Finishes was honored with the Designers' Choice Award by the Dallas Design Community. Thank you to all the designers who voted for us and understand our commitment to providing the best decorative arts services to the design community.

Best of Houzz 2013 for Customer Satisfaction

Artisan Finishes was rated at the highest level of customer satisfaction by the Houzz community.

Volunteer Experience & Causes

Opportunities Dawn is looking for:

Causes Dawn cares about:

  • Children
  • Environment
  • Education

Organizations Dawn supports:

  • Dwell with Dignity
  • AFS Intercultural Programs
  • Habitat for Humanity International
  • Dallas public schools,


  • Murals
  • Faux
  • Painting
  • Art
  • Venetian Plaster
  • Drawing
  • Illustration
  • Custom Furniture
  • Furnishings
  • Sculpture
  • Fine Art
  • Abstraction
  • Paint
  • Canvas
  • Galleries
  • Film
  • Theatre
  • Plastering
  • Public Speaking
  • Hand Drafting
  • Finish
  • Acrylic
  • Scenic Painting
  • Public Art
  • Faux Finish
  • Portrait Painting
  • Walls
  • Art Education
  • Flemish
  • Historical Restoration
  • Gilding
  • Furniture
  • Mixed Media
  • Color Theory
  • Figurative Art
  • Contemporary Art
  • Hand Rendering
  • boom lift operator
  • scissor lift operator
  • Finishes
  • Faux Finishes
  • Vasari Plasters
  • See 27+  See less


Cobalt Studios

Scenic Art

Scenic Artist Training Program ­ Certificate of completion 2002. Focused on painting
sets and backdrops for theater. In particular skills in layout for backdrops that are
generally 40' x 60'. Also learned historical decorative finishes, Trompe l'oie, and old master's reproductions.

Austin Community College

Commercial Art program ­ I focused on life drawing and illustration

University of Texas ­ School of Architecture

Koningklik Antheneum Reddingenhof

none, Flemish

Foreign Exchange student. Learned flemish and Belgian culture. My host grandfather was an artist and I had the opportunity to watch him work on original art as well as repairing broken angels from local churches.



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