June 28 - August 6
Familiar Vantage features works by Dallas artists Heather Griffin and Abigail Syltie. By embracing the familiar and pursuing the unknown, this perspective creates nostalgia and excitement. This collaboration showcases a variety of both domestic and feral subject matter. Peruse canvases covered with quirky family pets, portraits of beloved relatives, and glimpses into painted memories. Amongst the familiar, discover the new vantage of the unknown: wildlife sightings from across the country, portraits of exotic birds, captured flights of butterflies, and the untouched beauty of raw green nature. Griffin displays themes of family, journeys, relationships, identity, and gender roles in child-rearing. Syltie’s pet portraits capture the beloved spirit of the four-legged friends we invite into our lives and call family.
Artist, Illustrator, Photographer & Graphic Designer
Heather Griffin Artist Statement
I have always love drawing faces and animals. To admire and truly know both, I capture their realistic features through keen observation, implemented with impressionistic freedom. I usually work with oil paints, acrylics, watercolor or pencil. The first step is almost always my photography since it allows me to steal a slice of reality, a treasured memory, to use as reference to translate via paint later.
Memories are important and an integral part of my work. When I was a kid, I would lead my younger sisters in adventures in the woods climbing trees, catching animals, and imagining adventures. These experiences gave me a great admiration and comfort in the outdoors, a fascination of the “wild” in nature, and a special fondness for those few who adventure along the way. When I wasn’t outdoors, I was in unofficial training, following the artistic footsteps of my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother before me-- both sides of my family--all of whom also painted from nature as well as portraiture.
I like to portray social and family narratives and human personality with the characters in my wildlife paintings. Recognizing our similarities with animals provides both humor and humility. Often that which separates us from the animals is of utmost importance. What can we learn from this vantage?
Heather Griffin Bio
Over many years Heather Griffin has honed her skills to become the multi-faceted, Dallas-based artist, designer, and photographer she is today. Griffin was born in Texas, however her appreciation for wildlife was greatly influenced by her upbringing in rural Arkansas surrounded by family and outdoors. Heather graduated from Junction City High School as Salutatorian in her class of 2005. She then attended Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia on a full-ride scholarship based on her art portfolio and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2009. Upon completing college, she moved to Dallas to discover new career opportunities. Since then Heather Griffin has worked in pattern artwork design for home bedding, graphic design, illustration, apparel design, and photography. In what little free time remains after artistic hobbies, Griffin enjoys family time with her dogs, parks and outdoors, fine dining, piano, and travelling.
Artist & Interior Designer
Abigail Syltie Artist Statement
I love to see my client’s faces when I give them a painting of their beloved pet. Bringing joy to others is one of the main reasons I am an artist. It all started when I decided to paint my older sister Stephanie’s Chihuahua Eli for a Thanksgiving gift in 2013. then painted a piece for my other sister and then started gifting my friends with paintings of their cats and dogs for their Birthday’s and special occasions. Others started asking for them and now I have a list of people waiting for them.
My artwork is bright, flat, and stylized in unique way that creates curiosity in each piece. I use acrylic paint on a gallery canvas to showcase each pet’s personality. The combination of the colors and presentation mimics pop art with underlying hints of a traditional style. I get my inspiration from my personal relationships and wanting to bring joy and peace to others.
A big part of what I do is to give back to others. I donate 10% of my earning to Paws in the City a local shelter that helps place dogs and cats in homes in the Dallas area. I hope to get more involved with more shelters and organizations in Dallas in the future.
Abigail Syltie Bio
From a very young age Abigail has been painting and drawing. In high school she started earning extra income through commissioned charcoal portraits. After getting her associates in art in east Texas she moved to Denton to receive a bachelor’s in Fashion Design at the University of North Texas. While Abigail was interning with Dallas fashion designer Michael Faircloth she was offered a job at Redstone Kitchens in Dallas designing kitchens and bathrooms. She was able to earn a degree in interior design while she worked and keep selling her artwork. She attributes her inspirations from her personal relationships and wanting to help others heal emotionally.