2 East Dallas Women Participate in Upcoming Art Show
This story was originally published on March 30, 2022 by Lakewood.advocatemag.com
Two East Dallas neighbors are featured in an upcoming art show at the ALG Collective studio in the Design District.
Annie Griffeth and Christi Meril, who live in the Greenland Hills area, are two of four artists who are displaying work at the “Recharged” show. The opening night celebration is scheduled for 5-9 p.m. April 20 at ALG Collective (1302 Dragon St.). Proceeds from the show will support the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center.
Griffeth, an illustrative artist, was studying nursing and biology in college. But when her father died, she says it jilted her awake.
“I had this other calling,” Griffeth says. She left college, married her boyfriend and started pursuing art full-time.
When she first started, she says she wasn’t a skilled illustrator, so her pieces were more impressionistic. But over time, her skills improved.
Last year, a pub in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, commissioned Griffeth to complete illustrations for 12 beers. And during the pandemic, Griffeth kept busy with commissioned works for people’s homes.
The title of Griffeth’s collection is “The Stories We Share.” She says it’s different from previous works because her skill level is higher, and the imagery is more creative. She’s not holding any of the “weird” stuff back anymore.
“I’m being just my brave, weird, funny self,” Griffeth says.
She adds that she has to be honest in her work to connect with people or relate to them. She says she hopes people will be excited, inspired and curious when they see her pieces.
The works in this collection come from Griffeth’s interest in symbology and archetypes. She depicts characters including the outlaw, the lover and the magician, which she believes play a role in everyone’s lives.
Meril, an abstract expressionist, started making pieces for other people about 18 years ago. It started with a painting of a menorah for a family friend, whose son was having a bar mitzvah. She says people were drawn to her work, and she began painting other icons such as crosses and hearts.
She was a stay-at-home mom and often volunteered at local nonprofits. At one point, she was working closely with Dwell with Dignity, founded by Lakewood neighbor Lisa Robison, and was the art chair for the Thrift Studio fundraiser in 2017.
About six years ago, she transitioned into creating art full-time, and her work became more abstract. Meril says she loved being able to express herself in an “organic” way, through layering colors and textures.
“I feel like my art flowed out of a place of joy, and I was able to connect with really meaningful people and meaningful organizations,” says Meril, who’s still involved with nonprofit organizations.
She describes her work as colorful, textural and emotionally evocative. Sometimes she incorporates neon lighting or text to communicate messages.
Meril, who enjoys being in nature, says she has always loved the mountains. But she appreciates cities as well, and together, those settings inspire much of her work.
Her collection in the Recharged is called “Terrain.” During the pandemic, she spent six weeks in Colorado, and materials she found during that trip are included in the art. For example, she wanted to use some old mining nails she found and charcoal from a campfire.
She has three paper sculptural pieces and two new wood pieces. They reflect different perspectives — an aerial view looking down on canyons or buildings, an up-close look at a rock formation.
There are also two additional paper sculptural pieces and a 6.5-foot piece of wood.
“You have to experience it,” Meril says.