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Meet Deborah Hartigan Viestenz of DHV Artworks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Deborah Hartigan Viestenz.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Thank you for your interest in my art and my story! I am an artist, specializing in large-scale multi-media abstract paintings seeking to translate nature into feelings and work with clients on art placement and commissions in their homes.

By way of background, I have lived in NY, London and Paris and have been in Dallas for 20 years and summer in Cape Cod. Originally from the northeast, I grew up in NJ, attended Boston College and graduated from Hartford Art School at The University of Hartford (where I received a BFA-Fine Art Major/Commercial and Visual Art Minor). I then moved to Manhattan and, as often happens, fate intervened and I landed at Ted Bates Advertising in Account Management, rather than Creative (as I’d planned!).

While art and design have always been my passion, my business career took off and I ended up as SVP, Director of Acquisitions for New Plan Realty Trust; a publicly traded real estate investment trust owning and operating strip shopping centers located throughout the United States. It is quite a long story as to how I ended up on this path but, suffice to say, it was as a result of spending my summers on our sailboat in Sag Harbor and the people I met…

In the last 20 years, I have worked professionally in the commercial real estate, raised a family (my best and most important accomplishment!) and have only dabbled in my art for pleasure and relaxation. Free time is now abundant for me and two years ago I began, once again in earnest, rediscovering the art world.

In the last two years, I have focussed on my painting and exploring new techniques and started my company, DHV Artworks, LLC, last year. Since then, I have been having a ball and success has followed! I am now represented in the Design District, a gallery in north Dallas, The Artists’ Showplace, and am being featured at several exhibits coming up including TVAA’s “Sights of the Unseen” in May at Plaza of the Americas, downtown.

The most fun I’ve had is working with clients doing commissions and placing my artwork in their homes. It’s always so rewarding to see how space can be totally transformed with the right artwork. Through social media and word of mouth, my business is expanding pretty quickly in and I’ve been fortunate to develop relationships with a few designers who also love my work. If you look at my website, you can see some of the installations.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Truthfully, since I’ve started my company, it’s all been better than I could have imagined! The hardest part of the business has been figuring out how to market my artwork while still finding time to create.

Social media and website design are two areas that I have had to become more adept at. Thank goodness for my son, Rick, who finally took pity on me and launched my website and taught me how to navigate Instagram!

The other challenge is that it sometimes gets a little frenetic. It seems like each time I either sell a painting or commit it to an exhibit, someone then wants to buy that very same piece and I have to get back to work on something new immediately-Murphy’s Law, I guess!

Please tell us about DHV Artworks, LLC.
DHV Artworks, LLC was formed in 2016. I am the artist, marketing director, sales agent, art consultant, website administrator and am very busy! From an artistic perspective, my artwork is inspired by nature and I’m known for large-scale multi-media abstract paintings seeking to translate nature into feelings. Like other artists, I sell my work at galleries and through exhibitions.

What is a very different, though, is that I work with clients (and designers) directly to create original art for their homes. When I first meet with a potential client at their home, we discuss their decor, lifestyle, passions and what pieces of mine (usually seen on my website) prompted them to reach out to me. I will photograph their home and then, within a week’s time, submit a presentation to them for consideration. This presentation is a booklet which shows their spaces as they presently exist and then those same spaces with various artworks “hanging” on their walls.

Very often, someone will contact me thinking of placing (or replacing) a painting in one area and we find that new art in another location may be a better solution and make more of an impact than they’d considered. Not only will the presentation include new art, but also photographs of how their existing art may look in other rooms in their house.

What is fun about this a client can see exactly how the art is going to look and there is nothing left to the imagination? It’s rewarding for me to go in with a fresh eye and surprise the client with how great their space can look with simply moving an existing piece of art that they love and installing a new piece in as well. We get so accustomed to our spaces, we sometimes don’t look “outside the box” and this is what I feel I’m good at.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I have to say that there isn’t much I would change about any part of my life. I’ve been so fortunate and have experienced so much-all good! My biggest joy has been and continues to be, my family. If I had to really reach for something to change, it might be to have started DHV Artworks a few years sooner.

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Getting in touch: VoyageDallas is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Colleen Steinberg

    May 16, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    Beyond Talented , Beautiful AND still skinny!!! You are my idol!!! 😊😇💕

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