Photo courtesy of Piper Heaton

Piper Heaton: Emerging Artist Selected as Top Finalist

UWG student Piper Heaton has been awarded a group show after graduation in the spring and had her art piece selected as a top finalist in an exhibit presented at the Train Depot in Carrollton. Piper is currently a senior at UWG studying to get her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in painting. When she first started her college career she had no idea that she would be on this path. Piper was amazed by the art pieces that the students were making at UWG and it drew her into her new found love of painting.

“I started out as a graphic designer and I got discouraged because I didn’t like what was going on, so I wanted to go to something that I know how to do,” said Piper. “Then I decided to go to painting because I already loved painting from high school. So I was like well I might as well do that and be happy because with graphic design the things I was doing was not super fulfilling for me, so I went to something that I know and that I am fulfilled by.”

Even though Piper stands by her choice in choosing painting as her major she still dabbles into graphic designs in her free time. When entering the exhibition she chose to create a digital piece as opposed to a physical painting.

            “The piece that got chosen to be a top finalist was a digital piece,” said Piper. “Since last summer I have been messing around with ProCreate and I have been doing some pieces in that and some pieces with a paint brush.”

            When talking more about the Exhibit, UWG art teachers let students know about different art shows that they can enter. Students are able to submit a piece or as many pieces as they can for a chance to get featured in an exhibit. Piper has submitted pieces every single year to be exhibited but she has never won anything until this year.

Photo courtesy of Piper Heaton

            “At the train depot, there were pieces set up with art like ceramics, videos, paintings and digital,” said Piper. “It was up for a week, and on the last day, we had the closing reception. They had people come in and talk. They had people who hosted the Art Takeover and people from the city of Carrollton and the juror.

            “Every art inhibited has a juror who is an outside person to choose the winners,” continued Piper. “When someone said my name that day, I was like ‘that’s crazy’ especially for winning an exhibit in August.”

            The piece Piper submitted to show did not just mean a lot because it was her first time winning. The digital piece she submitted also had a deeper meaning as she got to use the result of the pandemic and it fed into her art pieces.

            “For my senior show, I have been working the past three years on this cat exhibit because I have three cats and I had no idea why I started doing cats but at the beginning I just liked cats and the ambiguous space,” said Piper. “Through the pandemic it started to click for me on why I started to do cats other than the fact that I have three cats but it’s more about the idea about family and companionship and home and since I always had cats I always associated them with this subconsciously. So the pandemic really helped shift my mindset with that and I started doing images of my cats and my home space.”

With winning the art exhibit Piper has a new grown confidence for the art she creates. As a senior, she has high hopes for what’s to come after she graduates.

            “Beforehand I was talking to my friends and telling them how I was not going into the art field after graduation, but after I had won the show, and they said I was going to have to participate after graduation, I was like ‘that’s awesome.’ said Piper. “That was kind of like a sign for me not to write off art so quickly.”



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