Patricia Denys earned her BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and her MFA from Vermont College in Montpelier. While at the University of Texas she studied under American photographer Garry Winogrand.
Her life has been spent as a working artist, photographer, educator, graphic designer, academic dean, writer, activist, and animal chaplain. In the 80s she started doing animal rescues with a small team and became unknowingly a part of what is now called the Animal Welfare Movement.
For several years Denys presented at the School of Visual Arts Conference in New York with her papers on society’s views on animals and women and how they are viewed and marketed, and on the subject of animals in containment. These papers are published in SVA’s “Proceedings.” She also has a published paper; “Animals and Women as Meat,” in The Brock Review, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2011.
Her most recent studio works have focused on the dichotomies that exist between society’s perception of, and the reality of, animals in containment such as in factory farms and the public display industry specifically regarding the plight of Tilikum, the Orca held hostage at SeaWorld.
Denys collaborated with photographer Mary Holmes under the name Synergydogs on their photography book, Animal Magnetism, which explores the relationship between people and their companion animals. Denys and Holmes are currently collaborating on their second photography book, Artistic Leanings on artists and their creative process. The book includes some of the most significant artists and designers of our time such as Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Bourgeois, Judy Chicago, Art Spiegelman, Alex Katz, Rachel Rosenthal, Sue Coe, Chuck Close, William Wegman, Ed Ruscha, Charles Schulz, Patrick McDonnell, Dorothea Rockburne, and Stefan Sagmeister.
Denys directed the short documentary, “Awesome Living With Andy,” IMDb (2016). The film documents Andy, a rescue Bichon mix found by his family in Southern California. He does not consider his back injury to be a hindrance in any way to his active life and promotes healthy living. William Wegman makes a cameo appearance. The short won Best Documentary at the Pawparazzi Film Festival, Salt Lake City, 2016, and was accepted as part of the 2017 Dog Film Festival and premiered in New York City in October 2016. “Awesome Living With Andy” toured the United States in 2018 as part of the Dog Film Festival.
Denys functioned as creative director for Speak for the Animals magazine in 2017. Speak was awarded a Silver Addy Award from the American Advertising Federation in 2018. Denys is currently the creative director for Animal Culture Magazine. Animal Culture has been awarded 5 Addy Awards over the past 4 years.
Denys is an interfaith, interspecies Animal Chaplain, ordained by the Compassion Consortium, New York. She offers art workshops for anyone who struggles with animal loss.
All images are shot and owned/copyrighted by Patricia Denys/Synergydogs unless otherwise indicated.
If you’d like permission to use any of these shots, please email so we may discuss. Thank you