UT alum combines art and science in a new gallery

Bharath Lavendra

Many people believe art and science inhabit two completely different spheres of existence. However, for UT alumna Hayley Gillespie, the two could not be more interconnected.

The Ecology, Evolution and Behavior doctoral graduate opened the nation’s first art gallery dedicated to displaying only science-related artwork. The Art.Science.Gallery in East Austin was founded in July 2012 with the mission “to make science more accessible to everyone through science-related visual arts exhibitions,” according to the gallery website. 

Gillespie said she hopes to engage people in scientific topics in new ways.

Biochemistry senior Immanuelle Azebe-Osime said she appreciated the way this gallery showcased art and science interacting, so those who enjoy either of the areas can enjoy the other.  

“[As a science student] art is very dense to me, and I can’t understand it sometimes, especially visual arts,” Azebe-Osime said.

According to Gillespie, the Art.Science.Gallery will benefit science students by assisting them in being able to take down better observations and approach their work from different perspectives. Gillespie also said the artwork might inspire science students to think more creatively when it comes to their experimental design.

Biochemistry sophomore Anjali Chacko said she commends the director’s effort to teach lessons on science through art but worries viewers will not fully grasp the message without proper background.

“When I see a painting of a historical event, even if I read the description next to it, I’d still need further education on the subject,” Chacko said.

The gallery recently launched a series of art courses open to anyone with subjects such as field sketching and anatomy for artists and offers a 14-week internship program for students and young adults who want to learn more about the relationship between the two fields.

Azebe-Osime said music is more easily appreciated by a wide variety of people, but artists tend to be able to see and appreciate science in a different way.

“When I look at nature, I see that it is beautiful, but I see it for what it is,” Azebe-Osime said. “I think that people with an artistic background see nature in a way that might provide a different viewpoint from what most other people perceive.”

The Art.Science.Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12 p.m.–6 p.m. Currently, there is an exhibit titled “COSMIC,” where the artists explore the cosmos and space through printmaking.