2016 was a bad year for groundbreaking souls. We lost too many greats: Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, and Astronaut John Glenn, to name a few. Now, a cornerstone in the science art movement is threatened as well. Luckily, there is still time to do something about it.
Five years ago, “scienceart” was just emerging as an exciting new buzzword. Although art had served science and vice versa for decades, as we started this blog we felt as though we were on a sea swell that was quickly turning into a tidal wave. Sure enough, a year after we began blogging, a first-of-its-kind brick-and-mortar gallery space opened in Austin, TX, dedicated to science art: Art.Science.Gallery.
Founded by Hayley Gillespie, a scientist and artist in her own right, the gallery has hosted an impressive line up of exhibits, meetings, workshops, and public events since its inception. They have featured the work of over 700 artists working at the cross section of art and science and have curated 24 shows. Better yet, their most interesting and successful shows have been joint ventures with closely aligned scientific and environmental organizations - in other words, they walk the walk when it comes to bridging science and art communities. A few highlights:
— in 2016, they put on a show about evolution in collaboration with and timed to overlap the joint meetings of The Society for the Study of Evolution, The American Association of Naturalists, and Society of Systematic Biologists
— in 2014, they hosted In Danger (Or, you should really, really give a shit) with promotional partners IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Center for Biological Diversity, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Institute to highlight endangered species issues
— in 2013, they collaborated with The Entomological Society to put on a show on insects that coincided with their annual meeting
In addition, the gallery regularly reaches out to the universities nearby to draw on guest lecturers who can enhance exhibits at the gallery. Guests have included Dr. Amber Straughn from NASA Goddard lecturing on Hubble Space Telescope Images, Dr. Kathleen Ellins (program director for the Institute for Geophysics, University of Texas Jackson School for Geosciences), and Tricia Berry (director of Women in Engineering Program, University of Texas Cockerel School of Engineering) among others.
They also created an admirable program offering accessible science workshops for adults who do not have access to continuing education programs in the sciences. They’ve hosted over 200 public events including lectures and film screenings. They’ve trained 10 interdisciplinary interns through their 14-week college-level internship program. And they’ve raised thousands of dollars for local non-profits via their events.
If all this sounds like sciart-topia where scientists and artists collide, it is. But they may soon be forced to close their doors if they don’t raise the $20,000 it will take to renew their lease. As you review your year-end giving, consider contributing to their rescue campaign. There are several ways to support them:
- Charitable donations to save the gallery can be made here: https://www.paypal.me/artsciencegallery
- Donate to their rescue campaign and get scienceart goodies, including custom jigsaw puzzles by the ground-breaking scienceart company Nervous System with my 2014 reconstruction of Tiktaalik roseae on it: http://www.artsciencegallery.com/save/
- Buy an original artist’s trading card from the annual scienceart trading card exhibit. Browse the complete online gallery and if one catches your eye, simply email the gallery with the title and artist’s name to arrange for its purchase.
- Shop at Art.Science.Gallery's online gift shop for a fantastic selection of science art gifts:
- Sign up for a workshop or scienceart-related class, or give one as a gift.
- Rent the gallery for a private event. They've hosted lectures, parties, even weddings!
- and most importantly, if you care about scienceart, PLEASE SHARE THIS far and wide!
I'll just close by offering a few samples of the diverse array of art and talent they have hosted over the years. Let's keep this ship afloat!