In addition to my life as a biologist I am also an artist, and enjoy exploring the interaction between the arts and sciences. At Austin College – where I majored in biology and minored in art and environmental studies – I had many opportunities to explore my interests in both the arts and the sciences.  In fact, these interests inspired me to start writing about my interests in art and biology on the biocreativity blog in 2011 and become a small-business owner in 2012! I am currently the owner and director of Art.Science.Gallery. LLC, an art gallery and science communication training center featuring science-related art in Austin, TX.

Much of my own artwork explores human relationships with nature and environmental issues. My ceramic work has been greatly influenced by that of my grandmother, Martha Gillespie, who taught me pottery from a very young age. Recently, though, I have begun to do much more drawing, printmaking (screenprinting and monotype printing), collage and short film production.

They Paved Paradise. 2003. 6" x 6" stoneware tiles with oxide wash, iron sawblade. Permanent collection of Austin College.

They Paved Paradise. 2003. 6″ x 6″ stoneware tiles with oxide wash, iron sawblade. Permanent collection of Austin College.

SHOWS + COLLECTIONS (click on the title of the shows see the work)

  • 2012 | ART from the ashes (AFTA) invitational group show and benefit for the Lost Pines Recovery Team (April 28-May 5, 2012 Austin, Texas; June 11-30 Bastrop, TX; October 6-November 30 Texas Forestry Museum, Lufkin, TX)
  • February 2012 – present | Darwin Day Portrait Project, Texas Memorial Museum (on display downstairs with the paleontology collections)
  • 2005-2006 | Selected works showing at The Paradise Cowboy gallery (1427 N. Hwy 67 Ste 200, Cedar Hill, TX)
  • May 9-18, 2003 | More Than Meets The Eye | group juried show, Robert Johnson Gallery, Wright Campus Center, Austin College, Sherman, Texas
  • April 21-15, 2003 | Full Circle | solo exhibition, Craig Hall Gallery, Austin College, Sherman, Texas
  • Fall 2003 | group juried show,  Fresh Light Studio/Gallery, Katy Depot, Denison, Texas
  • May 2001 | 2001 Annual Student Show | group juried show, Ida Green Gallery, Austin College, Sherman, TX
  • Spring 2001 | X-change | group invitational show; exchange of works between Austin College and University of Dallas students, University of Dallas.

Recent Work

For the ART from the ashes benefit art show for Bastrop Lost Pines Recovery, I made a slab-built teapot – Bastrop County Relief Service –  which was actually a fairly accurate 3D model of Bastrop County, TX. For this show, all of the artists were given materials salvaged from the Bastrop County Complex Wildfires of 2011 and were tasked with creating new works of art that are being sold to benefit the Lost Pines Recovery Team. I researched geological and vegetation maps at the UT Austin Geology library to create a template for the surface and groundwater slabs. The handle is a burned piece of metal salvaged from the fires and I made my own blue ash and green ash glazes using sifted ashes from the Bastrop Fires. This was also my first attempt at photolithography on clay, in which I transferred images of native species of the Bastrop Lost Pines onto the cups of the teaset.

Bastrop County Relief Service, ceramic with ash glaze and found metal handle. 2012. Created for ART from the ashes benefit for the Lost Pines Recovery Team. Image © Hayley Gillespie

“This teapot is a model of Bastrop County, Texas, showing both the surface relief, vegetative landscape and the groundwater geology. With this piece, I hope to illustrate the importance of water and climate in shaping the ecology of Bastrop County and the Lost Pines ecosystem. Just like this teapot, Bastrop County’s aquifers are vessels for water that are crucial to the functioning of the Lost Pines and for providing ecosystem services that even we humans depend upon. This water is also critical for species that are endemic to the Lost Pines – meaning they exist in the Lost Pines and nowhere else – including the endangered Houston Toad (Bufo houstonensis), Greenspot Lady’s Tresses orchids (Spiranthes lacera gracilis), Attwater’s Pocket Gopher (Geomys attwatteri) and Texas Long-lipped Beetle (Telegeusis texensis). As water flows from the teapot into the cups, it represents the flow of life as the Lost Pines ecosystem supports these species. The lid to the teapot is in the shape of the Bastrop County Complex Fire burn scar, which reminds us of the fragility of this ecosystem during times of drought. Though, as time heals the scarred landscape, the lid can be reversed to reflect a resilient ecosystem of which we are now more aware than ever.”

Bastrop County Relief Service, detail. © Hayley Gillespie 2012


Back in February I directed the Darwin Day Portrait Project at the Texas Memorial Museum – a public art project and collage of Charles Darwin – which you can read more about here.

Darwin Day Portrait Project. Paper collage and acrylic on wood panel. © 2012 Hayley Gillespie

Darwin Day Portrait Project. Paper collage and acrylic on wood panel. 3′ x 4′ © 2012 Hayley Gillespie

In winter 2011-2012 I started doing more printmaking – mostly monotypes, and a small foray into screenprinting!

Hayley + Cole. 2011, Monotype Print. (c) Hayley Gillespie

Poecile carolinensis (Chickadee). 2011, Monotype print on recycled paper. (c) Hayley Gillespie

I made this piece for my awesome Mother-In-Law on her 60th birthday. Soixante Soleils celebrates her 60 trips around our sun.

Soixante Soleils. Monotype print on recycled paper. (c) 2011 Hayley Gillespie

Soixante Soleils(detail). Monotype print on recycled paper. (c) 2011 Hayley Gillespie

Cole and I decided to screenprint our Christmas cards this year. Here’s the result: Sweetbeak.

Sweetbeak. Serigraph on recycled paper. (c) 2011 Hayley Gillespie + Cole Weatherby