Hunter Cole Photo Credit: Cheri Eisenburg

Hunter Cole
Photo Credit: Cheri Eisenburg

Chicago-based artist and scientist Hunter Cole is recognized internationally for producing work that is inspired by science, but lives as art.  Cole, who holds a PhD in genetics, reinterprets science through art. Cole ’s art includes paintings, photography, digital art, and living art using bioluminescent bacteria.  She is a Lecturer at Loyola University Chicago.

She holds a Ph.D. and Master's degree in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of California-Berkeley. At Loyola University Chicago Cole created a course, Biology through Art, where students work to create art in a biology laboratory.

Cole has created several series of art created with bioluminescent bacteria that will be exhibited as Living Light: Photographs by the Light of Bioluminescent Bacteria including Living Drawings, Bioluminescent Portraits and Installations, Bioluminescent Weddings, and Bioluminescent Nudes.

Her work includes a permanent public art installation acquired by Loyola University Chicago for its Lakeshore campus. Entitled, Life Evolves, the art is comprised of 14 oil paintings, six of which depict specific areas in biology.  The installation incorporates LED lighting timed to create changing effects in the overall appearance of the installation throughout the day.

"Angel Bride," photograph by the light of bioluminescent bacteria

"Angel Bride," photograph by the light of bioluminescent bacteria

"Life Evolves," 14 oil paintings and LED lights, 15' x 13'

"Life Evolves," 14 oil paintings and LED lights, 15' x 13'

Cole completed a residency during the summer of 2015 at the SymbioticA lab at the University of Western Australia in Perth.  SymbioticA is the first research laboratory of its kind, enabling artists and researchers to engage in wet biology practices in a biological science department. While at SymbioticA she began work on her project, The Hidden Suffering of Women with Endo, which focuses on endometriosis and its affects of women living with the disease.  Endometriosis causes endometrial tissue to grow outside the uterus in other parts of the body. Endometriosis can result in extreme pain and infertility. One in ten women have endometriosis.

Cole’s art has been shown in New York, San Francisco, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan and the Czech Republic. Hunter Cole co-authored the paper, “Art and Genetics” with Joe Davis, Dana Boyd and Marek Wieczorek, published in the Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (ELS). She has been the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, and has been included in such publications as:  Science, The Scientist, the Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, Muy Interesante (Spain), Le Monde, and Beaux Arts magazine (France).

Additionally, Hunter Cole has presented seminars on art and science throughout the United States and internationally including: the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), American Museum of Natural History (New York), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dialogue Between Science and Art Workshop in Hluboka, Czech Republic, and SymbioticA at the University of Western Australia in Perth, Australia.

© 2017 Hunter Cole