Press Release - ARC Gallery

Lauren Carrane, Sharp Pencil Marketing,, 954-554-0336

Artist Hunter Cole Presents Exhibit Featuring Photos of Bacteria That Create Their Own Light

"The Light of Prayer," photograph by the light of bioluminescent bacteria

"The Light of Prayer," photograph by the light of bioluminescent bacteria

Nov. 2, 2017

Evanston, Ill. – Art and science come together in a mesmerizing new multimedia exhibit entitled, “Living Light: Photographs by Light of Bioluminescent Bacteria,” on display at ARC Gallery, 2156 N. Damen in Chicago, from Jan. 3 through Jan. 27. An opening reception will be held on Jan. 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. and a closing reception will be held on Jan. 27 from 4 to 6 p.m.

This unique solo show from Evanston-based artist and scientist Hunter Cole features photographs of human figures (portraits; nudes; installations) illuminated by a glowing blue light created by bioluminescent bacteria. Cole creates liquid cultures of bacteria, then draws the bacteria into different shapes on Petri dishes using a paintbrush. Finally, she photographs the glowing petri dishes alongside her subjects to create modern works of provocative symbolism.

“Art and science have always been mutually inclusive for me,” says Cole, who has a PhD in genetics and teaches in the biology department at Loyola University of Chicago. “Science serves as a vehicle for expressing my creativity and artistry. Art serves as a motivation for me to interpret our living world.”

This exhibition will feature a survey of Cole’s bioluminescent art during the period 2005 to 2017. In addition to the photos, visitors can also see a time-lapse video piece featuring the bacteria growing and dying, accompanied by a musical score based on the protein sequences in the bacteria — all of which is meant to invoke reflections on the issue of mortality.

On the final night of the exhibit, attendees will have the opportunity to see the bacteria growing in person, when an installation of live bioluminescent bacterial drawings will be on view.

Living Light: Photographs by Light of Bioluminescent Bacteria
When: Jan. 3 to Jan. 27
Thursdays through Saturdays 12 to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 12 to 4 p.m.

Opening reception on Jan. 5 from 6 to 9 p.m.
Closing reception on Jan. 27 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Where: ARC Gallery, 2156 N. Damen, Chicago, IL 60647
Tickets: Free
Info: 773-252-2232 or

About Hunter Cole
Hunter Cole is an artist who combines drawing with photography using the medium of bioluminescent bacteria — bacteria which produces its own light. An Evanston-based artist, Cole is known for her work, which reinterprets science through art. She has worked in various media including painting, drawing, digital media, video, music and sound, and multi-media installations. Cole 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. Currently, she is a professor in the Biology Department at Loyola University Chicago, where she teaches a course in “Biology Through Art,” where students work to create art in a biology laboratory. Visit her website at

To schedule an interview with Hunter or for additional information, please contact Lauren Carrane at 954-554-0336 or email

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