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Holly Veselka is an Assistant Professor at Texas State University in the School of Art and Design and a conceptual artist with a focus on project-based, research-oriented sculptures, archives, and installations. She has exhibited her work internationally and received recognitions including Creative Capital’s 2016 On Our Radar and a 2015 Puffin Foundation Artist Grant. Her interests lie in how humans perceive science, the natural world, and the cosmos. The art forms that manifest from these interests vary greatly depending on the project.

Emergent Observer is a progression of her previous conceptual works which have included: commercial vinyl banners of NASA image archives; molded chemical reactions arranged in geologic patterns and subject to entropy; projections on interiors recreating pop-scientific narratives; architectural models freezing ephemeral moments of sky-light; and a photographic archive of artificial nighttime in cinema. It adds to and expands upon the lexicon of artists acting as naturalists, like the conceptual artist Mark Dion who uses natural history collections in his work to “go against dominant culture … to challenge perception and convention.”

Emergent Observer conducts research that will have an impact on a real-world problem:

The cumulative effect of biodiversity is the regulation of ecosystem processes, including plant productivity, decomposition and nutrient cycling, that ensure consistency in ecosystem functions. These processes produce the harvestable resources (food, pharmaceutical compounds, wood) and other ecosystem services on which we depend.
The Importance of Protecting Biodiversity, Timothy Schowalter

Good art can educate and create empathy, and empathy leads to change.
—Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

The desired impact of Emergent Observer is to create tangible cultural change, not just within the project’s artworld audience but also within the professional field of emerging technologies. By accepting these technologies as our future and simultaneously pointing to the technologies’ limits, this project asks technologists to extend the gaze of the machine past the human and onto the natural systems necessary for a habitable planet.


MFA, Boston University, Boston, MA
BFA, The University of Texas, Austin, TX

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2018 Ancient Sunlight, Hello Studio, San Antonio, TX
2015 The Inanimate Vastness of Sidereal Space, Wave Hill, The Bronx, NY 2014 Rogue Planets, Mars Recruitment Center, Heliopolis, Brooklyn, NY 2013 Contemplation Center, site-specific project for DUMBO Arts Festival, Brooklyn, NY

Selected Group Exhibitions
2019 ACRE, Chicago, IL (four person) (opening in May) 2018 Nighttime for Strangers, NARS Foundation,   Brooklyn, NY (three person)) 2017 Get Well Soon, The Southern, Charleston, SC 2017 Non Atomic, 215 Orleans Project Space, Beaumont, TX 2017 Lift: An Exhibition of Kites, Artpace, San Antonio, TX 2017 Call and Response, Wave Hill, the Bronx, NY 2017 Gross Frictions, Lage Egal, Berlin, Germany 2017 Dêrive, Tête, Berlin, Germany 2017 Art City Fair, Hello Studios, Austin, TX 2016 And Introducing…, The University Galleries, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX 2015 To: Pluto, SedimentARTS, Richmond, VA 2015 How the sphere, having in vain tried words, resorted to deeds, Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space, New York, NY 2015 Closed Circuit, Abrazo Interno Gallery, New York, NY 2014 The Last Brucennial, Bruce High Quality Foundation, New York, NY 2014 Sequence and Seriality, Calico, Brooklyn, NY 2013 Comet Contemplation Center, DUMBO Arts Festival, Brooklyn, NY 2012 Great Expectations, Pop-Up Project, Brooklyn, NY 2011 Getting Closer, Brooklyn Fireproof, Brooklyn, NY 2010 Assistance League of Houston Celebrate Texas Art, Williams Tower, Houston, TX

Selected Awards and Residencies
2018 ACRE Artist Residency 2017 Picture Berlin Summer Residency 2017 Otis College of Art and Design Summer Residency 2016 Creative Capital On Our Radar 2015 LES Studio Program, a program of Artists Alliance Inc. 2015 Puffin Foundation Artist Grant

“Art Takes Flight with Lift at Artpace.” Dann, Cassandra. CO|LAB Magazine. Sept. 23, 2017.
“Kite-Inspired Art Elevates Artpace to New Heights.” Cook Monroe, Nancy. Rivard Report. Sept. 21, 2017.

“Call and Response at Wave Hill, through December 3, 2017.” Arts Summary: A Visual Journal. Sept 15, 2017.

“Art in the City Presents a Curated View of Art City Austin.” Blackard, Colleen. HiConcept Magazine: Creativity in Reality. 2017.

Call & Response: Marking 10 Years of Sunroom Projects with New Works by Alumni Artists, September 10–Dec 3, 2017, published by Wave Hill, the Bronx, NY, with essays by Jennifer McGregor and Gabriel de Guzman.
"The Inanimate Vastness of Sidereal Space: Holly Veselka." Interview by Danni Shen. Wave Hill Blog. July 24, 2015.

Groth, Michael. “New Directions at Greenpoint Gallery Night.” Hyperallergic. February 10, 2014.

“DUMBO Arts Festival Kicks Off in Brooklyn.” NY1 News. September 27, 2013.

Cook, Greg. “MFA ART 2009.” The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research. April 28, 2009.