Angela McQuillan is a Philadelphia-based Artist and Curator working at the intersection of art and science. Angela holds degrees in both Biology and Painting, and has ten years of experience working as a scientist in various roles including academic research and pharmaceuticals. She is a former member of the Little Berlin curatorial/artist collective in Philadelphia, where she received a Knight Foundation grant in 2013 for the Little Berlin Fairgrounds Project. For two years, she directed this project to convert a vacant lot into a public art and garden space. To this date, Angela has curated over 40 art exhibitions relating to science and technology, including exhibitions by internationally recognized artists working specifically with biological media. Angela currently works as both the Curator at the Esther Klein Gallery, and the Director of the University City Science Center’s BioArt Residency which she founded in 2017. This residency program recently won the 2019 Art + Business Partnership Award by the Philadelphia Arts & Business Council. Angela is also a current member of the Grizzly Grizzly artist collective based in Philadelphia. Her work has been featured in prominent publications such as The New York Times, Forbes and SciArt in America.
Despite the massive amounts of information readily available to us, humans are still surrounded by mystery. Our perception of the world is quite limited as there is much that remains undiscovered. I am drawn to the lure of the unknown, and the quest for more knowledge. I am interested in the processes that happen inside of a living entity that are invisible to the eye yet essential to life. Through my scientific background I have gained a deep appreciation for biological forms, anatomical subjects and bodily functions. I am fascinated by the way that nature evolves and adapts, and the way that humans can manipulate the outcome. I believe in the interconnectedness of all things, and that nothing ever occurs as an isolated event. I am interested in the ability of science to solve problems while ultimately creating new ones, and I think that art is important in this equation because it allows us to reflect on the power of our own knowledge and take a closer look at the implications of how it can alter our society and our environment. Science and art are both tools of exploration, allowing us to gain more insight into ourselves and the world around us. We will never see everything there is to see, but catching tiny glimpses here and there make the quest worthwhile.
“We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance."
- John Archibald Wheeler