4/22/14 – Dan Jay & Wally Gilbert | Scientists Who Make Art

Scientists/artists Wally Gilbert and Dan Jay will discuss how they each approach their art and the role their respective scientific experiences has on the creative process. Gilbert was initially trained in physics but is best known for his seminal contributions to molecular biology. Gilbert’s primary art medium is computer-manipulated photography. Jay is a cell biologist and his early training was in chemistry. Jay’s medium is drawing. Together they will explore how science informs their “experiments” in making captivating images.

Dan Jay received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Harvard University. He continued his career there as a junior fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows and as a faculty member becoming the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Natural Sciences. He is currently Professor of Developmental Molecular and Chemical Biology at Tufts University School of Medicine. Jay has had solo exhibitions at Harvard University, Gallery of Nature and Temptation, Boston Public Library and most recently the Massachusetts State House. His current work combines art and science using chemical elements to generate new art media for works on paper.

Wally Gilbert had a long international career as a scientist, working in Molecular Biology on genes and DNA. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, in 1980, for solving the mystery of DNA sequencing. Those discoveries drove the development of Biology as a gene-based science across the last three decades and led to the working out of the Human Genome program and the current understanding of all organisms. For the last ten years Gilbert has been working in Digital Art. His work has moved through stages of abstraction, first based on silhouettes derived from photographs, then to ever more abstract images, and eventually to patterns having only a slight residual aspect of a biological curve. He has exhibited widely in the US and abroad.

This event is produced in participation with the Cambridge Science Festival.



left –  Wally Gilbert, Trans #4, digital print on paper or aluminum, 19″ x 13″ or 30″ x 20″, 2014 
right – Dan Jay, Fe-Magnetic Field 3, rust, iron filings, steel wool, and liquid acrylic on paper, 15″ X 10″, 2013

Date: April 23, 2014