Heather Beardsley

Heather Beardsley


Fulbright Research Scholarship, 2015-2016
Installation Art, Vienna, Austria

Masters of Fine Arts, May 2015
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Fine Arts, May 2012
Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD

Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art, May 2009
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Solo Exhibitions

2023    Heather Beardsley: Strange Plants, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA, USA
2022    Pteridomania, Shenandoah Valley Art Center, Waynesboro, VA, USA
2022    This Will Be for Thousands of Years, Barry Art Museum, Norfolk, VA, USA
2022    A Dream of Strange Cities, Artspace, Richmond, VA, USA
2019     Folding City, Rogers Studio Gallery, Las Vegas, NV, USA
2019     Strange Plants, IZONE, Kyiv, Ukraine
2018     Variations on a Theme, Merion Hall Gallery, St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
2017     Biomimikry, Staatliches Naturhistorisches Museum, Braunschweig, Germany
2016     Encoded Elucidations, Museumsquartier, Vienna, Austria

Two and Three Person Exhibitions

2023    Hexagonal, with Dan Flounders and Garth Fry, Assembly, Norfolk, VA, USA
2023    The Nature of Things, with Hilarys Waters Fayle and Kris Iden Flippo Gallery, Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, VA,
​             USA 
​2019    Once I had…, with Britta Benno, Kraam Art Space, Tallinn, Estonia
2019    Red Thread, with Guido Nosari, Shangyuan Art Museum, Beijing, China
2018    Transmigration, with Anne Stagg, Curfman Gallery, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
2014    Cutaway: An Artistic Dissection of Science, with Katie Vota, Paperish Mess, Chicago, IL, USA

Group Exhibitions

2023    In the Middle with You, The Middle Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA
2023    Organic Matter, Les Yeux du Monde, Charlottesville, VA, USA
2023    Unbound 12, Candela Gallery, Richmond, VA, USA
2023    Beyond the Frame: A Contemporary Exploration in Mixed Media Photography, Target Gallery, Torpedo Art Center, Alexandria
             VA, USA 
2022    More than Shelter, Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
2022    Flora/Fauna/Fiber, Mary M. Torggler Fine Arts Center, Newport News, VA, USA
2022    Other Ways of Seeing, The Plaxall Gallery at Culture Lab LIC, Queens, NY, USA
2021     2021 Textile Biennial, Museum Rijswijk, Rijswijk, Netherlands
2020    Rogers Art Loft Year One Retrospective, Rogers Studio Gallery, Las Vegas, NV, USA
2020    Sea of Change, Virginia Beach Art Center, Virginia Beach, VA, USA
2020    Devotion: Sewing the Sacred, Surface Design Association Exhibition in Print
2020    Tiny but Mighty National Juried Exhibition,  d’Art Center, Norfolk, VA, USA
2020     Flat Files at OyG, Ortega y Gasset Projects, New York, NY, USA
2019      Shangyuan 2019 Residency Program Closing Exhibition, Shangyuan Art Museum, Beijing, China
2019      8th World Textile Art Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art, Museo del Traje, Madrid, Spain
2019      Depth, Michigan Science Center, curated by Science Gallery Detroit, Detroit, MI, USA
2019      Shangyuan Artist in Residence Opening Exhibition, Shangyuan Art Museum, Beijing, China
2019      Fantastic Fibers 2019, Yeiser Art Center, Paducah, KY, USA
2019      New Waves 2019, Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Beach, VA, USA
2019      Memory Palace, Jackson Dinsdale Art Center,  Hastings, NE, USA
2018      Werkpräsentation der KulturKontakt A.I.R.: Austrian Chancellory, Vienna, Austria
2018      Transcultural Emancipatioin, Fluc, Vienna, Austria
2018      Collider, Circa Modern, Chicago, IL, USA
2018      BARTR x Tinta, Tinta, Budapest, Hungary
2018      Circular, Gestalt Projects, Santa Monica, CA, USA
2018      Off the WallSpartanburg Art Museum, Spartanburg, SC, USA
2018      Amateras Annual Mini Paper Art Competition, National Palace of Culture, Sofia, Bulgaria
2018      The 12th International Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art “Scythia”, Ivano-Frankivs’k, Ukraine
2018      Fake, Science Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
2018      Material, D’Art Center, Norfolk, VA, USA
2018      Books Undone, The Gallery at Penn College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport, PA, USA
2017      Botanik, Las Lagunas Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA, USA             

2017      War in the Arts: Redeeming Spirits, Orange Hall Gallery, SUNY Orange, NY, USA         
2017      Department Of, Montagehalle, University of Fine Arts- Braunschweig, Braunchschweig, Germany 
2017      Prescriptions: artist books, Tempelman Gallery, University of Kent, Kent, UK
2017      Shout, ARC Gallery, Chicago, IL, USA 
2017      Wild Cuts, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL, USA 
2017      Fight or Flight, The Painting Center, New York, NY, USA 
2017      Paper Works, Fort Works Art, Fort Worth, TX, USA 
2017      We the People: Political Art in an Age of Discord, Barrett Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA 
2017      Nearby – Faraway: 19th Annual Mini-Textile Exhibition, Gallery SVÚ, Bratislava, Slovakia
2017      30th Annual Women’s Works, Old Court House Art Center, Woodstock, IL, USA
2016      Crafting Community: SDA 2016 Inaugural International Exhibition In Print (print exhibition)

2016      New Fibers 2016, Eastern Michigan University Gallery, Ypsilanti, MI, USA 
2016      19th International Open, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL, USA 
2016      Inspirácia Papierom III, Galeria X, Bratislava, Slovakia
2016      Prescriptions, The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, Canterbury, UK (catalogue)
2015      Cut / Create: The Endless Possibilities of Paper, Union Gallery, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

2013      Radius250 2013, artspace, Richmond, VA, USA
2013      Smörgåsbord, Gallery CA, Baltimore, MD, USA

Residencies/ Fellowships

2024     Pier-2 Art Center Artist in Residence, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan (forthcoming​)
2023     CANTemporaries Art Residency, CAN Foundation, Newport News, VA, USA
2022      Artist in Residence, La Box, École Nationale Supérieure d’Art de Bourges, Bourges, France
2020     33 Officina Creativa, Toffia, Italy (cancelled due to COVID-19)
2020     Sirius Arts Centre Artist in Residence, Cobh, Ireland
2019      Rogers Arts Loft Artist in Residence, Las Vegas, NV
2019      IZOLYATSIA Residency Program, sponsored by US Embassy, Kyiv, Ukraine
2019      Shangyuan Art Museum Artist in Residence, Beijing, China
2018      Artist in Residence, KulturKontakt Austria, awarded by the Austrian Federal Chancellory, Vienna, Austria
2018      Artist Residency, fee supported, BARTR, Budapest, Hungary
2017      Braunschweig Projects International Artist Scholarship, awarded by the Ministry of Science and Culture from the
State of Lower-Saxony, Germany

Awards and Grants

2022     Honorable Mention- This Will Be for Thousands of Years, Best Museum Exhibition (New Work) 0f 2022 in Hampton Roads,
Virginia, VEER Magazine issue, December 2022
2020    Pandemic Relief Grant, Foundation for Contemporary Art, USA
2020    Merit Award, Sea of Change, Virginia Beach Art Center, Virginia Beach, VA, USA

2020    Merit Award, Tiny But Mighty National Juried Exhibition, d’Art Center, Norfolk, VA, USA
2020    Modern Meets Tradition Award, Devotion: Sewing the Sacred, Surface Design Association Exhibition in Print
2018     Finalist, Meyer Family Award for Contemporary Art, Mainline Art Center, Haverford, PA, USA
2017     Peripheral Visions Publication Fellowship, Peripheral Vision Arts, Dallas, USA
2017     First Place, 30th Annual Women’s Works, Old Court House Art Center, Woodstock, IL, USA
2015     Fulbright Scholarship Research Grant for Installation Art, Vienna, Austria

Public Lectures and Workshops

2023     Cyanotype Workshop, Torggler Fine Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA, USA
2023     Visiting Artist, Intro to Sculpture Class with Ryan Lytle, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA, USA
2023     Visiting Artist Lecture, Fashion Embellishments Course, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA
2022     Visiting Artist Talk, Environmental Science Program, Brock Environmental Center,
                   Virginia Beach, VA, USA
2022.     Image Transfer Workshop, Torggler Fine Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA, USA
2022     Coffee + Conversation, with Mel Price, in conjunction with More Than Shelter, Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art,
                    Virginia Beach, VA, USA
2022     Artist in Residence Lecture, École Nationale Supérieure d’Art de Bourges, Bourges, France
2022    Panelist, Fulbright Info Session, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA
2022     Artist in Residence Lecture, ENSA Bourges, Bourges, France
2021      Visiting Artist Lecture, Grant-Writing Seminar, UNLV, Las Vegas, NV, USA
2021      Visiting Artist Lecture, Fashion Embellishments Course, School of the Art Institute of Chicago , Chicago, USA
2019      Cyanotype Workshop, Las Vegas Natural History Museum, Las Vegas, USA
2019      Artist in Residence Lecture, Rogers Studio Gallery,  Las Vegas, NV, USA
2019      Artist in Residence Lecture, IZOLYATSIA, Kyiv, Ukraine
2019      Artist in Residence Lecture, Shangyuan Art Museum, Beijing, China
2019      Visiting Artist Lecture, St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA
2018      Visiting Artist Lecture, University of Fine Arts, Vienna, Austria
2018      Stop Motion Animation Workshop, BARTR Art Residency, Budapest, Hungary
2017     “Biomimickry”, artist lecture, Braunschweig Staatliches Naturhistorischesmuseum, Braunschweig, Germany
2016     “Conceptual Map-making: Reenvisioning the Objects in Vienna’s Globenmuseum”, presentation, Fulbright Seminar
in American Studies, Strobl, Austria

​Institutional Collections

Amateras Foundation, Sofia, Bulgaria
Artists’ Books and the Medical Humanities Project, University of Kent, Kent, UK
Candela Collection, Richmond, VA, USA
Rogers Arts Foundation, Las Vegas, NV, USA
Shangyuan Art Museum, Beijing, China

World Textile Art Organization, Miami, Florida, USA

I work between art and science, both by emulating how scientists work and adapting the visual language with which scientific research is communicated for a non-expert public. I use methods from zoologists to create somewhat convincing descriptions and illustrations for my creations. I play with scientific display conventions, imitating the style of high-tech visualizations like spectrographs and 3D printing through low-tech craft media like modeling clay, cyanotypes, and embroidery. At times I have done this to question the authority scientific depictions are often unquestioningly given, other times to borrow from said authority to validate my own work. By embellishing and extrapolating upon science, art, like science-fiction, has the ability to create visceral worlds that feel lived in. Taking things to fantastical extremes opens up new questions and avenues of thinking at this critical point in our history, especially in terms of environmental impact. Human industrialization has had a huge impact on the earth’s natural cycles; changes that once happened over millennia have now unfolded in decades.

In 2017, I visited the Chernobyl exclusion zone, and wandering through Pripyat made me feel the transience and fragility of human life in a way that continues to haunt me. Over the past thirty years, nature that was destroyed by human hubris and incompetence has grown up to dominate the abandoned man-made structures. In some ways this place is frozen in time, a snapshot of an idealized community, built by an empire that no longer exists. Since that trip, I have sought out ruins and abandoned structures as a source of inspiration, and my travels have taken me to abandoned hospitals, prison complexes, and Soviet military bases. For me, these places are a form of intergenerational communication, passing on information from the past and posing questions about what messages our ruins will send to those that come after us. Through this lens, I make speculative, imagined images of potential distant futures where the balance between the built and natural world has shifted. Looking at my work, I want people to ask: Can the damage we’ve done be reversed? What will the world look like without us? And how long will evidence of our civilizations remain? The materials and processes I use in my work reinforce these concepts, allowing them to resonate on a deeper level and keep from feeling literal or didactic.


2023    Photo Trouvée Magazine, issue 10, pp. 82-85, 15 Apr. 2023, 
2022    Eberhart, Jenna. “11 Contemporary Textile Artists to Celebrate During Women’s History Month.” Not Real Art, 23 Mar. 2022,
2022    Manby, Jo. “Plant Apocalypse – Heather Beardsley’s Speculative Embroidery.” The Fourdrinier, 3 Jan. 2022,
2021    Laurens, Morgan. “Q+Art: Heather Beardsley Brings Wide-Eyed Wonder to the Art of Science.”
                  Not Real Art World, 18 Aug.2021,   
​                  https://notrealart.com/artist-heather-beardsley-art-and-science/.
2020.   Autumnus, E-Squared Magazine, issue 5, pp. 131-135, Fall 2020
2020    Adams, Helen. “Heather Beardsley.” Textile Curator: Waking up the World to ContemporaryTextile Art, 10 Aug. 2020,
2020    Tomasello, Anne Marie “Artist Highlight: Heather Beardsley ‘The Nomad Artist’.” Studio Practice Blog, Apr. 2020
2019    Biennial Edition, Peripheral ARTeries, Fall 2019
2019    Average Art Magazine, vol. 36, July 2019
2019    Beardsley, Heather. “Heather Beardsley | Biomimicry.” The Art Blog, 2019,
2019    Bleakley, Alan, editor. “A Manifesto for Artists’ Books & the Medical Humanities.”Routledge Handbook of the Medical
, by Stella Bolaki, Routledge, 2019.
2019    Krysa, Danielle. “Heather Beardsley.” The Jealous Curator, 27 Feb. 2019,
2018    BARTR 2018 Anthology, in collaboration with Hurrikan Press and Vulkan Gallery, Budapest, Hungary
2018    Downs, David. Interview.  WerksSprocketbox Publishing, vol. 1, June 2018.
2018    “Grids.” Title of Project, Make8elieve, vol. 13, pp. 234–237., 8.4.2018
2018    “Activism”, Oh Dear Beast, vol 1 p. 11-12, 15.1.2018   
2017    Bolaki, Stella and Ciricaite, Egidija, editors. Prescriptions: artists books on wellbeing and medicine
                   Natrix Press, London.  2017, pp. 10-11
2017    “Politics Today”, Murze Magazine, vol. 2 p. 14, 10.08.2017


2023    Laurens, Morgan. “‘Strange Plants’: Life Finds a way​
2022    “Heather Beardsley.” Curate757, season 7, episode 6, PBS, 16 Nov. 2022.
2022    Kennedy, Amber. “Barry Art Museum Exhibits Artwork Connected to Ukraine.” Old Dominion University, 20 May 2022,
2022    McGee, Kelley. “New Torggler Exhibit Opens, Works Re-Imagine Nature with Textiles and Fibers.” Christopher Newport
, 23 June 2022,
2021    “The Rijswijk Textile Biennial 2021 ‘Food for Thought.” Textile Forum Blog, 28 Oct. 2021,

2021    Kortekaas, Joren. “Meet the Artists Pt. 3 | Textiel Biënnale 2021. Food for Thought | Museum Rijswijk.”
                 YouTube, Museum Rijswijk, 22 Nov. 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2P88vOO72c.
2022    Holmes, Brent. “Rogers Art Loft Brings the World to Las Vegas, One Artist at a Time A Local’s Love Note to a Homegrown
                  Institution.” Double Scoop: Arts in Nevada, 5 Apr. 2021
2020    Sole, D.K. “Heather Beardsley, Folding City.” Settlers + Nomads, 25 Jan. 2020,                    
2019    Antosha, Antonina. “Heather Beardsley: Nature, Environment and Human Societies, Their Interaction and Symbolism.”
                    UATV English, Kyiv, Ukraine, 23 Aug. 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2Piw_46RW4
2019    “Live In The D: Science Gallery Detroit Debuting ‘Depth’.” Live In the D, WDIV, 4 June 2019,
2019    Clark, Christina. “DEPTH Water Exhibit at the Michigan Science Center in Detroit: The Temporary DEPTH Water Exhibit at the
                    Michigan Science Center Explores the Importance of Water and Taking Care of the Planet, June 8-Aug. 17, 2019.” Metro
, 20 June 2019, https://www.metroparent.com/things-to-do/attractions/depth-water-exhibit/. 
2019    Hodges, Michael. “MSU Exhibit ‘DEPTH’ Explores Our Ties to Water at Michigan Science Center.” The Detroit News, 7June 2019.
2018     Kovač, Eva. “Work Presentation of the AIR in the 4th Quarter of 2018 of the Federal Chancellery AND KulturKontakt Austria.”
                   Block Frei Blog, 9 Dec.  2018,  https://blockfrei.org/work-presentation-of-the-artists-in-residence
2018    Regine. “When Is Fake ‘Even Better That the Real Thing’?” Review of Fake.We Make Money Not Art, 21 May 2018,
2018    King, Anthony. “Fact, Fiction and the Art of Deception.” Review of FakeNature International Journal of Science, 19 Mar. 2018,
2018    Davis Meixel, Cindy. “Gallery’s First National Juried Exhibition Offers Plenty to Ponder.” Review of Books Undone, 21 Jan. 2018,   
2018    “Fake: The Real Deal? at Science Gallery Dublin.” Science Gallery Dublin, Mar. 2018,
2017    ​“Books as Art Decorate Penn College Library, Gallery.” Penn State News, 11 Dec. 2017.