We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Gierke and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, why did you pursue a creative career?
Art is my first love. Making has been a continuous thread throughout the course of my life because of the way it makes me feel and its ability to connect me with others. My formal education was art driven, all of my jobs since have been as well. Out of college I was a fabricator at a studio specializing in museum exhibits—think realistic, life-size models of animals and dioramas (my boss was a taxidermist!). Then I became an art gallery manager, a production manager at a sign shop and now create artistic, residential interiors with Turnstyle Design. Making and selling art is always happening alongside these other endeavors. Creating is my passion and inherently feels like what I am meant to be doing in life.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Someone once told me that even though there is a lot of variation in my art – some pieces are abstract while others representational, some dimensional while others are not – there is a cohesive thread between them all; that you can tell they’re all made by the same person. I appreciated this feedback as I’ve worked hard over the years at honing my craftsmanship. Whether through attractive color combinations, clean, precise lines of a shape, or the mystery in how something is made, it’s important to me that each piece is made with meticulous care. This quality of the work is something I’m proud of and feel is essential to the art. I want folks to love and value the things I put out into the world.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is fun question since I’m now living in Clearwater, FL and look back on my time in Austin, TX so fondly! These are my favorite spots. FOOD: Patrizis—an amazing Italian food truck (my favorite restaurant in the whole city!), Asiana—an Indian cuisine gem in South Austin, and Radio Coffee & Beer for its casual energy and atmosphere. OUTDOOR: Gus Fruh is a fantastic swimming spot, Pedernales Falls State Park is my favorite place to hike for it’s expansive rock formations, and walks around Lady Bird Lake are always enjoyable. I’m also a big fan of watching the bats fly at the S. Congress Bridge. ENTERTAINMENT: The Alamo Drafthouse’s Master Pancake series is fun, a show at Cap City Comedy, and I highly recommend checking out The Color Inside—a Skyspace by artist James Turrell. Viewing this beautifully interactive exhibit was a life changing experience.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family has been my biggest support. My mom, Terri Gierke, helps me prepare and set up shows, attends my workshops, and even buys my art for her own home. Recently she took it upon herself to sort through the 300+ illustrations I’ve made because she believes there is a book idea hiding within. She regularly reminds me of her interest in becoming my assistant and running my print sales to the post. I am the luckiest! The atxGALs are also deserving of a shout-out as they helped me build community and exposure through their pop-up art events and hosting my “Build-A-Bug” workshops at their incredible space—The Cathedral. Definitely check them out!
Photo of Ashley by Turnstyle Design LLC.