Watercolor applied to a sketch of leaves

Art at the Bell

Celebrating the intersection of science and art

Our Resident Artist Research Project (RARP) offers artists an exclusive opportunity to engage with the museum’s scientific collections as well as University researchers while exploring art as a medium for interpreting science in the public realm. Residencies are 12-15 weeks long, during which time artists develop new work inspired by or in response to science research, collections and ways of knowing.

RARP is made possible thanks to generous support provided by the McKnight Foundation.

2017/2018 Resident Artists

Alison Heimstead

Alison is a director and designer of puppet theater. She has worked on puppet spectacles of all sizes all over the country, including co-founding Barebones Productions. Alison carries an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in puppetry and theater design where she was a Jacob Javits Scholar.

In her residency, Alison aims to move audiences to develop compassion for fellow beings in the natural world while also considering the impact of human actions.

Christopher Lutter-Gardella

Chris is a designer, inventor, theater-maker and community educator whose work revolves around the design, construction and performance of puppets, costumes, unique theatrical inventions and sculptural installations. He produces his art principally from waste-stream materials, exploring the unique potentials inherent within them.

In his residency, Chris is interested in researching cosmology at the intersection of physics, biology, history, and culture.

Jeff Millikan

Jeff examines the darker aspects of the human condition and our relationship with nature by creating provocative moods and narratives through staged photographic images, immersive installations, and quirky captions. Jeff has exhibited across the country, and has taught photography at the University of Minnesota for the last 35 years.

In his residency, Jeff will explore the museum’s scientific collections to discover new sources of inspiration to frame his artistic perspectives with science.

Erin Sharkey

Erin is a poet, essayist, producer, educator, graphic designer and community organizer based in Minneapolis. She is the co-founder of the Free Black Dirt artist collective and serves as the co-host for Black Market Reads, a weekly podcast about literature and black cultural production.

In her residency, Erin will consider natural cycles as a part of urban life, the modern urban farmer, and natural history’s relationship to industry, labor, and migration.

2017/2018 Showcase Artists

Showcase artists are invited to have a featured exhibit at the museum consisting of work they have already created, which was deemed outstanding during the RARP selection process.

Sarita Zaleha

Moheb Soliman

Danger Boat Productions