Pine Needles: A pioneering program in connecting artists and scientists | Science Museum of Minnesota

Field Notes
Field Notes

Pine Needles: A pioneering program in connecting artists and scientists

Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Posted by
Sharon Mallman

November at Pine Needles (GIF by Greg Seitz)

Over the past 16 years, 46 artists and writers have participated in the Artist at Pine Needles residency program offered by the St. Croix Watershed Research Station. These painters, photographers, poets, novelists, sculptors and printmakers have created not only amazing works of art based on the St. Croix River landscape but also a synergy between their art and the science of the Research Station.

This residency is a long-running example of a growing trend in artist residencies – to encompass both art and science. The original goal of the Pine Needles residency was to provide a unique experience to artists and scientists with opportunities to interact with one another and to explore connections between their work.

Participants in the program have frequently said that access to scientists inspires their work – and scientists at the Station are both intrigued by the artist’s view and often challenged by it as well. Senior scientist Mark Edlund says, “They can take things that I see every day under my microscope and think about them in new and creative ways – linking things as small as diatoms to romantic poetry. In return, I get to watch their minds explode with ideas as I expose them to worlds they never knew.”

Applications for the summer of 2018 will be available in early January at www.smm.org/scwrs/programs/artist. Applications are due by the end of February, with notification to applicants by the end of March.