A Unique Way of Bringing Science and Art Together

Science and art aren’t regularly combined, but the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Pine Needles Artists in Residence program, run through St. Croix Watershed Research Station, does just that. “The Pine Needles Art Residence Program was started to explore connections between science and art,” founder Sharon Mallman says. The program gives artists and writers the opportunity to spend two-to-four weeks in a vintage St. Croix River cabin provided by the Science Museum of Minnesota. “They immerse themselves in the surroundings and interact with the scientific staff at our research station,” Mallman says. The program has been around for the past 17 years and has hosted 43 artists since 2002.

Mallman says all information about the program can be found on the Science Museum of Minnesota’s website. They post the opportunity on their website during the first week of January, and people are welcome to submit applications until the end of February. The applications are reviewed by a committee of Science Museum of Minnesota staff, members of the community, former artists and more. They select their choices by the end of March. “We rate them all in a complicated system and choose the artists that we feel are the best fit for the program and who would gain the most from a residency,” Mallman says. This year, Leigha Meredith was awarded the first spot for the summer.

Meredith studies environmental science at the University of Iowa and has recently decided to combine art into her workload by minoring in it. She has mainly done biological illustrations and has recently been working on making her own paints. “I’m really excited about being in a different place and just kind of removing myself from my daily life,” Meredith says. “Having a new place to create and hopefully meet a lot of cool people.”