KBS LTER welcomes Erica Bradshaw as our 2024 Artist in Residence

Erica Bradshaw, our KBS LTER 2024 Artist In Residence, standing in front of the lake in the fall.
Erica Bradshaw, our KBS LTER 2024 Artist In Residence

A Kalamazoo-area author, illustrator and muralist is the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station Long-term Ecological Research program’s 2024 Artist-in-Residence.

Erica Bradshaw, the owner of To Draw Attention Illustration, arrived at KBS May 20 and spent a week visiting labs and field sites and learning about research that’s underway at the Station.

Erica Bradshaw

A lifelong artist who had their first piece exhibited at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in second grade, Erica earned a bachelor’s degree from Kendall College of Art and Design in 2021, and is now a full-time artist.

Erica’s nature-based creations further their goal of making art that educates and prompts conversation. Their art has been far-reaching, through juried shows across Michigan, and throughout various murals, public art installations, and commissions. Erica is the author of two children’s books: Their Home, Our Landfill, and Alphabet of Amphibians: An Illustrated Field Guide.

This isn’t Erica’s first connection to KBS — they also worked with Kara Haas to create illustrations for the graphic novel Squareland Mysteries, written by Catalina Bartlett, which tells the story of two students intrigued by the “Squareland” (square research plots of the KBS LTER) they see on their bus ride to school.

Public events

During their residency, Erica led an art-science event on May 23 at the W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary for World Turtle Day. In this workshop, organized by the Janzen Lab, participants delved into the captivating realm of Michigan’s 10 native turtle species while learning watercolor painting techniques. Participants observed live turtles and learned art skills to translate color, shape, and texture to create their own watercolor turtle paintings.

On July 19, the Sanctuary will welcome back last year’s artist-in-residence, Trevor Grabill, for an exhibition titled “Good Neighbors.” Trevor will be sharing wood cut prints inspired by their time spent learning about research being conducted at the Station. Registration is open.

About the Artist-in-Residence program

Launched by KBS and Michigan State University in summer 2022 in an effort to promote art and science collaborations, the Farmscapes to Forests: Kellogg Biological Station Long-Term Ecological Research Artist-in-Residence Program is now in its third year.

Gretel Van Wieren, a professor of religious studies at MSU, spearheaded the artist-in-residence program in collaboration with KBS LTER Education and Outreach Coordinator Elizabeth Schultheis and KBS LTER Science Coordinator Nameer Baker.

Read about the program’s past artists-in-residence under our “Get Involved” tab! This story was originally posted on the KBS website, here.