The Farmscapes to Forests: KBS LTER Artist-in-Residence Program paves the way for LTER scientists and others in the KBS community to explore the intersection between art and science. We are excited to learn more from our artists and scientists as the KBS LTER explores options for creating a long-term program in art and science collaborations. This program is one of several art-science collaborations taking place across the LTER Network.

A print by KBS LTER scientist, Corinn Rutkoski, inspired by her work with native Michigan perennial plants and prairie strips and our 2019 Artist in Residence, Erin Schneider.

The W.K. Kellogg Biological Station welcomes artists working in any genre (including but not limited to painting, photography, sculpture, handwork, music, dance, creative writing) to join our community of scientists, students, teachers, and staff through our Artist in Residence Program. Hosted by the Long-Term Ecological Research Program, the Artist-in-Residence program is a celebration of place-based experiences centered around the farmscapes, prairies, forests, and lakes surrounding the station, which are emblematic of the Upper Midwest. Artists with a deep connection to natural spaces are invited to join KBS scientists as they go about their work and undertake explorations of pristine, disturbed, and managed environments, and are welcome to make use of the extensive grounds and properties associated with the station in their reflections. Artists and scientists are linked by their passion for observing the world around them, and their desire to understand and replicate the patterns present throughout nature. Our goal is to connect these groups and create a bi-directional exchange of information and passions between the KBS community and visiting artists, and provide a consistent opportunity for artistic expression that can become part of the communal story of the station. 

Artists in Residence are provided with:

  • Access to a world-renowned research site and the diverse ecosystems and long-term experiments it contains, including grasslands, forests, and lakeside habitats
  • Opportunities to interact with researchers and students working onsite, including formal meetings and field work observation and/or participation with ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and social scientists
  • Freedom to pursue your own creative projects in a variety of potential production spaces  
  • Housing in the private Caretakers Cottage or other residences at the W.K Kellogg Manor on the shores of the beautiful Gull Lake in Hickory Corners, MI
  • An honorarium of $1,000
  • Space to promote their project on the KBS website and social media platforms, as well as in KBS facilities 

**Artists provide their own transportation and take care of their meals while at KBS. The cottage’s kitchen is well-equipped with a stove, cookware, and dishes. All facilities have wireless internet. The researchers, students, and staff at KBS will do everything in our power to make each residency inspired, productive, and rejuvenating.

We ask that each Artist in Residence:

  • Spend time at KBS, including a week where the artist is available for discussions and field trips with scientists and staff on-station. Week to be determined in collaboration with KBS LTER staff.
  • Interact with the KBS community – including scientists, staff, and students.
  • Engage with the site’s designated “Reflections Plots,” places of significant natural and research interest at the KBS LTER.
  • Lead one informal event with the KBS community to share approach and work. Event can be designed by artist, or can be part of the KBS Colloquium weekly series.
  • Share work with public through an event, installation, reading, show or other appropriate outlet at some point during or at the culmination of the residency (organized and hosted by the artist in collaboration with the KBS LTER).
  • Contribute to the collection of stories by previous artists-in-residence by sharing a significant outcome of your time as a resident artist.
  • Give permission to the KBS LTER to publish work in some form and/or donate piece to be on public display at KBS.

Residency Timeline

The KBS Artist-in-Residency program is an annual award, centered around a one-week immersion at the station in spring or summer, and culminating with a return visit and exhibition in the following fall or winter. During the initial week-long visit, the artist will become acquainted with KBS and the research taking place at the LTER and field station. They will have the opportunity to embed within a lab, taking part in lab activities including time in the field and participation in research and observation. When the artist returns, they will share their work and experience through a presentation to the KBS community, and a public exhibit of their work. The artist also has the opportunity to return to KBS throughout the summer, if desired.

Applications for the 2024 Residency are closed, and will be reviewed starting in January, 2024. Please email all application materials as a single PDF file to Elizabeth Schultheis (, Education & Outreach Coordinator for the KBS LTER, including:

  • Up to three samples of your creative work, including writing, visual art, or links to recordings.
  • Please describe your process, your inspiration, and your background (250 words or less). 
  • Include a residency proposal describing how your work connects to the natural world and science. Please include details on how your work connects to the KBS LTER and could be inspired by this opportunity (250 words or less).
  • We embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as anti-racism, as core values of the KBS LTER. Please include a statement describing how you translate your work to society and how it uplifts populations that have been historically under-represented (250 words or less).
  • CV

Art & Science Collaborations at the KBS LTER

YearNameAboutWork with KBS
2024Artist in Residence: Erica BradshawOur Artist in Residence for 2024 is Erica Bradshaw, a Kalamazoo-area author, illustrator, and muralist.Erica worked with Kara Haas to create art for the novel, "Squareland Mysteries" about kids exploring the KBS LTER. She joined us in May for her week-long residency where she met with scientists, participated in bird and butterfly surveys, toured the LTER, and led an art-science event at the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary for National Turtle Day.
2023Artist in Residence: Flat Mountain PressOur Artist in Residence for 2023 is Trevor Grabill, a teacher, gardener, muralist, and printmaker in Kalamazoo, Michigan.Trevor joined us for a week in June, touring the KBS LTER and LTAR sites, meeting with our scientists and staff, and participating in our first ever BioBlitz! They have a history of collaboration with KBS, and for their residency hope to add a data-informed approach to their work, looking, for example, at native plants that thrive alongside agriculture, or the relationship between pollinators and a changing botanical world.
2023Artist in Residence: Callie ChappellCallie Chappell is our Our joint Artist in Residence for 2023 with the University of Michigan Biological Station. She is an artist, science communicator, and scientist studying the effects of genetic variation on species interactions and community assembly.For the first time, we hosted a joint residency with the University of Michigan Biological Station. Callie joined us for a week at KBS, and hosted two sun printing events - one with our undergraduate students and mentors, and another for the public through the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary. Callie captured her experiences and images in a beautiful blog post here!
2022Artists in Residence: Dream Scene PlacemakingOur Artists in Residence for 2022 are the wife and husband team, Anna Lee Roeder and Erik Vasilauskas. Muralists based in Kalamazoo, they are passionate about creating shared community experiences in public space. Erik and Anna visited KBS twice during their residency - May and October. In the spring, they toured KBS, visited our long-term experiments, and met with scientists, students, and staff. In the fall, they presented a brownbag seminar on the development of their artistic styles and how the residency fit into that trajectory. Since their residency, they have returned to KBS to continue fostering the art-science connection!
2022-presentKBS S.N.A.P.S.During summer 2022, Dream Scene Placemaking facilitated KBS S.N.A.P.S. - Science Nature Art Photo Synthesis. This program will continue each summer to capture life at the field station and serve as a visual yearbook. As a community building project, residents of KBS were asked to capture their experience that summer. Twenty 35 mm cameras were distributed to the KBS community. The resulting images were featured in the artists's seminar and will be displayed around the KBS property.
2021K-12 Partnership Summer Institute, ART + SCIENCEIn 2021 the K-12 Partnership Summer Institute explored three major themes of art and their unique relationship to science and science education/communication on each day.This event was led by Kara Haas and Sarah Evans, and came out of a collaboration with Dance Exchange, as part of their Future Fields project.
2020-presentKBS ChalkboardChalk drawings advertising the Kellogg Biological Station seminar series, brownbags, and special events. Started by Bonnie McGill, and currently maintained by Corinn Rutkoski. Follow them on Twitter at @KBSchalkboard!
2019Artist in Residence: Erin SchneiderOur first Artist in Residence was Erin Schneider, a self-described “people, plants, and dirt-lover” and co-owner of Hilltop Community Farm in La Valle, Wisconsin.Erin visited KBS in 2019 and worked with the community to examine the interstices between science, nature, and art through poetry. The culmination of her first week was a poetry workshop where Erin shared her work and invited others to do the same. On her following visit, she helped organize the Allurement Salon, an evening showcasing the art and science from KBS to the broader community. To read the poems by Erin, inspired by her visit to the LTER, visit her page here.
Allurement Salon 20192019Allurement SalonThe Allurement Salon took place in Richland, MI as a way to engage the public with the art and science of KBS. In addition to viewing original art, attendees had the opportunity to meet artists and other members of the KBS community, enjoy poetry readings, and participate in an on-site collaborative art project.Scientists and other members of the KBS community spent months exploring the intersections of art and science with Erin Schneider. In November they gathered to showcase and celebrate the results of that exploration.
2019Summer at KBS AnthologyThe interest and participation in the artists-in-resdience program motivated the publication of a ‘Summer at KBS Anthology’, wherein students, staff, and researchers shared artwork and writings highlighting their scientific discoveries. Those who worked at KBS were invited to submit their pieces, inspired by their experiences that made a lasting impression on them. The anthology features poems, sketches, and writings inspired by events that took place in summer 2019.
2019DEPTH at the Detroit Science Museum - Fog of DawnDEPTH explored water’s intense power while also showcasing the beauty and life it brings. It weaved a narrative, drawn from scientific research and artistic exploration, that invited visitors to consider how we can value the power of water, understand why it brings us joy and life, stop our abuse of it, and wonder about the undiscovered and unknown. Sarah Evans, Greg Bonito, Bjoern Hamberger, and Jj Kidder created an exhibit for DEPTH, called The Fog of Dawn. This experimental installation features five self-contained habitats which, each two weeks apart, are inoculated with cells of the moss Physcomitrella, one of the most ancient lineages of land plants. A last one will project humanity into the future, with colonization of Mars.
2019Catalina BartlettCatalina is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures, a Faculty Fellow and Core Faculty member in the Center for Gender in Global Context, and a Core Faculty member in both Digital Humanities and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.Catalina authored the novel, "Squareland Mysteries" for upper elementary students about kids exploring the KBS LTER. She has been instrumental in encouraging our artist in residence program.