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Art and science are, in many cases, inspired by similar motivations: a desire to explore the unexplored and to uncover the hidden patterns and relationships of everyday life. The College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota, through the CBS Conservatory & Botanical Collection and Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, offers a diversity of plant and animal communities and a wealth of long-term ecological and botanical research. In a new partnership, Cedar Creek and the Conservatory are teaming up to provide a unique opportunity for artists to investigate the intersection of science, nature, and humanity. We invite artists working in any genre (including but not limited to photography, painting, music, creative writing…) to bring their unique ideas and perspectives to Cedar Creek and/or the Conservatory to help us build a long-term, diverse body of work exploring these spaces and their science.

2024 artists-in-residence at the Conservatory and Cedar Creek

dancer Brenna Mosser posing with vegetation and soil
Brenna Mosser
hand-drawn color portrait of artist sunshine gao
sunshine gao
artist Taylor Roberts in nature
Taylor Robers







Artists in residence are provided with:

  • Access to a world-renowned research site and/or botanical collection and the diverse habitats, biomes, and experiments they contains for up to one year
  • Opportunities to interact with researchers and students working onsite, including formal meetings, opportunities to observe and/or participate in field work, horticulture, etc
  • Space to promote your project on the Cedar Creek and/or CBS Conservatory website and social media platforms as well as in the Cedar Creek main visitors building or the Plant Growth Facilities in St. Paul
  • Access to a private one-bedroom house on the property for overnight stays, if desired (for Cedar Creek residencies only)
  • A one-time $1000 honorarium, to be paid in two installments during the residency

We ask that each artist in residence:

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Interact with site scientists and staff
  • Incorporate both art and science in their final work
  • Provide Cedar Creek and/or Conservatory staff with updates at least every three months
  • Share their work with the public through an event, installation, reading, show or other appropriate outlet at some point during or at the culmination of the residency (organized by the artist, hosted and promoted by Cedar Creek or the CBS Conservatory)
  • Consider leaving some aspect of their work for the permanent collections at Cedar Creek or the CBS Conservatory when the residency is completed

As with all researchers and visitors onsite, we require that Artists in Residence respect all site and facility rules and regulations, including staying on internal roads, carrying a use permit, using care when handling plants, and checking in before each visit. A residency does not give you unlimited access to the reserve or Conservatory. Depending on the nature of the project, residencies may last from one week to one year. For Cedar Creek residencies, no overnight stays are required and you do not need to physically be "in residence" at the reserve - we do encourage you to stay overnight at least once though! 

Artists in Residence will need to provide their own transportation, food, art supplies, and other materials. Although we are only able to provide a small stipend for our Artists, many past participants have been successful at obtaining external funding for their projects through the MN State Arts Board, the Swedish Council of America, local non-profits, and other sources. We are of course happy to provide official letters of support or information about the residency as part of funding applications!


Applications for 2024 residencies are now closed. We anticipate opening a new call for artists in November 2024.

Past Artists in Residence