2021 Public Art & Ecology Residency Artists Selected

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Imagine Iowa Great Lakes and the Iowa Lakeside Lab are excited to announce the all-new Public Art & Ecology Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program which invites artists to apply for an eight-twelve week residency. Lakeside Lab is a biological field station and nature preserve located in the northwest region of Iowa. The residency program is offered with an eye towards Long Term Ecological Reflections, a national partnership between biological field stations that support thoughtful relationships between art and science.

The Artist-in-Residence program aims to create opportunities for collaboration, partnership, and reflection between artists, scientists, and community members. Artists are encouraged to use the area as their studio and to interact freely with scientists, field study courses, local residents, and visitors. A high priority of the program is exploring relationships between art and science. Preference is given to artists whose work engages with ecology, science, and natural history in unique and collaborative ways.

For 2021, a group known as Space Saloon was chosen for the Public Art & Ecology AIR program.  Space Saloon is a collaboration between Danny Wills, Gian Maria Socci, and Rebecca van Beeck. The collaborative combines art, architecture and design to create interactive artworks and spaces. “We were particularly impressed with how they intend to incorporate the scientific method into their research and design process, and their commitment to creating artwork that engages the Okoboji community,” said Meredith McKinley, a member of the selection committee.

Space Saloon is a design laboratory on the move. They are a collective of architects, artists, and researchers who support students, young professionals, and communities through a non-hierarchical form of making, learning, and knowledge exchange. Their pedagogical projects build communities, promote tolerance, and foster engagement through the production of transdisciplinary forms of knowledge.  “We look forward to seeing the creative work that this group will bring to the Iowa Great Lakes area,” said Michelle Goodenow, Executive Director of Imagine Iowa Great Lakes.

Danny Wills is an architectural designer, educator and researcher. His work explores the limitations, histories and biases of tools and the representations they produce.

Gian Maria Socci is an architect, urban designer and educator. His main interest lies at the intersection between architecture and the tangential disciplines of geography, earth sciences and landscape architecture.

Rebecca van Beeck is a scenographer, artist and educator. Her approach links across spatial design, urban and participatory research, stage and costume design, and live and visual art.

Learn more about Space Saloon on their website: https://spacesaloon.com/

“Artists and scientists are both asking questions about the world, they’re just doing it in different ways”
Alex Braidwood
Director, Iowa Lakeside Lab Artists-in-Residence Program
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