Public Art Residency

The Public Art and Ecology Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program is an exciting new partnership between Iowa Lakeside Lab and Imagine Iowa Great Lakes (IIGL).

Starting in the summer of 2021, one artist will be selected for an extended 8-12 week residency where they will have an immersive experience in the ecology, science and natural history of the Iowa Great Lakes region. As part of the residency, the selected artist will develop and execute a temporary public art project in the community that engages local residents and visitors in the natural systems that make up the Iowa Great Lakes region.

The residency includes lodging and meals a Lakeside Lab on West Okoboji Lake; access to lectures, researchers and field study activities taking place at Lakeside Lab, a $5000 stipend and a $10,000 budget to go towards the execution of the public art project.



Selection Criteria

The final selection will be made based on the strength of original application materials, previous work, and responses to the interview process. The jury will work to assess who best aligns with the stated missions of both organizations,  Iowa Lakeside Lab and Imagine Iowa Great Lakes.



The selected artist will be supplied with the following:

  • Housing, meals, and rustic studio space at Iowa Lakeside Lab’s campus in Milford, IA
  • Access to members of the Iowa Great Lakes community
  • A full-time student intern to help with local support, documentation, outreach, and promotion.
  • Access to an immersive Lakeside Lab experience including on-campus lectures, researchers, and field study activities.




Artist Stipend: $5,000

Project Materials and Supplies: $10,000



Selection Process

Phase 1: Initial Application

The initial application asks for artists to submit the following:

  • Letter of Interest
    • Not to exceed 1 page, uploaded as a PDF
  • Resume
    • Not to exceed 3 pages, uploaded as a PDF
  • Email and Phone Numbers for 3 Professional References or Previous Collaborators
    • Uploaded as PDF or .doc
  • Portfolio containing images and descriptions of previous projects
    • Uploaded as a single PDF
    • Links to videos and project-specific webpages are also acceptable within this document


In the letter of interest, please address the following questions:

  • What interests you about the opportunity to be in residence at Iowa Lakeside Lab and to develop a project that engages the public?
  • How does this opportunity align with your artistic practice?


This application is open through Nov 9th, 2020 and can be found here:



Phase 2: Finalists Presentations

3-5 finalists will be invited to participate in a virtual interview, to respond to a written set of questions, and speak with the jury.

There will also be a finalist virtual orientation in the form an online Webinar for finalists to learn more about the region, the research and classes that take place at Lakeside Lab, the artist residency program, and the specific goals of the Public Art and Ecology Residency.

After the orientation, each finalist will be given approximatly two-weeks to answer a set of questions about how they would spend their time at the residency and the approach they would take to developing their project. Finalists will also be asked to develop a rough budget proposal for how the available funds would be used.

A fully designed concept proposal will not be required at this time.


Final Selection

Final selection will be based on the submitted materials, references, and the presentation/ interview in relation to the mission of the residency, Iowa Lakeside Lab, and Imagine Iowa Great Lakes.




Phase 1 – Initial Application Deadline: Nov 9th

Phase 2 – Finalist Interviews Scheduled: Late November

Finalist Selected: End of December

Residency Begins: Early May 2021

Completion / Installation of the Project: August 2021





Contact Alex Braidwood




“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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