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1. Introduction

The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), the CoLab Studio within the Michigan State University Museum, and the innovative STEAMpower Project are proud to collaborate within the MSUFCU Arts Power Up Arts Residency Program. The program is designed to promote collaboration, exploration, experimentation, and innovation within a supportive environment for the creation of new artworks at the intersection of art, science, and technology. 

Located on the campus of Michigan State University, FRIB is a world-unique rare isotope research facility, enabling new science opportunities at the frontiers of nuclear structure, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental symmetries, and societal applications. FRIB supports a community of approximately 1,800 scientists from around the world. The laboratory has a strong program for public engagement, and regularly collaborates with artists of various disciplines. 

The MSU Museum is an innovative museum committed to promoting interdisciplinary collaboration, research, and education in the arts and sciences. The MSU Museum serves the Michigan State University community by facilitating and creating experiences at the nexus of the arts, sciences, cultures, and technologies. The CoLab Studio, a division for innovation and experimentation at the MSU Museum, develops methods for designing and implementing novel, transient and experimental programming, informal learning and community engagement.

MSUFCU Arts Power Up Arts Residency at the STEAMpower Project is designed to spark new research and modes of cross-disciplinary learning by bringing artists, researchers and graduate student collaborators together to address global challenges. Within this unique framework, a call for an artist in residency at FRIB will take place annually over the next 5 years. The CoLab Studio at the MSU Museum will exhibit new artworks created as a result of the residencies. 

2. Description of the call

For the first edition of this call, we invite visual artists from any background or medium to apply for this residency program during which they will immerse themselves in the FRIB laboratory’s environment, and interact with its scientists, students, and staff, as well as engage with the dynamic and vibrant arts communities at CoLab and STEAMpower. The residency program fosters a culture of experimentation, innovation, and pushing the boundaries of traditional artistic practices, with a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary exchange and exploration. 

The theme for this first call is nuclear astrophysics, one of the major research directions at FRIB, which aims to understand how the properties of atomic nuclei shape the nature of stars, supernova explosions, and the chemical elements that make up the universe and ultimately enable the formation of planets and life. Artists with a keen interest in science, technology, interdisciplinary practices, experimentation, innovation, and engaging with diverse communities are encouraged to apply. This call is especially reaching for artistic proposals of interactive visual artworks that explore the broader societal or philosophical context of FRIB’s nuclear astrophysics research. 

The selected artist-in-residence will spend at least three, and up to four months on the beautiful campus of Michigan State University, located in East Lansing, Michigan. The artist-in-residence will be provided with studio space, office space at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, travel support to/from East Lansing, Michigan, and a stipend to cover living expenses during the residency period.  

Furthermore, the selected artist will have the opportunity to showcase their works at Michigan State University Museum, an innovative and experimental collaboratory that exists to catalyze creativity, and actively participate in engaging public programming opportunities. This residency presents a platform for artists to not only create and exhibit their art, but also to actively engage with the academic and artistic community, forging meaningful connections and expanding their creative horizons. 

Artists will also be part of the STEAMpower Project Fellows program, a year-long collaboration of artists, faculty, and graduate student researchers focused on the arts/science nexus. The STEAMpower 2023-24 faculty and grad student fellows are invited to reflect on sustainability. The selected artist from this call will participate in group meetings and conversations and will have the opportunity to use dedicated space associated with the program.

3. Eligibility  

The MSUFCU Arts Power Up Arts Residency Program at the FRIB Particle Accelerator Call for Applications 2023 is open to:

  • Visual artists 18 years and older at any stage of their career 
  • Artists working in any visual art medium, including but not limited to painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, digital media, mixed media, and new media.


4. Conditions of the residency 

The program offers the selected artist the following financial support and conditions:

  • Travel expenses to/from their current location to East Lansing, Michigan 
  • Accommodation within a fixed budget for up to 4 months in East Lansing, Michigan
  • Total stipend of $20,000 USD (before taxes). 
  • Production costs of up to $15,000 for the new work of art
  • Facilitate interactions with other artists in residence at MSU, and in networking with other artists in Michigan
  • Additional support for child care might be available within a fixed budget of $1,000 USD per month.

The selected artist must commit to:

  • Conduct their residency at MSU campus for at least 3 and up to 4 months
  • Completing the artwork resulting from the residency within a calendar year
  • Serve as judge in the call for applications next year. 

5. Application Requirements

a) A completed application form with personal information, artist statement, and proposed collaborative project description to carry out during the residency. The project description should include the following elements:

  • Articulate the connection between the proposed artwork and the research carried out at FRIB. The scope should include a research period at MSU, and a development phase after the residency to define and produce a new artwork with support of MSU museum and FRIB personnel.
  • Highlight the interdisciplinary nature of your project and how it aligns with the goals of the residency program.
  • Propose ways in which the artist can engage the MSU student community during the residency, for example through lectures or a workshop.

b) A CV or resume outlining your artistic background, education, and experience. 

c) A portfolio or samples of your previous work showcasing your visual art practice and interdisciplinary interests. 

d) Please submit your application by October 20th at 11:59 PM Eastern, 2023. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. 


 6. Selection Process

A panel of experts from the arts and interdisciplinary fields will review the applications and select the visual artist-in-residence based on the quality of their work, their proposed project, and their potential for interdisciplinary collaboration. Shortlisted applicants may be invited for an interview or asked to provide additional materials.  

One artist will be selected for the residency. The selected visual artist-in-residence will be notified by email and/or phone by November 17th, 2023. The name of the selected artist will also be announced on the FRIB and MSU Museum’s websites by November 20th 2023. The residency period will be scheduled in consultation with the artist, taking into consideration their availability and the university's academic calendar. 


7. Further Information

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for participation in this program without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or protected veteran status.

We look forward to receiving your applications and hosting an exceptional visual artist in the MSUFCU Arts Power Up Arts Residency program at FRIB at Michigan State University. If you have any questions, please contact us at artist@frib.msu.edu for more information. 

Good luck with your application! 


The MSUFCU Arts Power Up Arts Residency at FRIB program is generously supported by an endowed gift from Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU), with contributions from MSU Museum and the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams. 

Michigan State University operates the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) as a user facility for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC), supporting the mission of the DOE-SC Office of Nuclear Physics. Hosting what is designed to be the most powerful heavy-ion accelerator, FRIB enables scientists to make discoveries about the properties of rare isotopes in order to better understand the physics of nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications for society, including in medicine, homeland security, and industry.

The MSU Museum is an innovative and experimental collaboratory that exists to catalyze creativity. Here, people can openly explore, express, and experiment with ideas across disciplines and interests, and indulge their natural curiosity about the world. The Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is the state's first Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. The MSU Museum is a registered scientific institution with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.




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