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Resident Artist Research Project


Thank you to all who submitted applications for Resident Artist Research Project positions. We will announce our selections once they are made!

Funded by:

The Bell Museum Resident Artist Research Project offers artists an exclusive opportunity to engage with University researchers and scientific collections while exploring the application of art as a medium for interpreting science in the public realm.

Recent Resident Artist Research Project Artists:


Andy DuCett’s work surveys the various ways we humans subjectively interpret and internalize events, objects and places in a world that is becoming ever more connected. DuCett’s recent artistic pursuits have joined his established interests in objects, collecting, and shared cultural experiences with concepts of place, memory, taxonomy, and audience participation to investigate why we remember some life experiences more vividly than others.

With his RARP artist residency, DuCett expresses a desire to “play” with traditional ideas of the museum-going experience, challenging the audience to question their own expectations for what objects are collected and how they are displayed. Visit Andy DuCett online.


The MAW Collective, also known as Minneapolis Art on Wheels, is a group of artists activating public spaces with mobile, large-scale projections of sound and video. Members of the collective include artists, engineers, scientists, architects, students and professionals, working together to leverage the power of digital technology to create opportunities for community engagement with art, science, and urban public space.

MAW’s signature approach uses bike-transported projection and sound systems along with real-time, interactive drawing software that allows experienced and novice artists alike to illuminate building façades with original artistic creations. Visit the MAW Collective online.


Laurie Allmann is an environmental writer and poet whose professional focus for the past 3+ decades has been to illuminate the complexities of science and nature through writing and other forms of creative expression. Allmann draws on her background in field biology and experience as a naturalist to explore the idea of “local knowledge” – ways of knowing that people develop through their interactions with the physical environment and their intimate experiences of place.

Through poetry readings, public radio commentary, and television documentaries, as well as published literature, monologues and plays, Allmann seeks to convey both the insights offered by research and her own enduring passion for the natural world. Visit Laurie Allmann online.

Sonja Peterson employs motifs of common agricultural plants and animals, underground roots, spider webs, and vine-like growths to examine the global matrix of agricultural, financial, and environmental systems. Using traditional paper cutting, collage, and stencils, Peterson creates elaborate large-scale hanging papercuts that illustrate how the structural integrity of global systems lies in their interconnectivity: if elements disconnect, the entire system comes under threat of collapse.

Inspired by the writings of Michael Pollan, Richard Holmes, and many others, Peterson is currently interested in how the collection and trade of natural commodities like precious metals, plant-based dyes, spices, fruits, and animal furs have linked nature to the global banking system and interwoven cultures, economies, and ecological systems around the world. Visit Sonja Peterson online.

NoMan_ExhibitImageNo Man is an Island, an installation by resident artist Sonja Peterson

Currently on display!

This installation is the creation of Bell Museum Spring 2013 Resident Artist Research Program artist Sonja Peterson. The installation includes Peterson's signature large-scale paper cut works as well as glass etchings and captivating small sculptures.

Collaborative work by Peterson and Allmann:

As part of their residencies at the Bell Museum, artists Sonja Peterson and writer Laurie Allmann have chosen to collaborate on a project that combines images with text to deliver a message about biodiversity and environmental stewardship.

RARP_YouarehereYou Are Here, features a red arrow pointed towards Earth, hanging in the balance against the black backdrop of space. Allmann and Peterson hope to remind viewers of the human impact on nature and climate, and encourage people to take action in their communities. Companion piece Beauty Works features a digital rendering of Peterson's intricate cut-paper designs invoking the complex relationship between Earth's ecosystems, while Allmann's prose challenges viewers not to take Earth's beauty for granted.

RARP_BeautyWorksThe panels are currently on display at the Bell, but the artists and RARP coordinator Leah Peterson don't plan to stop there. "We are looking at this piece as the first in a series on the topic of biodiversity. Our next step is to work with Metro Transit, as well as business owners and others, to get this message into bus stops and other unexpected places where the public has an opportunity to interact with them," said Peterson. "This is just an exciting taste of what can come out of the Museum's ongoing partnership with artists in our community."




If you have additional questions about the program, please contact:


The Resident Artist Research Project is funded by The McKnight Foundation

Spring 2014 Resident Artist Research Project works:

Through the Diorama Glass

Installations by Andy DuCett


Winter 2014 Resident Artist Research Project works:

Borrowed Sound, Borrowed Ears

Installation by Minneapolis Art on Wheels


Installation by Minneapolis Art on Wheels


Spring 2013 Resident Artist Research Project works: 

No Man is an Island

Paper cut and mixed media installation by Sonja Peterson
displayed in the Jaques Gallery, Spring-Summer 2013


Poem by Laurie Allmann
available online

Anticipating Rhythm

Video by Laurie Allmann
available online