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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis


Through several programs, our Art+Science initiative aims to build dialogue between artists and scientists, and change the way each thinks. 

Together, art and science have the power to transform.

At NCEAS, we believe Art and Science play key roles in nurturing the innovative thinking we need to deal with the complex changes we are currently experiencing across the globe.

While they each communicate the complexity of our world differently - science with data and facts, art with the imagination and feelings - both entail a process of asking new questions and exposing possible answers.

Our Art+Science initiative is structured around three different programs: an artist-in-residence program, gallery space and events for local artists, and embedding artists into working group research.

Artist in Residence program

Our artist-in-residence program, a partnership with The Squire Foundation, is a unique opportunity for artists and environmental scientists to come together to work in dialogue and inspire each other. Our goal is to unleash new levels of creativity and innovation in the ways we think about, communicate, and solve the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.

This opportunity is open to artists of all sorts, such as painters, poets, musicians, photographers, illustrators, printmakers, playwrights, digital artists, and more. Artist residents will be able to work at our headquarters and interact with our resident and visiting researchers.

Benefits of the residency

  • Accommodations in the Via Maria Villa, generously provided by The Squire Foundation and located in the foothills of Santa Barbara
  • Office space at NCEAS
  • Interactions with a diversity of scientists spanning a range of environmental topics
  • Potential funding for travel, materials, and a stipend
  • Opportunities to give on-campus lectures at UC Santa Barbara
  • Exhibit space at SBCAST, a local center for creation and collaboration in art, science, and technology
  • An open account for art supplies from Art From Scrap, a local creative reuse store

We solicit residency proposals from artists when we have openings. To find out about these opportunities, subscribe to our newsletter or check back here.

Learn about the power of integrating art and science through our video "Mixing Methods: Art+Science at NCEAS."

Embedding artists into working group science

We are exploring ways to support projects to embed artists within a working group setting to allow for more focused and sustained dialogue, and resources to study and evaluate that process and its outcomes

Art + Science Gallery Space

We periodically host environmental science-themed exhibitions by local artists at our office in downtown Santa Barbara.

Current Featured Artists:

The Butterfly Effect

Our office features a permanent mural, called "The Butterfly Effect," created by LA-based street artist Elkpen, which conveys the study of ecology through visual metaphors.

Art is a process of observation. So is science. They have a natural correspondence to build on.

Elkpen, artist