Art+Science at NCEAS

"Art is a process of observation. So is science. They have a natural correspondence to build on." ~ Elkpen, artist

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.

Both entail a process of asking new questions and exposing possible answers. While science communicates the complexity of our world with data and facts, art relies on the imagination and feelings.

Together, art and science have the power to transform.

Given this power, NCEAS provides unique opportunities for artists and environmental scientists to come together to work in dialogue with and inspire each other. We hope to unleash new levels of creativity and innovation in the ways we think about, communicate, and solve the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.

Artist-in-Residence Program

Our artist-in-residence program brings artists to Santa Barbara, CA for one to four weeks to observe and engage with the scientists in our working groups. This opportunity is open to artists of all sorts, such as painters, poets, musicians, photographers, illustrators, printmakers, playwrights, digital artists, and more.

Benefits of the residency include

  • 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.

2019 Artists in Residence


Skye Moret


Ozge Samanci
Media & Comic Artist


Allison Horst


2018 Artists in Residence

Get to know these artists in this feature from our NCEAS Portrait series.

James Stephenson

Emily Vizzo
Poet, Novelist, Essayist


Nicole Berry



Art+Science Gallery Space

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

Current featured artists:

Kara Schroeder and Sara Woodburn collaboration

Photo coming soon!

Colin Schildhauer

The Butterfly Effect

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