FRA Guest Artist/Guest Composer Program


Fermilab is America’s national laboratory dedicated to particle physics research. To initiate and stimulate communication and interactions among scientists, artists and the public, the laboratory has created an FRA Guest Artist program and FRA Guest Composer program.

The call for visual artists and composers is now OPEN, and closes September 12, 2024 CT midnight. No fee to apply.


Link to submission form

Frequently asked questions


Fermilab is America’s premier particle physics and accelerator laboratory, seeking to explore questions like – What are we made of? How did the universe begin? What secrets do the smallest, most elemental particles of matter hold, and how can they help us understand the intricacies of space and time? ( We are home to thousands of scientists from around the world.

Fermilab is currently involved in more than thirty active experiments, and some of our research highlights include the discovery of the Top Quark, Bottom Quark, Tau Neutrino and recent observations in the Muon g-2 experiment. Much of our current work involved neutrino research including DUNE (Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment) which will send beams of neutrinos underground to a detector in South Dakota.

Since the earliest days of the laboratory, under the guidance of our founding director Robert Wilson, the relationship between art and science has been a critical one, from the design and architecture of the lab, to the sculptures scattered across the campus, to the inclusion of Ramsey Auditorium and our art gallery, built in part with the intention of creating a gathering place for the lab and the Fox Valley community.  At Fermilab, the arts have been viewed as way to not only nurture creativity and welcome our neighbors, but also to explore and share scientific ideas and concepts.

Beginning in 2014, the Fermilab Art Gallery initiated an Artist-in-Residence program, inviting visual artists to delve deeply into Fermilab science, make connections with different scientists and experiments at the lab, and harness these explorations as inspiration for new work.  The result has provided a means of expressing the science of Fermilab through the unique lens of each of our artists.  It also inspires conversations about that common ground of creativity that is necessary in both science and art.  In 2020, a Guest Composer program was added to engage and express through music as well as the visual arts.

The  FRA Guest Artist and Guest Composer will interact with scientists at the laboratory, learn about their research, and see how it connects to society. This information will then be used to create a body of work, leading to presentations to the community and possibly an exhibition of the artwork at Fermilab. The program begins January 1, 2025 ending in December 2025.


WELCOME 2024 FRA guest artist and guest composer


New media artist and educator Agnes Chavez named 2024 FRA guest artist at Fermilab

New Mexico-based artist Agnes Chavez will work with Fermilab scientists to explore new ways to use data visualization, light, sound and space to communicate the importance and relevance of science, in particular research on particles called neutrinos.


Accomplished composer and pianist Mischa Zupko from Chicago named 2024 FRA guest composer at Fermilab

Mischa Zupko, adjunct faculty member of the School of Music at DePaul University, will collaborate with Fermilab scientists and members of the Chicago-based Civitas Ensemble to create music based on scientific models in particle science.








Virtual Presentations


Moving from Data Visualization to Data-Driven Art

How can we embrace the objective experience of scientific inquiry and the subjective experience of art? In this talk, Mare Hirsch PhD, will discuss her approach to navigating the challenges and opportunities of creating data-driven art and highlight the way science and art share some similarities.

August 2022

To View the presentation

Suzie Shrubb and Elena Gramellini

April 2022

To View the presentation

Virtual Gallery Talk – What’s Mare Hirsch up to?

October 2021

To view the presentation


Virtual Gallery Talk – When Art and Science Collide – Lindsay Olson- Fermilab Artist-in-Residence 2014-15

Lindsay’s artistic practice grows out of an intense curiosity about the ways our society is supported by science and technology. She uses her training to create art about the hidden realities of our world. As Fermilab’s first artist-in-residence, she worked with scientists’, members of the operations crew, and numerous staff throughout the lab to learn the basics of high energy physics.

March 2021

To View the presentation


Virtual Gallery Talk – Finding the Significant in the Insignificant: Jim Jenkins artist-in-residence 2017

Connecting the dots of three visions of time with a careful study of how science, technology, art and mathematics, utilize aspects of human creativity to advance a specific timeline in space.

February 2021

To View the presentation

Neutrino Music: A Composer’s Journey with Guest Composer David Ibbett Ph.D.

David Ibbett has been composing and performing works remotely to celebrate the ongoing research of Fermilab. Together with Bonnie Fleming of MicroBooNE, the composer will discuss his inspirations and techniques for translating neutrino science into sound through a variety of sonification methods.

The evening will culminate with the world premiere of the latest installment of Neutrino Music from soprano soloist Beth Sterling, together with a selection of pieces from Octave of Light: their debut album of exoplanet music released this November.

December 2020

To View the presentation

Artists as translators: Expressing immense ideas on a human scale – Chris Klapper & Patrick Gallagher AIR 2020

A discussion of their work and the creative process of translating complex subjects such as infinity, scale and time.

October 2020

To View the presentation