The History of Art & Science at Fermilab

  • Feb. 14, 2021, 2:30 pm US/Central
  • Valerie Higgins, Fermilab Historian
  • Georgia Schwender, Fermilab Visual Arts Coordinator
  • Janet MacKay-Galbraith, Fermilab Performing Arts Manager
  • Tickets: Free
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The arts have played a significant role at Fermilab since the lab’s earliest days, serving as not only a way to interact with and welcome the community, but also as a way to nurture creativity in all forms.

Join Fermilab Historian Valerie Higgins, Visual Arts Coordinator Georgia Schwender, Performing Arts Manager Janet MacKay-Galbraith, our 2020 Artists-in-Residence, Chris Klapper and Patrick Gallagher, and 2020 Guest Composer David Ibbett for a look at the role of the arts at Fermilab, past and present.

Valerie Higgins is Fermilab’s Archivist and Historian. She received her MLS from Indiana University, Bloomington in 2010. She was Assistant Archivist at the Art Institute of Chicago before coming to Fermilab in 2012.

Georgia Schwender has been the Visual Arts Coordinator at Fermilab since 2001, curating and coordinating 99 exhibits. She established the artist-in-residence program in 2014 and it continues to grow.

Outside of Fermilab she is primarily a photographer, specializing in the alternative and historic processes. Her creative spirit and fascination with the natural world fuels her interest in the connections between art and science.

Janet MacKay-Galbraith is the Performing Arts Program Manager at Fermilab.  A musician and educator as well as arts administrator, she received her BME from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and her Masters in Flute Performance from Northwestern University.  She has been managing the Fermilab Arts & Lecture Series since 1990, presenting more than 650 performances and lectures to the Fox Valley and Fermilab communities.

Chris Klapper & Patrick Gallagher are the 2020 Fermilab Artists-in-Residence.  As  multimedia artists Klapper and Gallagher are keen to find new and innovative ways to connect art and science. Klapper and Gallagher have a long connection between their art and Fermilab. Throughout the month of December 2018, they created “Dataatadata: Everything and Nothing,” The project involved recreating an image of a particle collision in a bubble chamber taken at Fermilab decades prior, out of sand 20 feet in diameter before sweeping it all away at the end of their 30-day live performance.

Dr. David Ibbett is Fermilab’s first Guest Composer.  A composer, educator and musical advocate for science, he directs the Multiverse Concert Series in Boston. David has been composing and performing works remotely to celebrate the ongoing research of Fermilab. Originally from the UK, David studied at Clare College Cambridge, the Guildhall School, and the University of Birmingham where he earned his Ph.D.


This event will be presented via Zoom and on Facebook Live as part of the Fermilab Family Open House.  Registration is now open.