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Science Research Site Is Partnering With California Artist

Mark Hirsch

The Fermilab residence program connects physics and art.

A Batavia laboratory where scientists work to solve the mysteries of matter, energy, space and time announced its 2021-22 artist-in-residence.

Georgia Schwender, the visual arts coordinator at the lab, said the laboratory’s first director, Robert Wilson, was both a scientist and an artist.

“On the grounds of Fermilab, you can see many of his large sculptures,” she said. “He believed in the details of everything. So even our electricity poles are made out of the shape of a pie.”

California resident Mark Hirsch is the latest artist to partner with the research site.

Schwender said Hirsch will learn about some of the work done at Fermilab. Then he will create art based on what he gathers.

Schwender said that the lab is eager to see what Hirsch creates.

“And we are really excited to see his interpretation of science,” she said. “And you know, especially neutrinos and some of our experiments that we're currently doing and how to interpret that into an art form.”

The artist-in-residence program began in 2014. There are normally in-person art exhibits from this, but the lab isn’t open to the public due to the pandemic. So, this year will be virtual. A reopening date hasn’t been determined.

Fermilab is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.
Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.