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Press Release
SURF invites artists from all disciplines to apply for the 2023 SURF AiR Program


LEAD, SD— Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) is seeking applications for its 2023 Artist-in-Residence (AiR) program. Application deadline is November 1, 2022. Each year, the SURF AiR program invites a selected artist to create work inspired by the underground research facility and the world-leading experiments it hosts.

“Our SURF AiR program continues to play a big role in helping us communicate the unique aspects of SURF’s science and our facility,” said Mike Headley, executive director of SURF. “We’re looking forward to another year in our growing AiR program to engage with an additional artist and discover new ways to share SURF’s fascinating story.”  

SURF’s location, legacy and research make it an ideal place for creative work. SURF is the deepest underground laboratory in the United States, reaching a mile below the surface. It houses experiments in physics, biology, geology and engineering. The SURF AiR program leverages the unique characteristics of SURF and the science experiments it hosts to create awareness and encourage interdisciplinary work.

During a four-week on-site visit during the summer of 2023, a selected artist will immerse themselves in the facility’s unique environment and cutting-edge research, visiting SURF’s surface and underground spaces. The artist will then create a body of art for a one-week art installation and guest lectures during the fall of 2023. In addition to the lectures, the artist will provide promotional or outreach events within the local community. 

Created in 2019, the program is a partnership between SURF and Black Hills State University (BHSU) and is coordinated by Gina Gibson, BHSU professor of graphic communication and SURF’s first artist in residence.

As the program coordinator, Gibson seeks to create experiences for artists, while promoting awareness about science at SURF. “Whether you’re an artist, a physicist or an engineer, it’s intimidating to walk into an unfamiliar situation. But a residency at a science facility forces an artist to interact with the unfamiliar. It’s rejuvenating. It’s exhilarating,” Gibson said.

For more information or to apply for the program, visit the SURF AiR webpage. To contact the SURF AiR coordinator, contact Gina Gibson at

Sanford Underground Research Facility is operated by the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) with funding from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Our mission is to advance world class science and inspire learning across generations. Visit SURF at

More Information

Constance Walter
Communications Director
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