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Join us for a public exhibit and reception of “Seeking the Unseen,” created by Gina Gibson, former SURF artist in residence


LEAD, SD— In 2019, Gina Gibson became the first-ever Sanford Underground Research Facility artist in residence (SURF AiR). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she never had an in-person exhibit. This summer, “Seeking the Unseen,” a collection inspired by Gibson’s residency at SURF, will be open to the public, with never-before-seen artwork.

Join us for a reception with the artist on Thursday, July 8, from 5-6:30 p.m. MT at the Lead Deadwood Arts Center (LDAC). This free event is cohosted by the LDAC and SURF; light refreshments will be served. The exhibit will be on display at LDAC from July 8 through August 20.

A multimedia artist, Gibson combines sculpture, drawing, printmaking, digital design and other media to create unique bodies of work. In this exhibit, her work explores the unique research, legacy and community of SURF.

“The environment at SURF—the science, the history, the incredible people—allowed me to make work that is beyond what I've done in the past,” Gibson said.

“Seeking the Unseen” first appeared in 2020 as a virtual exhibit. Gibson said the unexpected switch to a virtual format was a challenging one. “Seeing it digitally is so different than seeing it in person, because of the physicality of the work,” Gibson said. “I’ve worked carefully during the process, paying attention to the slight textures and physical details that you can’t really experience digitally.”

Gibson, whose work was strongly influenced by the facility’s history, said it felt right to create the physical exhibit in the LDAC, located in the Historic Homestake Opera House in downtown Lead.

“We are incredibly excited to host the first SURF artist in residency exhibit,” said Karen Everett, LDAC executive director. “We love partnering with SURF because we strongly support the STEM movement. Having an art exhibit that promotes science is a great way put an ‘A’ in STEAM.”

Gibson is now the program coordinator for the SURF AiR program, a partnership between SURF and Black Hills State University. In this role, Gibson looks forward to creating similar experiences for future artists, while promoting awareness about science at SURF.

“SURF is a place where any artist will find inspiration—this is a place for any artist, any media, any creative,” Gibson said.

Sanford Lab 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 Sanford Lab at

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Constance Walter
Communications Director
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