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Artist-in-Residence Program

Artist-in-Residence Program

Since its inception in 1974, the Exploratorium’s Artist-in-Residence Program (AIR) has grown to include hundreds of artists and performers. The museum works with individuals and artist groups who are drawn to collaboration, interested in interdisciplinary dialogue, and open to developing new working methods. Projects have taken countless forms, such as multimedia performances, theatrical productions, animated filmmaking, immersive installations, walking tours, and online projects. The program allows for artists to embed within the unique culture of the institution, affords access to a dynamic and diverse staff, and provides opportunities for cross-pollination with a broad public. While the museum allows room for variance, residencies typically unfold over two years and include both an exploratory and project development phase.

Please note: The Exploratorium A.I.R. program does not accept unsolicited artist materials.

Current Artists-in-Residence

Lucky Dragons is an ongoing collaboration between Los Angeles-based artists Sarah Rara and Luke Fischbeck. They are currently developing a suite of projects for the outdoor public space of the Exploratorium's home on Pier 15.

Nina Katchadourian works across various media—including photography, sculpture, video and sound—incorporating playful juxtaposition and smart conceptual twists to provoke us to re-see everyday natural and cultural phenomena.

Zarouhie Abdalian is an Oakland-based artist interested in the links between social and sensory perception. The first stages of her residency will be spent in dialogue with the people, concepts, and things that make up the Exploratorium.

Recent Artists-in-Residence


Amy Balkin is a San Francisco-based artist whose work focuses on how humans create, interact with, and impact the social and material landscapes they inhabit.

For more than 15 years, Harrell Fletcher has been at the forefront of an art field called "social practice," a medium that tends to engage audiences directly through the creation of intangible, collaborative experiences. Fletcher developed The Best Things in Museums Are the Windows, a four-day trek from the Exploratorium to the summit of Mt. Diablo, which took place in July 2013.


In conjunction with the Exploratorium's Geometry Playground exhibition, John Edmark, a Stanford art and design professor, created the Geometron, a polyhedral kaleidoscope utilizing a live video feed.


John Roloff is a visual artist who works conceptually with site, process, and natural systems. While in residence, Roloff investigated the various geo-compositional histories of the new Exploratorium site.


Meara O'Reilly is a sound and visual artist living in Northern California, making instruments, songs, and performance installations based on the resonant frequencies of spaces, materials, and the human vocal tract.


Nate Boyce is a San Francisco-based moving image maker and sculptor whose work explores tensions between two and three dimensions. Boyce took up residence in the Palace of Fine Arts optics studio to experiment with analogue optical instruments.


Tauba Auerbach's elegant, methodical compositions deconstruct the conventional ways that visual and perceptual information is conveyed. At the Exploratorium she collaborated with our Geometry Playground project team to create a giant drawing machine.


Terry Berlier is an interdisciplinary artist who works primarily with sculpture and expanded media. At the Exploratorium she developed a sound component for her "core sampling" project.

Selections from the AIR Archive