Art and science collide with exhibit of works by Fermilab artist in residence

Lindsay Olson artworks on display at Elmhurst College's Barbara A. Kieft Accelerator ArtSpace

Lindsay Olson, Fermilab's first artist in residence, is displaying her works at Elmhurst College's Barbara A. Kieft Accelerator ArtSpace. (Photo courtesy of Elmhurst College)

ELMHURST – As Fermilab’s first artist in residence, Lindsay Olson worked with scientists, members of the operation crew, and numerous staff throughout the lab to learn the basics of high-energy physics.

Olson will display several pieces reflecting her work at Fermilab during her upcoming exhibition “The Elegant Universe: Art and Science,” beginning March 7 at Elmhurst College.

She was inspired to create a body of work that reflects the beauty of the research and the dedication of the scientists at Fermilab. Her work has been featured in Scientific American, the Chicago Tribune and SciArt in America. She has shown in many galleries in the U.S. and internationally.

“I am especially excited to feature work by an artist who is so passionate about both art and science,” said Suellen Rocca, Elmhurst College’s curator and director of exhibitions.

The distinctive Barbara A. Kieft Accelerator ArtSpace, where Olson will be exhibiting her work, shares its space with an early-generation “atom smasher” or Kevatron particle accelerator. Originally from the University of Chicago, the Kevatron machine was given to Elmhurst College in 1969. For decades the Physics Department used it to perform experiments; it currently is not functioning.

“As artists we appreciate the fascinating visual aspects of this ‘machine’ and welcome having it in our gallery,” Rocca said.

The Elegant Universe exhibition, which features pieces done in a variety of media, begins March 7 and runs through April 18. A public reception will be held beginning at 4:30 p.m. on March 7, in the Barbara A. Kieft Accelerator ArtSpace. An artist’s talk begins at 5 p.m. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

The “Elegant Universe: Art and Science” is one of about a dozen art shows that the College hosts each academic year in two campus venues. In addition, the College’s A.C. Buehler Library permanently houses the College’s unparalleled collection of Chicago Imagist and Abstractionist Art, which explores the vibrant, often outrageous, yet precisely crafted works of Chicago artists between 1950 and the present.

For more information, contact Director of Exhibitions Suellen Rocca at 630-617-6110 or