You are here

Bolt Residency

BOLT Residency Application Guidelines

BOLT studios

BOLT Residency is a highly competitive, juried, one-year artist studio residency program offering artists the opportunity to engage the Chicago arts community and its public in critical dialogue about contemporary art.

Located at the Chicago Artists Coalition’s 8,000-square-foot West Loop facility, BOLT provides workspace, creative community, exhibition opportunities and professional development for Chicago-based, contemporary artists.

ApplicationS are now closed

Applications for 2015-16 will be released February 2015.

The 2014-15 Jury

Jefferson Godard, founder and director, Aspect/Ratio
Jeffreen M. Hayes, Ph.D., director, Rebuild Foundation
Michal Raz-Russo, assistant curator, department of photography, The Art Institute of Chicago

Artists who wish to apply as collaborators or share space must apply individually and send individual fees, application and support materials. Collaborators must include a separate document describing the collaborative proposal. Collaborators will be considered for BOLT Resiency's larger, semi-private studio.

Application Checklist

March 23 (midnight): Application due via
March 23-April 7: Jury deliberations
April 7-15: Interviews with CAC staff
May 1: Selected BOLT Residents are notified via email
May 10: Lease signed and security deposit due (one month’s rent)
July 1: Studio move-in. All studios are work-only (non-residential)

BOLT RESIDENCY STUDIOS (studio selection will ultimately be determined at CAC’s discretion)

(7)Open Plan Studios: $275/month for approx 260sq.ft.     (1) Semi-Private Studio: $400/month for approx. 300sq.ft.      

Open floor plan, work-only (non-residential)

Types of Disciplines

Works on paper, sculpture, painting, photography, new media, installation and film. Performers and sound artists are encouraged to apply, but may be required to provide necessary technology due to BOLT's open floor plan.

Chicago Artists Coalition does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, color, sex, age, veteran status or disability.


  • One-year artist studio rental with 24/7 secure access
  • Nine subsidized studios, each measuring 250 square feet
  • Free storage, two bathrooms, shower, slop sink, kitchen
  • Option to share/divide space or use it individually

Creative Community

  • Open-plan layout to inspire dialogue, collaborations and the development of new ideas
  • Monthly potlucks to build meaningful relationships, networks and resources
  • Work with your peers to creatively shape the residency according to your needs
  • Gain exposure and expand your audience through CAC’s public programming

Exhibition Opportunities

  • One solo exhibition in addition to professionally curated group shows
  • Dedicated, 500-square-foot exhibition space
  • Juried exhibition opportunity for one BOLT resident at EXPO Chicago
  • Ongoing use of studio to showcase your work at studio visits
  • CAC marketing support to the press and arts community, including press releases, postcards and posters

Professional Development

  • CAC works closely with you to develop a customized professional development plan based on your vision and personal goals
  • CAC staff offers tours of your studio for potential collectors in your absence
  • Free access to CAC’s Art.Business.Create (A.B.C) program, a series of intensive educational workshops and business consultations (value: $500)
  • One-on-one studio visits with prominent members of the greater arts community.

Previous Studio Visitors

Ellen Hartwell Alderman, director, Alderman Gallery
Lisa Corrin, Ellen Philips Katz director, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art
Michael Darling, James W. Alsdorf chief curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Lisa Dorin, assistant curator of contemporary art, Art Institute of Chicago
Jeann Dunning, artist
Tricia Van Eck, artistic director, 6018NORTH
Natasha Egan, associate director & curator, Museum of Contemporary Photography
Karen Irvine, curator and manager of publications, Museum of Contemporary Photography
Mark Jeffrey, associate professor—performance, SAIC
Anne Harris, artist
Eric May, director, Roots and Culture Gallery
Monique Meloche, owner/director, moniquemeloche gallery
Janine Mileaf, director, The Arts Club of Chicago
Jessica Moss, associate curator of contemporary art, Smart Museum of Art
Allison Peters Quinn, director of exhibitions, Hyde Park Art Center
Andrew Rafacz, owner/director, Andrew Rafacz Gallery
Dieter Roelstraete, Manilow senior curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Roberto Sifuentes, chair—performance, SAIC
Stephanie Smith, deputy director and chief curator, Smart Museum of Art
Buzz Spector, dean of the college and graduate school of art, Washington University in St. Louis
Lorelei Stewart, director, Gallery 400
Shannon Stratton, founder and executive director, threewalls
Lane Relyea, chair—art theory & practice, Northwestern University
Thomas Robertello, director, Thomas Robertello Gallery
James Yood, visiting professor, department of art history, theory and criticism, SAIC
Hamza Walker, associate curator, The Renaissance Society
Lynne Warren, curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Julie Rodriguez Widholm, Pamela Alper associate curator, Museum of Contemporary Chicago


BOLT 2014-15 Jury

Jefferson Godard is the director of Aspect/Ratio, a video focused gallery in Chicago that shows work from emergent and established international video artists.  Aspect Ratio has received numerous reviews in the international press such as Artforum, Modern Painters, After Image, New City, Time Out, CS Interiors and Hyperallergic. Chicago Magazine named Aspect/Ratio as the best new gallery of 2013 in Chicago. In addition, Godard  is a curator, fine artist and an adjunct professor at Columbia College Chicago.   Godard has curated numerous video art shows both locally and internationally. Most recently, he guest curated the group show Dis/placement  at The Mission.

Jeffreen M. Hayes is the Director of the Rebuild Foundation, a community organization with a presence on Chicago's South Side and St. Louis's Hyde Park and Pagedale neighborhoods. She was an Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow in African American Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Dr. Hayes completed her doctoral studies at the College of William and Mary in American Studies, specializing in contemporary African American art, visual and popular culture. Her cultural practice is merging art, culture, and community, in an effort to make art and culture more representative of our diverse society.

Michal Raz-Russo is the Assistant Curator in the Department of Photography at the Art Institute of Chicago. While at the Art Institute she curated the exhibitions Dayanita Singh (2014), When Collecting was New: Photographs from the Robert A. Taub Collection (2013), Entre Nous: The Art of Claude Cahun (2012, organized by the Jeu de Paume, Paris), and The Three Graces (2011). Ms. Raz-Russo was a contributing author to Color Rush: American Color Photography from Stieglitz to Sherman (Aperture, 2013) and author of The Three Graces: Snapshots of Twentieth-Century Women (Yale University Press, 2011). She holds a BA in Architecture from the Cooper Union, New York, and MAs in Art History and Arts Administration from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Currently, Raz-Russo is working on an exhibition on Edward Steichen’s World War I and Condé Nast years, on view in summer 2014, as well as a biennial contemporary photography series that begins in fall 2015 at the Art Institute.

Apply to the 2014-15 BOLT Residency

Application Due Date:  March 23, 2014