BOLT application is currently closed. Information on this page is for reference only. Details for 2020-2021 will be available in February 2020.
BOLT is a highly competitive, juried, one-year artist studio residency program offering emerging and established 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 brand new 6,700-square-foot facility in the vibrant Kinzie Industrial Corridor, BOLT provides workspace, creative community, exhibition opportunities and professional development for Chicago-based, contemporary artists.
Chicago Artists Coalition strongly encourages and welcomes emerging and established artists of color and/or LGBTQ+ to apply to the residency program. CAC believes that the arts are essential to leading a full and productive life and affirms its support for making the arts available to all people, including those with physical limitations. Our new location at 2130 W. Fulton St. has ADA accessible galleries and studios. Contact Teresa E. Silva, Director of Exhibitions & Residencies, with accessibility inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-491-8888 x 1004.
As a commitment to equity, inclusivity and accessibility, CAC has eliminated studio fees for BOLT Residency, as of 2018, in an effort to reduce barriers to application and participation. Please note: a refundable security deposit $250 will be required to confirm your participation.
- BOLT is open to visual, performance, sound, or interdisciplinary artists based in the city of Chicago.
- Ideal candidates show significant promise and dedication to their work as a vocation.
- Artists are at a moment in which access to a studio and supportive environment will be particularly meaningful to their practice.
- Artists can make the time commitment to be in their studio 15+ hours a week.
- Artists are NOT currently enrolled in a degree-granting program or its equivalent.
Felicia Mings, Art Institute of Chicago
Roberto Sifuentes, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
- Completed online application form
- Current and accurate résumé
- 10 - 16 samples of recent work, including short descriptions
- Non-refundable $12 application fee
Important Dates for 2019
- January 25: Application opens
- February 22 (11:59 pm)*: Application due via slideroom.com
- March: Jury deliberations
- April: Interviews with the Director of Exhibitions & Residencies
- May: Finalists are notified via e-mail
- July 1: Studio move-in. All studios are work-only (non-residential)
BOLT Studios (selection will ultimately be determined at CAC’s discretion)
(6) Studios: 200 square-foot workspaces; security deposit required to confirm your participation
Studios are an open-floor plan and work-only (non-residential)
Types of Disciplines
Works on paper, sculpture, painting, photography, new media, installation, film/video, performance, and sound artists are encouraged to apply.
- Artists must commit to participate in the program from July 2019 - November 2020
- Artists are expected to use the studio for 11 months (July 2019 - May 2020) for a minimum of 15 hours per week.
- Artists must sign up for and participate in studio visits that occur Monday - Friday, 10 am - 5 pm, around 2 - 3 times a month (and occasionally on weekends)
- Artists will attend meetings Tuesday - Thursday, 6 - 8 pm, to share work in progress with peers and participate in group critiques of solo exhibitions on view.
*Application deadline is Friday, February 22, 2019 at 11:59 PM. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.*
- 11-month artist studio rental with 24/7 secure access
- Six (6) fully subsidized studios, approximately 200 square feet each
- Free storage, bathroom, shower, slop sink, lockers, kitchen and common areas
- Open-plan layout to inspire dialogue, collaborations and the development of new ideas
- Monthly meetings/meals 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
- One solo exhibition in a dedicated, 400-square-foot gallery space
- Exhibition opportunity for one BOLT Resident at EXPO Chicago
- Ongoing use of studio to showcase your work at studio visits
- CAC marketing support, including press releases, website announcement, social media, and postcards
- CAC works closely with you to develop a customized professional development plan based on your vision and personal goals
- CAC staff offers occassional private tours of your studio to potential collectors
- Free access to CAC’s FIELD/WORK program, a series of intensive educational workshops and business consultations (value: $400)
- One-on-one studio visits with prominent members of the greater arts community
- For more information, contact Teresa Silva, Director of Exhibitions & Residencies: teresa (at) chicagoartistscoalition (dot) org | 312-491-8888 x 1004
"Best Opportunity for Emerging Artists. Perhaps no other studio space promises contact with curators, critics, collectors and arts administrators, and a solo exhibition as well. The studio space at the Chicago Artists Coalition is competitive, for good reason."
— Newcity's Best of Chicago 2013
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