The BOLT Application is now closed. Information on this page is for reference only.
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. We affirm our support of those with physical limitations, by committing to ongoing improvements of our space's accessibility. Our new location at 2130 W. Fulton St. is Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant.
Contact Erol Scott Harris II, Exhibitions & Residencies Manager with accessibility inquiries at erol[@]chicagoartistscoalition[.org]
As a commitment to equity, inclusivity and accessibility, in 2018, CAC eliminated studio fees, in an effort to reduce barriers to application and participation. Please note: a refundable security deposit of $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.
- Completed online application form
- Current artist résumé
- 10 samples of recent work, including short descriptions
- Non-refundable $12 application fee
Important Dates for 2021
- August 2: Application opens
- August 23 (11:59 pm)*: Application due on slideroom.com
- October: Jury deliberations
- Late October/early November: Finalists are interviewed
- November: Finalists are notified via e-mail
- Jan 4, 2022: Studio move-in. All studios are work-only (non-residential)
BOLT Studios (selection will ultimately be determined at CAC’s discretion)
Six (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 Jan 2022 - April 2023
- Artists are expected to use the studio for 11 months (March 2022 - Jan 2023) for a minimum of 20 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
- Artists will attend meetings to share work in progress with peers and participate in group critiques of solo exhibitions on view.
- 11-month artist studio rental with 24/7 secure access
- Six (6) fully subsidized studios, approximately 200 square feet each
- Free storage, 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 and social media
- CAC works closely with you to develop a customized professional development plan based on your vision and personal goals
- CAC staff offers occasional private tours of your studio to potential collectors
- One-on-one studio visits with prominent members of the greater arts community
For more information, contact Erol Scott Harris II, Exhibitions & Residencies Manager: at erol[@]chicagoartistscoalition[.org]
"Best organization fostering the next generation of artists.
Chicago Artists Coalition
CAC works tirelessly to assist local artists with professional development, from artist and curator residency programs to grants and practical, real-world advice workshops. The inclusion each year of multiple CAC alums in Newcity’s Breakout Artists issue is proof positive that the organization’s work pays off."
— Newcity's Best of Chicago 2019
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