BOLT Residency applications for 2017-2018 are now open.

Deadline March 1st, 2017 (11:59 pm).

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.

BOLT Residency Application for 2017-2018 opens February 1, 2017.

Deadline to apply is March 1, 2017.


Applicants must be:

  • A resident of the city of Chicago
  • NOT currently enrolled in a degree-granting program or its equivalent
THE 2017-18 JURY

Myra Greene, Associate Professor of Photography, Columbia College
Judy Ledgerwood, Alice Welsh Skilling Professor of Art, Northwestern University
Harold Mendez2017 Whitney Biennial Artist
Sabrina Raaf, Associate Professor of Art, University of Illinois at Chicago

Collaborative artist duos are strongly encouraged to apply. 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 Residency's larger, semi-private studio.

  • Uploaded Resume
  • Five to eleven work samples
  • Non-refundable $15 application fee

March 1 (11:59 pm): Application due via
March 2 - 31: Jury deliberations
April 3 - 12: Interviews with CAC staff
April 17 - 21: Selected BOLT Residents are notified via email
May 1: Lease signed and security deposit due (one month’s rent)
July 1: Studio move-in. All studios are work-only (non-residential)


(8) 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)


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.

Chicago Artists Coalition 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 disabilities. Our historic building has portable ramp access.



  • 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, website announcement, and postcards


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 FIELD/WORK 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

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
John Neff, artist and educator
Jeanne 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
Steven L. Bridges, Assistant Curator, The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University
Mark Jeffery, associate professor—performance, SAIC
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
Sabina Ott, professor of art, Columbia College Chicago
Jacob Proctor, curator, the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society
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
Maria Gaspar, artist and educator
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
Harold Mendez, artist
Yesomi Umolu, director, Logan Center Exhibitions, University of Chicago
Jan Tichy, artist
Hamza Walker, director, LAXART
Lynne Warren, curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Julie Rodrigues Widholm, director, DePaul Art Museum
Janet Dees, curator, Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art
Naomi Beckwith, curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Nathaniel Mary Quinn, artist
Published by Chicago Artists... on Tue, 02/14/2017 - 12:40pm
Updated on Wed, 02/22/2017 - 10:21am