Chicago Art Department focus is  primarily centered on 20 resident artists who each lead 12-month residencies. All of CAD’s public events, exhibitions, or programs are led by CAD artists, and come directly from our resident artists’ practices. Here are CAD’s resident artist goals:

1) to develop studio practice and new works
2) to participate in exhibitions as exhibiting artists (with new works)  or curators
3) to engage in monthly critical dialogues around resident works, and connections with visitors from the field
4) to support workshops, courses, CAD’s monthly critical dialogue series, or CAD’w ongoing partnership with Perspectives Charter School
5) to support CAD by identifying and taking on a CAD operations task as part of the 12-month residency

Founded in 2004 by college instructors, CAD aims to benefit artists by exploring art and learning. Through exhibitions, artist residencies,  classes/workshops,  and community building, we are dedicated to cultivating new voices, ideas, and practices in contemporary art. CAD seeks to serve the real-world needs of young artists seeking to establish their personal practice, as well as provide a breeding ground of creative collaboration and exploration. What does this mean? It’s ongoing arts explorations. Shows, classes, events, workshops, and interaction with Chicago arts enthusiasts – all designed by our resident artists and their goals.

CAD is housed on South Halsted in Pilsen, at 1932 South Halsted inside of the historic Fountainhead building. CAD has roughly 7000 square feet of studio, exhibition, and event space, used in many different ways by our artists and audience. CAD hosts an eclectic calendar of shows every month, and sometimes resident artists work with other organization to host cultural events such professional development workshops, exhibitions, or even fundraisers.. The hosting of outside events is part of an explicit CAD goal to support larger Chicago artists and organizations, while connecting CAD resident artists to others in the field.

In addition to all of the above, resident artists are required to attend monthly “CD” (critical dialogue) meetings, to present their practice for feedback from other resident as well as visiting artists. CAD resident artists pay monthly fees (subsidized by Chicago Art Department’s fundraising initiatives) for 24/7 access to individual studio areas,  shared printing and wood-shop spaces,  two separate gallery spaces, a network of 20 peer resident artists, and a larger public CAD audience of thousands.

If you are an artist looking for an opportunity to push your practice, you are encouraged to fill out a resident artist application form. Although our program is full at this time, applications are held on a waiting list and considered as opportunities open up.