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FIELD/WORK Residency

The FIELD/WORK Residency is an educational program designed for artists wanting a deeper engagement in vital issues in artists’ professional development, critical feedback, and support in designing a pathway to progress with individual career goals.

Over the course of the 6-month program, resident artists will work to set and achieve professional goals while building long-term plans for the future. The FIELD/WORK Residency's collaboratively developed curriculum combines nuts-and-bolts entrepreneurial skills with deep thinking about creative practice and community building to empower artists to create the foundation for a sustainable creative career.

Applications are now closed.

Ethos & Curriculum Design

The program is designed for artists from all disciplines who are at a point in their careers such that they are motivated to commit to six focused months of professional development education and experimentation in order to identify and achieve short-term goals and long-term visions for career growth. A highly personalized Artist Plan assignment guides the curriculum's structure. Residents participate in a continuous feedback loop with mentor artists, professionals from the field, and one another to support the evolution of each other’s strategic approach to career development.


The FIELD/WORK Residency runs from October 15, 2016 to April 10, 2017. Meetings take place on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month from 6:00 - 9:00 pm, alternating between residency-only sessions and FIELD/WORK public programs. Immediately following each public workshop, residents will participate in an extended resident-only conversation with guest facilitators that provides an opportunity for in-depth discussion about subject matter and resident questions. 

In addition to the Monday meetings, the Residency kicks off during a one-day retreat on Saturday, October 15.

Learning Objectives

  • Develop vital business and creative skills for the world of artists’ professional practice today
  • Create a highly personalized Artist Plan designed to help residents identify and achieve professional goals
  • Build a supportive community among peers and professionals in the field
  • Receive feedback and tactical advice from mentor artists and other innovative thinkers
  • Prepare a suite of professional application materials that can be used for various opportunities
  • Devote time to introspection about the future of one’s professional practice
  • Access educational resources and reading materials on entrepreneurial skills and special topics

Focus Topics

  • Aligning Your Core Values + Vision with Your Career Development Strategy
  • Creative Project Development Skills
  • Writing About Your Work
  • Financial Planning & Money Management
  • Individual Portfolio Reviews
  • Crafting a Winning Proposal (grant, residency, exhibition/perfomance, etc.)
  • Artist Business Models
  • Legal Essentials for Creative Entrepreneurs
  • Imagination & Improvisation
  • Activating Your Artist Plan



Damon Locks is a Chicago based visual artist, educator, vocalist/musician, and deejay. He attended The Art Institute in Chicago where he received his BFA in Fine Arts. Recently, he has been lending his artistic and/or teaching talents to organizations such as Prisons and Neighborhood Arts Project, Art Reach, the Center for Urban Pedagogy, and at UIC. The voices, the places, the stories, the human exchange helps connect his work to the experiences of others, thus making the work stronger. He is a recent recipient of the Helen Coburn Meier and Tim Meier Achievement Award in the Arts and the 2016 MAKER Grant. He also just completed a music residency at The New Quorum in New Orleans. With the aesthetics of a printmaker, he calls upon the medium that suits the situation best whether it be screen/relief/digital print, photography, ink, pencil, voice, drum machine, sampler, or turntables. Regardless of the medium the goal is to reach out and connect.

WORKSHOP Facilitators
  • Chad Kouri | Artist & Co-founder/Member, The Post Family 
  • D. Denenge Akpem | Artist, Designer & Lecturer, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Cortney Lederer | Independent Curator/Arts Consultant, CNL Consulting & Lecturer, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Dan Devening | Artist, Curator, Devening Projects & Adjunct Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Emanuel Aguilar | Founder, PATRON
  • J. Gibran Villalobos | Independent Curator (JGV/WAR); Cultural Liaison, Chicago Park District & Lecturer, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Julia Fischbach | Director & Co-founder, PATRON
  • Julie Herwitt | Artist & CPA, Herwitt & Associates
  • Kate Dumbleton | Executive and Artistic Director, Hyde Park Jazz Festival & Assistant Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Katharine Schutta | Co-Director, Career and Professional Experience (CAPX), School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Krista Franklin | Poet and Visual Artist
  • Kristen Kaza | Creative Director and Founder of No Small Plans Productions
  • Maria Gaspar | Artist & Assistant Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Mark Jeffery | Artist, Curator, and Associate Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Melissa Potter | Artist & Associate Professor and Director of the Book & Paper Program, Columbia College Chicago
  • Myra Greene | Artist & Associate Professor, Columbia College Chicago
  • Patrice Perkins | Principal Attorney, Creative Genius Law
  • Rashayla Marie Brown | Artist, Educator & Director of Student Affairs for Diversity and Inclusion, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Tricia Van Eck | Artistic Director, 6018 North
  • Andi Crist | Artists & Co-founder and Executive Director, Autotelic Studios
  • Cam Be | Filmmaker & Owner and Creative Director, Camovement
  • Chris Abani | Novelist, Poet, Essayist, Screenwriter, and Playwright @ Board of Trustees Professor of English, Northwestern University
  • Cody Hudson | Artist @ Founder, Struggle inc.
  • Daniel Quiles | Associate Professor Art History, Theory and Criticism, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Hebru Brantley | Artist 
  • Jessica Stockholder | Artist & Chair, Department of Visual Art, University of Chicago
  • Karen Irvine | Curator and Associate Director, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago
  • Lynn Basa | Artist & Founder and Director, Corner Gallery
  • Madhuvanti Ghose | Alsdorf Associate Curator of Indian, Southeast Asian, Himalayan, and Islamic Art, The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Stacia Yeapanis | Artist & Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Susy Bielak | Associate Director of Engagement and Curator of Public Practice, The Block Museum 

Sonnenzimmer’s bio is a building, one sitting atop two columns. The building sways in the wind. Sometimes a thing or two slips out of a window that has been left open for fresh air. These things glide, flip, stretch, and twist until they reach the ground, where they make a curious impression in the sand below. Sonnenzimmer is the collective work of artists Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi. Their collaborative practice was established in 2006 in Chicago, Illinois. Initially recognized for their idiosyncratic commissioned screen-printed posters, their practice has since morphed into a interdisciplinary toolshed spanning multiple platforms, including exhibitions, publishing, performance, graphic design, and exhibition design. Equal parts balancing act between art and design and radical reclamation of all aspects of visual expression, the studio is grounded in the lasting potential of the graphic arts, while exploring the physical and conceptual friction between abstraction and communication.Their work has been exhibited in the United States, China, and Europe with recent exhibitions at the Arts Club of Chicago, Vebikus Kunsthalle Schaffhausen (Switzerland), and Texas Sate University. They have been commissioned by various clients including U.S. Soccer Federation, Morningstar, Intelligentsia Coffee, China Eastern Airlines, Veto Records, and Sub Pop Records and they lead lectures and workshops in academic and commercial settings, including recent visits to California Institute for the Arts, Columbia College Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, Pratt Institute, Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Selection Process

FIELD/WORK Residency applications will be evaluated by a jury of Artist Mentors, Guest Facilitators, and CAC’s Education Manager.

Artists from all disciplines and points in career growth from emerging to mid-career are encouraged to apply. The unifying factor is the desire to make a big leap forward, the motivation and commitment to do the work, interest in being an active participant in a supportive community, and an enthusiasm for the process.

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


Tuition is $50 per month, totaling $300 per resident for the entire program.
Selected applicants must sign a contract and provide a $50 security deposit by October 7, 2016 to participate.


To be considered eligible, applicants must:

  • Reside in the Chicago area during the residency.
  • NOT be currently enrolled in a degree-granting program or its equivalent.
  • Complete the FIELD/WORK Residency online application (including CV/Resume and work samples) at by September 25, 2016 at 11:59pm.
  • Pay a non-refundable $5 application fee.
  • Be able to attend all meetings except for cases of illness or emergency.

Important Dates for 2016

  • August 8: Application opens on
  • August 15: FIELD/WORK Residency Info Session #1 from 6:00 - 7:00pm
  • September 6: FIELD/WORK Residency Info Session #2 from 6:00 - 7:00pm
  • September 25: Application deadline on at 11:59 pm
  • September 28-30: Selected applicants notified via email
  • October 7: Signed contract and security deposit due
  • October 15: FIELD/WORK Residency begins

For more Information:

Contact Penny Duff, Education Manager, at