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New Chicago Detours Artist-in-Residence Program

By Amanda on July 12, 2012


Chicago Detours is not just a tour company but a cultural organization. We are dedicated to creating culturally enriching, educational experiences that integrate architecture, history and culture. So we are very excited to announce our new Chicago Detours Artist-in-Residence Program.

We are welcoming artists of various media to make and show a project that demonstrates an original, critical, and creative idea for interpreting Chicago architecture, history, archives, tourism, landscape, the built environment, urban planning, neighborhoods, and communities. Standard cityscape photography is not what we are looking for. Any kind of media is welcome as long as it is not messy (i.e. oil paints or chemicals) since the residency will take place in a shared office space. We offer two-months office space at no cost, and a $400 stipend for the eight-week residency (15 hours/week).

Details on the residency and how to apply are below. We thought it might be helpful to share some possibilities on what we are looking for in a project for the resident artist to complete in the two-month program. Here’s a quick list of art that captures our curiosity:

Creative mapping of Chicago. An example would be artist Tamara Kostianovsky’s maps made of hair:

US Map of Hair Installations or sculptures, perhaps using architectural salvage from places like the Rebulding Exchange. Example would be Meredith James’ See-Through:

Architectural ArtPolitically motivated paintings, drawings, or digital designs. While we don’t want too many chemicals, the design of paintings could certainly happen in the office. You have to love Chicago artist Ray Noland, his work pictured here. If you’ve been on our Inside the Loop walking tour, you’ve seen the picture of his Blago stencils.

Chicago Artist Ray NolandArt that uses archives of photography, art, advertising, maps, newspapers, magazines. Like Edra Soto‘s Ornamentos, which uses traced images from newspapers like the Chicago Tribune in metal:

Chicago Artist metal edra sotoSo that should be enough examples to get you started. Please forward on to your artist friends! And here are the details:

Program Goals

  • To encourage artistic inquiry into the city of Chicago architecture, history, tourism, landscape, neighborhoods, communities
  • To support local artists by providing office/studio space downtown with easy access to museums, architecture and public transportation to Chicago neighborhoods
  • To provide an opportunity for an artist to make and show a project (installation, documentary or experimental video, drawings, sculpture, collage, digital design, printmaking, photography, mixed media) that will contribute to his or her creative and professional development
  • To aid an artist in connecting with new audiences for their work

Chicago Detours Provides

  • 24-hour access to shared office space for two months ($550 value)
  • A desk with lockable space for storage
  • An exhibition or screening reception at the end of the residency (including refreshments, installation assistance, opportunity for sales, etc.)
  • A $400 stipend for supplies

Expectations of the Artist

  • Work in the office as often as necessary (must come a minimum of 15 hours/week and the artist is welcome to use the space to work on other projects)
  • Post weekly social media updates on project
  • Write three brief blog posts: one at the beginning of the residency, one for the fifth week, and one to conclude
  • Produce one work for Chicago Detours permanent collection

Residency Dates

  • Session 1: September 1 – November 1


  • Session 2: November 15 – January 15

Criteria for Evaluation

Artists-in-residence candiates will be evaluated on the following:

  • Feasibility: The project has clear and realistic goals, timeframe, and is physically feasible to create within the environment of shared office space (minimal painting and use of chemicals permitted).
  • Innovation: The project demonstrates an original, critical, and creative idea for interpreting Chicago architecture, history, archives, tourism, landscape, built envirnoment, urban planning, neighborhoods, communities.
  • Experience: Applicant possesses skill in his or her media and demonstrates an ability to create, experiment, produce and complete a project.

How to Apply

By August 15th, 2012 we will need to receive this form as well as:

–       Artist statement with proposal for the project you would like to complete in the residency (350-1000 words). This should include how the work will fit within what we do with Chicago Detours (in-depth, critical examination of architecture, history, culture, geography, and tourism)

–       Links or attachments to 3-10 examples of your work

–       Current resume/CV

–       The Chicago Detours Residency Application

–       There is no application fee.

All this information is also posted on our website. Looking forward to reviewing these applications, and very excited to have Chicago Detours contribute to the vibrant culture of the arts in Chicago.

— Amanda Scotese, Executive Director


Chicago Detours offers guided walking and bus tours of architecture, history and culture to public and private groups. We are a passionate team of educators, historians, artists and storytellers, and are proud to be one of very few tour companies in Chicago that is rated five stars on both Google and TripAdvisor.


Call: 312.350.1131
E-Mail: [email protected]