Columbia College Chicago

Residency Program

The Center for Book and Paper Arts currently offers several residency opportunities. 

Past Artists in Residence 

The Moving Crew

July 14 – 25, 2014

Moving Crew

CBPA/Anchor Graphics are excited to welcome The Moving Crew as our summer artists in residence July 14 – 25, 2014. Public programs will be announced soon. 

The Moving Crew creates temporary projects that respond to the specifics of place with a sensitivity to local culture within global systems. Previous projects have focused on territories, shipping containers, borders and crossing. Chicago raises a related conceptual focus: the Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog and its impact on the culture of consumption. As a geographically scattered collective, this residency is an opportunity to convene, sharing and combining print competencies and ideas.

Project Description

The Sears catalog was an interface for consumption and an experiment in mass communication. It spoke to and defined an audience, sourcing the needs of homesteaders and soliciting desires. The catalog was a paper marketplace and consumption became commonplace. As a collective, our fears and fantasies run parallel to those of the 19th C. mail-order customer. We are surrounded by tensions of excess and scarcity. Our environment sparks awe and concern. We seek and envision sundries to support a feasible existence. In our searching, we’ve found camaraderie and aim to create a network of exchange: Supplies for Viable Living. Using the catalog as our model, we will print an edition of 11” x 10’ scrolls, each a manual and compendium of products for the neo-pioneer, from instructions on foraging to migratory shelters. The edition of 30 will be variable, printed using photo-litho and monoprint on sheets of Fresh Press paper, tipped, rolled and placed in a tube for containment and transport.

Miller & Shellabarger

July 2013


Based in Chicago, where they are represented by Western Exhibitions, Dutes Miller & Stan Shellabarger work collaboratively and independently, producing interdisciplinary works in sculpture, performance, artists' books, prints and installation that investigates the body in relation to gender and sexuality. For their residency, they will  produce a suite of hand made papers with watermarks depicting their full bodies in silluets. This work grows out of their ongoing "garlands" which are cut paper silhouettes made from folded paper. Their work has been shown internationally and supported by Artadia, the Peter S. Reed Foundation, and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation.

Isabel Baraona

May 2013


Isabel Baraona graduated in Painting and Tridimensional Studies at LA Cambre, Brussels, Belgium, 2002. In 2011 she obtained a Ph.D. in Visual Arts with the research study Self-Portrait and Self-Representation, a Change of Paradigm in the Twentieth Century, in UPValência, Spain. She is a member of Oficina do Cego (2009), a graphic arts non-profit organization located in Lisbon. Baraona has been lecturing at ESAD.CR (Escola Superior de Arte e Design de Caldas da Raínha), Portugal, since 2003. She has exhibited her work since 2001, participating in several solo and group shows in Belgium, Portugal, Norway, and South Korea. 

(Click here to see a french-language review of Baraona's work in L'Art Même)

Cathy Alva Mooses

June 2012

About the Project

[Shee] is part of my ongoing research on amate papermaking traditions amongst contemporary Otomí communities in Mexico. The series of photographic prints and paper cutouts are bound into a book. The work is a visual study of architectural spaces as a form of portraiture from which I extract simple geometric forms and explore ideas of abstraction and cultural displacement as they relate to issues of out-migration patterns and cultural transformation.

In the Otomí language Nuhu, xi is a prefix used to describe body orifices such as leaf, lips, eyelids, pubic hair, and surfaces, pertinent to their traditional paper cutout figurines. Based on my understanding of this word, I began to document the relationship between everyday objects during my travels from Mexico City and the papermaking community of San Pablito, Puebla. More specifically, I was observing the town and city’s architectural facades as possible analogies for masks.

cutout book
Xi, by Cathy Alva Mooses

The documentation will be used to create the proposed artist’s book containing photos, cutouts, and handwritten texts. Simple geometric shapes are cut into the pages of the book, so that the thread that binds them is given a passage. The pages in this book are largely left blank, primarily containing cutouts. The blank pages reflect on a contemporary loss of historical memory and the struggle for indigenous languages such as Nuhu, to be documented and preserved.

Visit her website.

Judith Poirer

July 2012

Judith Poirier, Unjustified Type, installation, 2001 (Hockney Gallery, Royal College of Art, London)

About the Project

2 minutes of motion from 2 weeks of printing: a film & a book

It is my intention to make a film and a book, exploring the double-page format and the notion of time in both media. Like my previous film Dialogue, I will experiment with printing simultaneously on film and paper, making specific and extensive use of letterpress, polymer, and offset printing facilities throughout the process. The compositions for the film and the book will be inspired by the type collection available at the Center for Book and Paper Arts.

Kyle Schlesinger

July 2011


About the Project

Bumpers is a book of bumper stickers, a mode of ephemera which likely has roots in the broadside and handbill. Schlesinger conceived of the project while living in New York, and it speaks to his interest in the relationship between public and private reading spaces, public and personal libraries, group and individual reading experiences, and the art of finding poetry in unexpected places. The project is also inspired by vernacular typography and graffiti, which is fast disappearing in urban spaces due to the increasing presence of commercial design on subways and the like. 

Schlesinger invited a number of poets and artists to compose bumpers, with criteria that the text should a) be written to be read in public b) short, if it is to be read while the reader and/or sticker is in motion c) need not mimic the conventions of a bumper sticker. At the same time, Schesinger provided no guidelines or requirements in terms of content. As a result, some artists happily defied or ignored his request not to mimic the conventions of bumper stickers while others stuck to the protocol. Read Schlesinger's blog entries about the residency.

About Kyle Schlesinger
Kyle Schlesinger writes and lectures on poetry, typography and artists’ books. He is the author of Poems & Pictures: A Renaissance in the Art of the Book 1946–1981 (New York: Center for Book Arts, 2010) as well as a six books of poetry. He is the proprietor of Cuneiform Press and Assistant Professor of Communication Design at UHV.

Vida Sacic

June 2011

Image by Jackie McGill

Project Statement

The Cityscapes project centers around an exploration of hand-made book structures created using proof press technologies deemed revolutionary over a half a century ago and the possibility of “translating” some of the experience of interacting with them into a digital environment using design for the iPad, a current cutting-edge book publishing technology.

During her residency at the Center for Book and Paper Arts Columbia College Chicago, Vida Sacic created fifty copies of a 64 page hand-bound letterpresesd book which features original writing and illustration.

The artist then went on to create an interactive app that can be downloaded and viewed on a personal iPad, featuring original animation and sound design.In both iterations of the book, the same content is used but presented in a way that takes advantage of the medium. Together, they create a dialogue between the media that complement each other and inform the subject matter.

Thematically, in the collection of over 40 illustrations of imaginary landscapes, themes of materiality are explored through images of cities whose landscapes juxtapose buildings from varied time periods and geographic areas. In such spaces realities collide and coexist furthering a notion of vague familiarity mixed with displacement that mirrors the twenty-first century experience.

About Vida Sacic
Vida Sacic’s work, ranging over a diverse array of creative media and continuously shifting between conceptual and literal, applied and exploratory and print-based and screen-based, has remained dedicated to exploring the ties between process and form, often commenting on the relationship between technology, art and design in popular culture.

In her work, Sacic exhibits a keen interest in the experience of interacting with tactile, hand-made objects and the ability to translate those traits into a digital environment, as well as exploring the contributions of new media technology to the traditional fields of applied and fine arts.

Her contributions to the popular understanding of design and art are evident in her involvement with AIGA Chicago, where she is currently co-chairing the Design Thinking event series, as well as her work as a practitioner, author, curator and educator. She is currently a tenure track faculty member at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago where she is developing coursework in fine arts and graphic design.

Visit her website.

Kate McQuillen

June 2010

About the Project

Ocean of Storms

Night Watch

The Eagle has Landed (detail)

The series of photographs produced at Columbia Center for Book and Paper Arts will present a revised story of the moon landing. In this version, the mission goal of Apollo 11 was not to collect scientific data, but instead to determine if there was intelligent life on the moon.


This landing will be depicted with imagery of phenomena and mechanics that we know cannot exist or function on the moon, such as tornadoes and astronauts using firearms. Through the absurdities of the scenarios, and the particular use of American symbols of power (natural and man-made), I will point to what I consider to be the deep-seated desires within the U.S. space program: the American drive of Manifest Destiny, and the dream to find that we are not alone in the universe.
-Kate McQuillen

Kate McQuillen is a Chicago-based artist working mainly in print and installation. Her interests lie in ideas of American technology and how machines and technology have been perceived as both a positive force of progress and as a negative force of destruction and immorality.  McQuillen received an MFA in Visual Art from York University in 2009, and has spent the last year working at residencies in Michigan, Toronto, Belgium, and Chicago.

Ben Durham

June 2009

Ben Duram ImageBen Duram Image

Ben Durham's project, an expansion of his current text/portrait drawings, incorporated pulp painting on handmade paper.

Artist's Statement:

Since 2002 I have been making paper and using it almost exclusively as the working surface for my large-scale drawings.

My work is based primarily on mug-shot images of childhood friends, classmates, and co-workers (taken from the Lexington, KY online public records database). In the time since I knew them, their lives have become marked my crime, addiction, and violence. Struggling to remember and preserve my experiences, following backward into the past from the found mug-shot, begins a process of storytelling that is written into the piece itself.

My work is composed entirely of handwritten text. Written out and layered letter by letter in graphite, the memories and stories build the tonal features of the face onto the textured surface of the handmade paper.

 Alumni Studio Access Award

COMPLETE the application

2012 Awardees
Maggie Puckett, Jill Lanza, Amy Rabas
View images

This award, granted on a rolling basis, provides studio access for art or research projects to graduates of the Interdisciplinary Arts Department graduate programs.

Access will be available for specified times, and artists will be selected, as with our summer residencies, based on the quality or feasibility of the projects submitted. Residencies will be awarded on a rolling basis with limited access (approximately 10–15 hours per week, preferably afternoons and evenings, depending on availability).

• There will be no charge for studio use, other than a $50 studio re-orientation fee, if applicable.
• Selected artists will work independently, without staff assistance - no instruction will be provided. Artists must demonstrate proficiency on any equipment they use, and must observe current studio use and clean up policies.
• The grant is for studio time only, which will be scheduled to avoid conflict with access for current MFA and undergraduate students.
• Other than the basics (e.g., standard ink and solvents), materials will not be provided.

Applicants must submit timeline written proposal of 200-500 words, a request for studio (paper, print, and/or bindery) and specific equipment use, and materials to be used.

Judging criteria will include quality of concept and artistic merit, appropriateness to studio(s), demonstrated need of the Center’s facilites, and applicant’s record of proper studio use.

Artists who violate studio policy WILL have access revoked. Store of materials or artwork is not guaranteed. Studio policy requires a deposit for the use of metal and/or wood type. CBPA MUST be credited for support in the colophon or publicity notes about any artwork created. If work is created in edition, a copy must be donated to the Center’s archives.

Any single artist may participate in only 1 residency every two years.