Artist-in-Residence Program

Columbia Law School's Artist-in-Residence Program was created to highlight the vibrancy and diversity of the Law School community and broaden representation among artists, media, and subject matter within the art collection.

Update: Bayeté Ross Smith was named Columbia Law’s inaugural artist-in-residence September 28, 2021.

About the Program

Recognizing the importance of the art and portraiture adorning the halls of its campus buildings, Columbia Law School's Artist-in-Residence Program provides opportunities for artists to share their work and engage with the Law School community. 

“Art can bring beauty to our campus, but it also, importantly, can reflect and represent a range of human experience, perspectives, and cultural knowledge. I’m excited at the prospect of highlighting new works, while at the same time honoring our history and looking to the future.” Gillian Lester, Dean and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law

The artist-in-residence will create at least one work that will be displayed at the Law School for a period to be determined (and, if appropriate, would be documented for archival purposes and/or added to the permanent collection). Work should draw inspiration, in the broadest sense possible, from Columbia Law School and/or the neighboring communities. The Artist-in-residence will participate in at least two programs (performances, lectures, panel discussions, etc.) during the residency period, and will have access to a small workspace, as well as to the historical and archival collections of Columbia University’s libraries. A supporting grant will be provided, as well as a modest allowance to be used for the purchase of art materials. 

Residency Details

  • Residency Period: The residency will begin on September 1, 2021 and conclude on May 31, 2022.
  • Compensation: The artist-in-residence will receive a grant of $15,000. In addition, the Law School will provide an allowance of up to $5,000 for the purchase of art materials and supplies related to work produced during the residency.  
  • Space & Support: The artist-in-residence will have access to a small workspace on Columbia’s campus. It may be possible for the artist to work with/receive research support from students and other members of the Law School community. 

Selection Criteria

The ideal artist-in-residence will have developed a portfolio of work that demonstrates a mastery of one or more media, as well as a distinct style. While this residency is open to artists of all experience levels, preference will be given to those who are in the early to middle stages of their careers. 

The selection committee is particularly interested in supporting artists from underrepresented backgrounds and/or who have connections to the communities surrounding Columbia’s Morningside Heights campus. The committee also expects to give special attention to proposals that make connections between the Law School’s history and the present day; draw attention to broad notions of justice and fairness; and/or otherwise address topics at the intersection of law and society. 

Call for Proposals: 2021-2022

    Interested artists should submit a brief proposal outlining the reasons for their interest and describing the project they intend to undertake during the residency, if selected. The proposal should be realistic in scope and scale, though projects of all types are welcome. Submissions need not conform to a particular artistic style or medium (including video, audio, and mixed-media). 

    Applications should include the following components:

    • Proposal 
    • Resume or CV, including contact information
    • Digital portfolio (submitted in a single PDF, if possible) highlighting no more than ten original works that represent the applicant’s style, quality, and progression over time

    Please email [email protected] with questions. 

    Applications for 2021-2022 are now closed. A selection will be announced before the end of August 2021. 

    The Selection Committee will be announced during the summer of 2021. 

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