As artistic practice occupies an increasingly pluralistic field, The International Museum of Surgical Science believes that artists are uniquely equipped to extrapolate on Museum collections in innovative ways and introduce novel perspectives to the institutional depiction of medical history. The IMSS Artist Residency Program provides working artists with:

  • Access to the Museum’s extensive collections and archive
  • Visibility on the Museum’s website and social media channels
  • A month-long capstone Solo Exhibition (or equivalent presentation) at the Museum

There are two residency sessions per a year and both last six months. The Residency is open to practitioners of any medium. Collaborators may apply but are limited to 1 application as such. Those applying as collaborators are restricted from applying simultaneously as individuals. Applicants must reside in Chicago or surrounding suburbs or plan to reside in Chicago or surrounding suburbs at the time of their residency. The Museum does not cover the cost of travel to or from the city for this Residency and does not furnish a stipend for accommodations. The Museum selects one artist or artistic collaborative per a session.

We believe in the power of the arts to build community, inspire social change and bring fresh perspective to difficult and complex issues—including issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender identity and sexual orientation. IMSS seeks applications that address these issues.

The International Museum of Surgical Science does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status.

There is non-refundable $30.00 Application Fee for all applications.

Important Dates

Residency Application
March 1stSeptember 1st
Application DeadlineApril 15thOctober 15th
Selected Resident
June 1stDecember 1st
Residency Terms6 Months6 Months
Capstone ExhibitionTBDTBD

How to Apply

Required Application Materials:

  • Applicant Contact Information
  • 1-10 Examples of Work in any medium
    1. Images should be attached in .JPG, .TIFF or .PDF format; time-based media should be attached in .MOV or .MP4 format.
    2. Files should be numbered 1 – 10 and will correspond with a Works List including titles, medium, etc.
    3. Multiple images documenting a single work (for performance, installation, etc.) are not to exceed 3 images.
    4. Time-based media examples, including video, are not to exceed 5 cumulative minutes.
    5. Writing examples are not to exceed 10 cumulative pages of text.
  • Works List
    1. Works should appear on this list sequentially and correspond numerically with the Examples of Work.
    2. Each entry on the works list should include a (1) Title, (2) Medium, (3) Year of Production.
    3. Entries may be accompanied by explanatory/supplemental text not exceeding 50 words per work example.
  • C.V. or Resume
  • 3 References
    1. For each reference, please include (1) Name (2) Relationship to Applicant (3) Years Acquainted and (4) E-mail Address & Telephone Number.
  • Artist Statement (500 words maximum)
  • Residency Statement of Intent (1000 words maximum). The statement must address the following 3 prompts:
    1. In what ways would your practice benefit from this Residency? In what ways do you envision access to the Museum’s collection informing your work?
    2. Are you currently working on a project that you would intend to carry through a Residency at the Museum? if not, what kind of project might you undertake as a Resident?
    3. How do themes of the body, medical history or health science figure into your practice?

All documents should be in .pdf format. Please no Google Drive or Word documents.

*Please note, the Museum is unable to consider incomplete applications or those submitted after 11:59pm CST on the application deadline.

Applying Electronically
Please send application materials as attachments to:

Michelle Rinard, International Museum of Surgical Science, michelle@imss.org
Subject Line: Residency Application [Last Name]

The Application Fee can be paid online using this link:

PAYMENT PORTAL Please initiate payment before submitting any application materials. The application fee must be submitted before the application deadline. This Application Fee is Non-Refundable