Library Artist in Residence: Kait Rairden


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Did you know that the Library has an Artist in Residence Program?  Well, we do!

In fall 2015, the Library launched an Artist in Residence program for Columbia  students.  As many public and academic libraries support similar programs, it was a logical choice to host one in our Library.  Launched under the auspices of the Friends of the Library, the Artist in Residence program provides a secured office area space to be used as lab for creativity and innovation.  Past residents include Laurel Hauge (BA ’16), Elina Ruka (MFA ’16), Viktor Le Givens (MFA ’17) and Riley Cavenaugh, (BA ’17).

Our spring 2018 resident is Kait Rairden whose current project deals with OCD through a photographic lens.  She will be graduating in May, with a B.A. in Photography / concentration in Fine Arts and a minor in Cultural Studies.  Here, she discusses her work and how the residency has supported her process:

“This is my last year at Columbia and my first year off campus. As a photo student…having the AIR office has been a gift in all honesty. It has given me a lot of freedom with my work. My current project is looking at OCD through a photographic lens. I am trying to show this condition through a very intimate experience because OCD is an intimate experience. This space gives me the ability to work through that across empty walls and shelves. So much so, that it created an amazing platform for the work itself. I also have a space to work on campus on anything I want. I don’t have to print here, read there, or walk here to get this to go to that building to do this one thing and then come back. Just about everything I need is or can be in this one place. I couldn’t have asked for a better gift in my last semester to do the work I love to do.”

Interested in being our next Artist in Residence? 

Applications will be accepted for the Fall 2018 semester from June 1st through August 15, 2018.  Applications for the Spring 2019 residency will be accepted through December 1, 2018.  Spring applicants must be graduating students in their final semester.  The resident selected will receive a secured, private work area in the Library to complete their thesis and/or exhibition work.  For more information, contact Kim Hale at or 312-369-7355.




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