1 to 2 years
Paid by host 

18,750 USD stipend, 24-hour access to a private studio or office, and borrowing privileges at the museum’s Hirsch Library and Rice University’s Fondren Library. Critical studies residents are also provided a networked computer and may submit a proposal to curate their own show at the MFAH or Glassell School of Art during their second year.

Paid by artist 

Accommodation: the School does not provide housing to Core Residents. Most Residents are able to secure reasonably priced housing within walking distance of the school.

Application guidelines 

All application materials must be submitted online though SlideRoom. To establish an account, go to SlideRoom, create a login ID, and select “Core Program 2019.” If you have used SlideRoom previously, you may use your existing login ID. You may log in and out as many times as you like during the application process. Please do not submit your application until you have completed all sections and uploaded all portfolio items. In the final step of the application process, you will be prompted to pay the $12 application fee by credit or debit card. You are encouraged to start your application early, and to request letters of recommendation through SlideRoom well in advance of the April 1 deadline.

Application Materials

  • Statement of Intent: Please discuss your work and artistic goals in a personal as well as a critical context. Limit your statement to 600 words. Why is this the right time for you to participate in the Core Program, and what do you hope to gain from the residency? Limit your answer to 300 words.
  • CV: Upload your CV as a PDF file, two page maximum
  • Three Letters of Recommendation: See below for details.
  • Work Sample: Your work sample should contain work produced in the last three years. Please limit “Description” to 30 words per work sample.

Visual artists: Submit up to 10 work samples in any combination of images, video clips, and/or audio clips. Images larger than 1280 x 1280 pixels (72 dpi) are automatically resized. For time-based media, we prefer embedded links to Vimeo and Soundcloud. The total combined duration of video and audio must not exceed 8 minutes. Please submit excerpts as appropriate, and include links to the entire work in the corresponding “Description” field. Video should be used as appropriate for time-based work; we discourage including autobiographical video or video documentation of exhibitions that are not time-based.
Critical studies: Submit 1–5 samples of art-historical or critical writing, each as a separate PDF file. The combined total of the work samples must not exceed 15 pages of text or 8,000 words.

Letters of Recommendation: You will be prompted to provide your recommenders’ names and email addresses in the “Recommender” section of the application. When you click “send request,” SlideRoom generates and sends an email immediately to your recommender with further instructions. Please note that the Core Program does not retain recommendations from previous application cycles.


The Core Program

The Core Program

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


The Core Program awards postgraduate residencies to highly motivated, exceptional visual artists and critical writers who have completed their undergraduate or graduate training and are working to develop a sustainable practice. Residents engage with a wide range of distinguished artists, critics, curators, and art historians who are invited to meet individually with the residents, lead seminars, and deliver public lectures. Core fellows participate in a yearlong seminar, the content of which is driven by contemporary concerns, the interests and work of the fellows, and the Core lecture series and visitors.

The residency term is from September to May, and fellows may apply for a second term. Each spring the program mounts an exhibition of work produced during the residency, which is accompanied by a publication to which the critical studies residents contribute texts based on their original research. Critical studies residents may apply for support for a curatorial project in their second year. Residents receive a 18,750 USD stipend, 24-hour access to a private studio or office, and borrowing privileges at the museum’s Hirsch Library and Rice University’s Fondren Library. Because the program is intended to foster intensive participation in an active peer group, including biweekly seminar meetings, Core fellows must reside in Houston for the duration of the Core term.

P.O. Box 6826
Houston, TX 77265-6826
United States
5101 Montrose Boulevard
Houston, TX 77006
United States
+1 713 639 7500
+1 713 639 7709

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