The Core Program awards residencies to exceptional, highly motivated 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 leading artists, critics, curators, and art historians who are invited to meet individually with the residents, lead seminars, and deliver public lectures.
Fellows are expected to be active in their own creative and/or critical practice. Core fellows come together for 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 nine months, from September to May, and fellows may apply for a second term. 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. Tuesday mornings are reserved for group discussions, and public lectures take place on Thursday evenings. Each spring the program mounts an exhibition of work produced during the current residency term. Critical studies residents may apply for support for a curatorial project in their second year. Residents receive a $20,000 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.
All application materials, including letters of recommendation, must be received no later than midnight on April 1, 2020. The Core Program does not retain application materials from previous cycles (including letters of recommendation).
Applications for admission are accepted once per year. Applications and portfolios are reviewed and evaluated by a jury of professional artists, art historians, critics, and curators. Acceptance is based on the quality of the work and demonstration of a commitment to critical dialogue, which is integral to participation within the peer group. Successful applicants begin the program in September. Notification letters for the 2020–2021 year are sent on or before June 1, 2020.