February 1, 2021

The Core Program: artist and critical studies residencies

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH)

Devin Kenny, Surprised to move____, 71[3]46, 83[2]81, 2018–19. Vinyl, UV ink prints on corrugated plastic. View of 2019 Core Exhibition, Glassell School of Art. Photo: Ronald L. Jones. 

The Core Program awards 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 20,000 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.

Limited administrative and financial support is available for successful international applicants seeking J-1 visas through the program’s partner organization, International Arts & Artists. No support is provided for obtaining other visas.

The 2020–21 term was conducted remotely with the safety of our fellows, guests, and supporters a priority, but we anticipate a return to our usual residency model in the fall and Core fellows are expected to reside in Houston for the duration of the term.

Applications for the 2021–22 Core term are due April 1, 2021. For instructions and more information, visit

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