The Core Program

The Core Program attracts a diverse array of applicants from across the United States and abroad. 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 participate in a yearlong seminar and engage with a wide range of leading artists, critics, curators and art historians who are invited to meet individually with the residents, lead group seminars, and deliver public lectures.

The residency term is nine months, from September to May, and fellows may apply for a second term. Residents receive a $14,000 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.

Application and Submission Process

Application deadline for the 2015–16 year: April 1, 2015
Application filing period begins January 1, 2015. All application materials, including letters of recommendation, must be received no later than midnight on April 1, 2015. 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 2015–16 year are sent on or before June 1, 2015.

Submission Process
All application materials must be submitted online though SlideRoom. To establish an account, go to SlideRoom, create a login ID, and select “Core Program 2015.” 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 $10 application fee by credit or debit card.

We highly recommend starting your application early, and requesting letters of recommendation through SlideRoom well in advance of the April 1 deadline.

Application Materials
A. Statement of Intent Please discuss your work and artistic goals in a personal as well as a critical context. Your statement should include the reason(s) why you want to participate in the Core Program and what you hope to gain from the residency. Limit your statement to 800 words.
B. CV Upload your CV as a PDF file, two page maximum
C. Three Letters of Recommendation See below for details.
D. Work Sample Requirements vary for visual artists and critics:

  • Visual artists’ work samples should contain documentation of work produced in the last three years. You may submit up to 10 items (including detail views), in any combination of images, video clips, and/or audio clips. The total combined duration of video and/or audio submissions must not exceed 8 minutes per applicant. Please do not submit autobiographical video or video documentation of exhibitions that are not time-based.
    • Image files must be submitted in JPG, PNG, or TIF format. The size of each must not exceed 5 MB. Images larger than 1280 x 1280 pixels (72 dpi) will be automatically resized.
    • Video and sound We prefer embedded links to Vimeo and Soundcloud, which are easier to access than uploaded files. Video files may be submitted in FLV, MOV, m4v, mp4 or WMV format, and the size of each file may not exceed 60 MB.
      Audio files may be submitted in mp3 format and the size of each file may not exceed 30 MB. 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 “Additional Details” field.
  • Critical studies' work samples must contain 1–5 samples of art-historical or critical writing produced in the last three years, each submitted as a separate PDF file. The combined total of the work samples must not exceed 40 pages or 13,000 words. Files must not exceed 10 MB.

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

We strongly suggest that you begin the application process and submit your recommenders’ contact information by March 1 in order to avoid uploading on the final day, when traffic on the website is busiest. Please note: recommenders’ names and contact information can be edited and resubmitted as necessary. In the event that a recommender does not receive an e-mail with instructions, the applicant should confirm the e-mail address, log in to SlideRoom, and re-submit the reference request. Applicants or recommenders who have questions or encounter problems may e-mail

We regret that we cannot respond to e-mail or telephone inquiries regarding the status of individual applications.