“Once you have gone through the Core Program, you belong to a great group of alumni that offers a sense of lasting community.” —Natasha Bowdoin
In 2008, the Glassell School of Art’s Core Program brought artist Natasha Bowdoin, who is known for her intricate, hand-cut paper installations and collages, to Houston. Since her residency ended in 2010, she’s remained in the Bayou City, continuing to work on her art and teaching as an assistant professor at Rice University.
This year is already an exciting one for Bowdoin. After the opening of a major project at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in March and an installation at the Dallas Contemporary Art Fair in April, she reflects on her time as a Core Program resident.
How does the Core Program continue to impact your life and work?
I made some of my most lasting artist friendships in the Core Program. These relationships, which were built in the intensity of those two years, have had a huge impact on my life and work—so large of an impact it’s a bit hard to encapsulate! Many of these friends continue to be my main support system as I put work out into the world. They offer sounding boards, critical eyes, and opportunities for collaboration that I'm extremely grateful for. I feel lucky to have been part of a cohort that developed this strong of a bond. Once you have gone through the Core Program, you belong to a great group of alumni that offers a sense of lasting community after your time in the program is finished.
What kind of role does the Core Program play in the Houston community?
The Core brings a lot of great people to town—fellows [the artists- and critics-in-residence], as well as visiting artists, come through to engage with Houston. Many fellows have stayed in Houston. When this happens, I think it has the potential to change the larger fabric of the city: new people to integrate into an existing art community, making it all the more rich and diverse.
What are you working on now?
I just finished a major project that went up at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Maneater is a site-specific installation that grows to consume MASS MoCA’s Hunter Hallway gallery. At 100 feet long, it’s the largest cut paper and collage installation I’ve made. It’s an exploration and rumination on the intersections of the literary and the natural worlds. Maneater will be on view through 2019. I’ve also completed an installation at the 2018 Dallas Contemporary Art Fair. Now that these projects are up, I’m just looking forward to getting back to working in the studio to see what comes together next.
The new Glassell School of Art; The Brown Foundation, Inc. Plaza; and BBVA Roof Garden open to the public on Sunday, May 20! Learn more.