The Harvard University Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institutes Visiting Artist Fellowship (VAF) is an eight-week research fellowship at Harvard that connects artists from South Asia to Harvard’s intellectual resources. The Artist Fellowship provides a platform for conducting independent research that explores critical issues in South Asia through the lens of art and design. The program welcomes applications from mid-career artists in South Asia to come to Harvard University to participate in interdisciplinary discourse with students and faculty on global issues relevant to South Asia.

Four artists are selected each academic year for the VAF at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. The review committee will consider the applicants’ experience, as well as the quality of work and written statements.

Visiting Artist Fellowship Details:

Host Country:
  • United States of America
Host Organisation:
  • Harvard University Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institutes
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Fellowship Duration:
  • Eight Week research week
Fellowship Timeline: 

Fall 2018

  • Program begins: Week of October 1st, 2018
  • Program ends: Week of November 20th, 2018

Spring 2019

  • Program begins: Week of  March 4th 2019
  • Program ends: Week of April 22nd 2019
Financial Support:
  • Each artist a stipend of $4,000 a month, to cover all costs incurred during the fellowship at the Mittal Institute. These include but are not limited to accommodations, meals, domestic travels, etc.
  • In addition, one round trip economy travel cost from South Asia to Cambridge, MA.
  • An orientation to the campus in the first week of the artists’ fellowship that includes information and access to Harvard’s extensive physical and digital libraries and archives, Harvard Museums.
  • Access to local museums and arts organizations as feasible.
  • A shared office space at the Institute.
  • A platform to publish blogs or other media.
  • Opportunity to attend classes on campus pending individual Faculty approval.
Requirements of the Fellowship:
  • An artists talk/seminar on campus and in the region, as appropriate.
  • A curated exhibition of the Visiting Artists works on campus.
  • A 4 to 5-page paper covering what was accomplished during the Fellowship.
  • An exit interview.
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Eligibility Criteria:
  • An artist who is a current resident in South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka). We will pay attention to the geographic and thematic representation of the applicant.
  • A mid-career artist with an established body of work, who is actively exhibiting current work in professional artistic venues, such as gallery and museum spaces. Although formal professional training at an accredited institution is not a requirement, artists with professional training are preferred.
  • Demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship. Special consideration will be given to artists whose proposals directly relate to The Mittal Institutes ongoing research:https://mittalsouthasiainstitute.harvard.edu/projects/.
  • Able to provide a plan and rationale for utilizing Harvard’s resources including: specific classes, archives, libraries, or museum collections.
  • In possession of a valid passport and are able to apply for the necessary visa.
  • * Short-listed candidates will be required to participate in a skype interview with the review committee.
Required Documents:
  • Artist Statement (Max. up to 300 words)
  • Resume/CV
  • Work Portfolio: Your work portfolio should consist of no more than 15 images, 15 minutes of video, and/or 15 pages of text, or whatever medium best represents your work. Find an example of the work portfolio PDF here: https://mittalsouthasiainstitute.harvard.edu/wpcontent/uploads/2018/06/VAP_Work_Portfolio_Example.pdf.
  • Fellowship Proposal (max 1000 words): This written statement should describe your preliminary proposal and how it will benefit from being hosted by the MI and Harvard. Please list in as much detail as possible which resources, departments, and faculty at Harvard would be pertinent to your research. Also, please state whether you would be drawing on the collections of the Harvard Museums for your research.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Please find two references to write letters of recommendation on your behalf. One letter must be from a senior professional involved in art or practicing artist. Their letters should address the following questions (as well as any other relevant information): 1. How long and in what capacity have you known the applicant? 2. Assess the candidate’s qualifications and previous achievements and evaluate the potential impact/contribution of his or her project. These letters should be uploaded directly to CARAT.
How to Apply:

Apply through CARAT, our application database. In order to apply through CARAT, create an XID account. Instructions for creating an XID are here: https://mittalsouthasiainstitute.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/VAF-Instructions-for-Applying-through-CARAT-as-an-XID-applicant.pdf. Please read the instructions thoroughly.

Application Deadline:
  • The application deadline for Visiting Artist Fellowship 2018/19 at Harvard University is 16th July, 2018

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