Click to Subscribe & Stay Informed via Email!

Subscribe Here!

Subscribe and stay informed about our latest news and events!
  • Please List your Professional Affiliation
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Visiting Artist Program


The Harvard University South Asia Institute’s Arts Program serves as a resource across all disciplines to explore critical issues in South Asia through the lens of art and design. The program welcomes applications from emerging and 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 will be selected each academic year for a two-month residency at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA (two artists will arrive in the fall and the other two artists will arrive in the spring). While our visiting artists are on campus, SAI will support events and exhibits organized in collaboration with specific departments and faculty that align with undergraduate course-content at Harvard. Each visiting artist will be required to have an open studio exhibition, where the artist will present a work in progress or completed project. Furthermore, the artist should be prepared to give an artist’s talk about their practice.

Each artist will receive a stipend to cover exhibit-related costs and cultural excursions in the New England area. The costs of each artist’s economy travel, living accommodation for the residency, and meals will be provided.


To apply, you must be a South Asian artist who works in any medium, and whose practice responds to the social and political developments of the region. Special consideration would be accorded to those artists, whose proposals directly relate to SAI’s ongoing research:

Your country of residence must be within South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka), with particular preference for artists from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka, as SAI seeks to create unique opportunities to engage with artists from countries that have less representation at Harvard. All candidates must hold a valid passport and be able to apply for the necessary visa.

This opportunity is meant to recognize and showcase the artwork of up-and-coming artists who would greatly benefit from facilitated connections with Harvard faculty and students, while providing a internationally-recognized venue to display their work. Candidates must be emerging and mid-career artists who have had limited opportunities to exhibit or work abroad. Although formal professional training at an accredited institution is not a requirement, artists with professional training will receive preference.


Deadline: Monday, July 31st for the 2017–2018 Academic Year

(Apply by the deadline for both Fall and Spring Residencies)

Application Checklist

  • Complete the online application
  • Resume/CV: Your resume/CV should list your previous exhibitions, residencies, professional training programs, and related experiences.
  • Written Personal Statement: In no more than two pages, this personal statement should describe your preliminary proposal and how it will benefit from being hosted by the SAI 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 Art Museums.
  • Work Portfolio: Samples of work may be submitted to SAI, and should consist of no more than 25 images, 15 minutes of video, and/or 15 pages of text, or whatever format best represents your work. Please submit work as a .PDF portfolio like the following example.
  • Two Recommendation Letters: You will be requested to find two references to write letters of recommendation on your behalf. One letter must be from a senior professional involved in art or a 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? and (2) Assess the candidate’s qualification’s and previous achievements, and evaluate the potential impact/contribution of their project. Recommendation letters should be emailed directly by your references to by the deadline, with “Visiting Artist Program Recommendation” and the applicant’s name in the subject line.

For questions about the application process, please email

Applications will be reviewed by the SAI Arts Council, an interdisciplinary panel of faculty and senior administrators. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please Note: Do not contact Harvard faculty directly about the Visiting Artist Program.


This opportunity is made possible with the generous support from the Dean of the Division of Social Science’s Donald T. Regan Lecture Fund and the SAI Arts Council members.