Foundation

Arquetopia Foundation and International Artist Residency

Puebla, Mexico

Address

  • Avenida 15 Poniente 715
  • Centro Histórico
  • Puebla
  • Puebla
  • 72000
  • Mexico

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Now well into its tenth year, Arquetopia Foundation is an internationally established, nonprofit arts and cultural foundation with a social scope that emphasizes critical thinking through artistic practices. Our customized, professional International Artist-in-Residence Programs are the largest and most reputable in Latin America, with an array of contents anchored in a solid structure of collaborations with prominent cultural institutions, renowned experts, and notable artists.

We are invested in approaching art and art history with a critical perspective by understanding Mexico and Peru’s complexity in context and incorporating nuances in narratives and interpretation of the 3,000-year heritage of visual culture of these two countries. Since its founding, Arquetopia has raised the bar in the residency field, becoming an international reference to all residency programs in Latin America, by influencing most of them in approaching art making with more rigorous practices, critical perspectives, and high standards. We approach art making by placing art practices at the center of critical discussions to reveal the complex relationship between “the ways of seeing,” power, and the production of art and/or the writing of art history. Our methodology is unique for approaching international encounters by understanding performativity while applying Levinasian ethics to the artistic process to respect the integrity of differences and question the desire for totalization.

Arquetopia was officially established and registered as a nonprofit foundation in 2009, with a solid International Board of Directors comprised of renowned scholars, artists, entrepreneurs, and supportive community membersfully committed to social transformation. We are proud to have established through our multiple residency programs a generous and culturally diverse space by hosting every year artists, scholars, and researchers from the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. Our experience has been enriched by the multiplicity of perspectives of hundreds of our resident artists and writers who have come from all regions of the world and more than 80 countries.

Founded by Mexican visual artist and curator Francisco Guevara and north American classical musicianChristopher Davis, our small nonprofit arts foundation was born in the vibrant, majestic city of Puebla, Mexicoin 2009. Having initially functioned as an educational art center for inner-city youth, Arquetopia soon expanded its focus to offer international artist residency programs in under a year and then opened its second professional residency space in the historic city of Oaxaca, Mexico in 2011. Arquetopia has since grown to offer the premier artist residency programs of Mexico and Latin America, with extensive collaborative networks in central and southern Mexico and now, Peru, with Arquetopia’s third professional residency space having launched inspectacular Cusco, Peru in early 2018. We are honored that many of our Artist-in-Residence have returned for residencies at Arquetopia multiple times.

Arquetopia Foundation is an entirely independent, self-sustaining, officially registered Mexican and Peruvian nonprofit organization of artist-run professional spaces that receive zero external funding. Arquetopia is strictly unaffiliated with any political, religious, war industrial or weapon-building entities.

Arquetopia is distinguished worldwide for its array of unique, academically oriented residency programs with substantial content customized to each resident. Our residency spaces function exclusively for productive art professionals, writers, academics, and researchers and include comprehensive, structured, and informative programs; a network of premier collaborative workspaces, institutions, and studios; and individualized project support.

Our customized International Artist-in-Residence Programs offer competitive professional and academic opportunities for emerging and mid-career, national and international artists, designers, curators, art historians, art educators, academics, writers, journalists, cultural researchers, and graduate students age 20 and over.

Our unique programs are based on a non-exploitative model promoting social consciousness. Residents are strongly encouraged to explore various ways of cultural exchange as part of their artistic and/or research goals and to actively engage in critical discussions as part of their residency experience. As Arquetopia’s mission is to promote social transformation, understanding Mexico or Peru’s context and cultural complexity, is key for a successful cultural exchange. We welcome art professionals and students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines who are interested in creating work inspired by art, elements, techniques or processes that are specific to Mexico and/or Peru.

Our residency programs are process-oriented, and the core of the residency is a critical approach to artmaking, learning, and research. Our staff and international board of directors have designed a curriculum for the residency programs that facilitates a critical dialogue between the artist’s practice and the context encountered. In order to challenge stereotypes and preconceived notions of Latin America, all programs include an introduction to the complexity of Mexican or Peruvian identities with a focus in the artists’ project scope and artistic goals.

Artists-in-residence are introduced to a better understanding of Mexico or Peru’s Mesoamerican and colonial past, its modern present, and while producing, they learn to challenge contemporary art and what are considered traditional art practices; therefore, Arquetopia aids this process with a series of weekly individual meetings, discussion, critiques, and a critical bibliography that are tailored to each artist’s needs. The ultimate goal is for artists to learn new methods and techniques while questioning their own practice in the hopes of extending the critical discussion to other communities.

EXAMPLES OF TECHNIQUES WE OFFER (BUT NOT LIMITED TO THESE)
Drawing • Painting • Natural pigments (cochineal, indigo, and other pigments) • Printmaking • Graphic design • Mexican textiles (weaving, embroidery, tapestry) • Peruvian textiles (weaving) • Sculpture •Ceramics • Mexican ceramics (Talavera, loza vidriada) • Gold leafing • Wood carving • Performance• Ephemeral (including food and other perishable materials) • Photography: digital photography and alternative photographic processes • Digital media • Design and illustration

RESIDENCY GUIDELINES

• Selection decisions are based on artistic work and proposed project. Applicants at all stages of their careers (emerging and established) must demonstrate a clear sense of potential.
• Our pool of applicants and residents is diverse in all aspects.
• Our residency programs are competitive opportunities for artists, writers, and researchers to pursue their own work, free of pressure (especially work that in their particular circumstances would normally be difficult to produce).
• Selection priority is given to projects that explore a responsible connection between the applicant’s artistic practice and the cultural context of Mexico or of Peru. The connection can be as broad as an artistic technique or as specific as a local theme.
• The creation of community with fellow artists and staff during the residency period is important.

RESIDENCY PROGRAMS WE CURRENTLY OFFER (CLICK EACH FOR INFORMATION)

1. ARQUETOPIASUMMER 2019 Triple International Academic Residency Program
2. ARQUETOPIA INTERNATIONAL MENTORSHIP Program (by invitation only)
3. ART, DESIGN or PHOTOGRAPHY Residency (self-directed) 

4. ART EDUCATORS Residency

5. ART HISTORY or CULTURAL RESEARCH Residency 
6. MEXICAN CERAMICS Residency (self-directed)

7. GOLD LEAFING and Estofado Instructional Residency

8. MEXICAN TEXTILES Instructional Residencies: Weaving, Embroidery, or Tapestry

9. NATURAL INK SILKSCREEN Instructional Residency

10. NATURAL PIGMENTS Instructional Residency (Fiber Dyeing)

11. ORGANIC PAINTING Instructional Residency

12. PERUVIAN ARTS Instructional Residencies: Painting or Sculpture

13. PERUVIAN TEXTILES Instructional Residency: Weaving

14. PRE-COLUMBIAN CERAMICS Instructional Residency 
15. PRINTMAKING Residency (self-directed)

16. SHOWCASE ART EXHIBITION Residency  (self-directed)

17. WRITERS Residency  (self-directed)

OUR THREE RESIDENCY SPACES AND LOCATIONS

1. ARQUETOPIA PUEBLA, MEXICO – Our spectacular 1939 artist compound in the majestic central historic district
2. ARQUETOPIA OAXACA, MEXICO – Our Mexican-style villa and traditional studio in the open countryside
3. ARQUETOPIA CUSCO, PERU – Our Peruvian-style villa and traditional studio close to Machu Picchu, in the Sacred Valley of the Peruvian Andes

WHAT OUR COMPREHENSIVE RESIDENCY PROGRAMS INCLUDE 

Our residencies are academic professional programs that are customized to each artist-in-residence. Our programs include weekly meetings with our directorial and curatorial staff for individualized research assistance and resources, project guidance, and critique; 24-hour studio access with personal workspace and some tools; wireless Internet; furnished, private accommodation and use of shared indoor and outdoor common spaces; home-cooked meals, locally grown coffee, and stocked kitchens –with organic and local produce, meats, and dairy– for 24-hour resident access; shared bathrooms with modern fixtures and showers; utilities and housekeeping. For the instructional residencies we offer, the instruction our residents receive from the Mexican and Andean master artists we contract is funded directly from the residency tuition fee, and materials and supplies for these instructional courses are included. For our self-directed residencies, artists bring their own materials and supplies or obtain them locally. Arquetopia provides carefully detailed trip preparation and arrival transportation instructions and orientation materials to all incoming residents. At Arquetopia Oaxaca and Arquetopia Cusco, our staff provides pickup and dropoff transportation on the scheduled start and end date of the residency.

FUNDING, RESIDENCY PROGRAM TUITION FEE INFO AND PARTIAL PROGRAM TUITION FEE WAIVER OPTIONS

Arquetopia is a self-sustaining, official nonprofit organization of artist-run spaces in two developing countries andreceives zero external funding from public, governmental, corporate, or other interests. As with approximately 90% of residency programs around the world, our residents fund the operating costs of their own programs and travel. E-mail us at info@arquetopia.org for information regarding the program tuition fees for our comprehensive residency programs and for available program tuition fee waiver options.

Some of our residents apply for third-party funding from their local arts organizations and governments. Many of our residents have also raised their funds (often exceeding their goals) via crowdfunding programs such as Pozible,KickstarterGoFundMe, and Indiegogo.

RESIDENT ARTISTS' TESTIMONIALS

Click here for interviews with past Arquetopia resident artists, a spotlight on outstanding Arquetopia alumni.


RESIDENCY OPEN CALLS AND DEADLINES

Click here for our current residency open calls and deadlines.

ARQUETOPIA PUEBLA RESIDENCY SPACE

A spectacular, four-story 1939 Colonial Mexican California-style heritage compound conveniently located in Puebla’s central historic district and close to the Zócalo (city square) accommodates the offices, sleeping living, and workspace for up to 12 artists-in-residence, and numerous production spaces of Arquetopia. Recently renovated and expanded, the residency offers a large, natural-light studio; an oil painting studio; a darkroom; a printmaking studio; a ceramics firing room with a medium-sized gas kiln (2ft X 2ft X 2ft interior chamber); a natural pigments laboratory; a research library; ten furnished bedrooms; a stocked, 24-hour open-access kitchen and large dining room; furnished outdoor terraces and viewing decks; and a rooftop lounge with panoramic views of the city.

Arquetopia’s new gallery, DECENTERED, opened December 1, 2017

in Puebla’s historic district and was recently featured by Hyperallergic.

Read the full article here.

The current exhibition, TIERRA FÉRTIL, runs April 12 through May 31, 2019.

Accessible via two international airports in Puebla (PBC) and Mexico City (MEX), Puebla is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that lies 136 km (84 mi) from Mexico City and has approximately 5,000 colonial buildings. With a population of 2.7 million, Puebla is famous for a deep cultural identity, delicious cuisine, Talavera ceramics, and traditions rooted in the 16th-century baroque and enriched by a blend of five pre-Hispanic/indigenous cultures, Arab, Jewish, French, and Spanish influences. Puebla lies 45 km (28 mi) east of the Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl volcanoes, giving the residents a magnificent view of their snow-topped peaks. At an elevation of 2,200 m (7,200 ft), Puebla features a temperate subtropical highland climate, resulting in an average of only three days per year seeing temperatures above 29°C (84°F).

Puebla is also ideally located close to several other important cities: only two hours to spectacular Mexico City,three hours to the beaches of Veracruz, and four and a half hours to historic Oaxaca, each easily accessible via cheap and comfortable charter bus from Puebla.

The Wall Street Journal has recently named Puebla as No.2 of the top 10 world destinations in its article,Where to Travel in 2018: from Madagascar to Scotland’s Coolest City. We are proud that Puebla is recognized yet again alongside such beautiful and exciting destinations as Dundee, Montenegro, and Shanghai.

WHAT OUR COMPREHENSIVE RESIDENCY PROGRAMS AT ARQUETOPIA PUEBLA INCLUDE 

Our residencies are academically oriented professional programs that are customized to each artist-in-residence. Our programs include weekly meetings with our directorial and curatorial staff for individualized research assistance and resources, project guidance, and critique; 24-hour access to large, shared studio with natural light, personal workspace, large tables, wall space, and some tools; wireless Internet; furnished, private accommodation and use of shared indoor and outdoor common spaces; home-cooked meals, locally grown coffee, and stocked kitchen –with organic and local produce, meats, and dairy– for 24-hour resident access; shared bathrooms with modern fixtures and showers; utilities and housekeeping. For theinstructional residencies we offer, the instruction our residents receive from the Mexican master artists we contract is funded directly from the residency fee, and materials and supplies for these instructional courses are included. For our self-directed residencies, artists bring their own materials and supplies or obtain them locally. Arquetopia provides carefully detailed trip preparation materials, arrival transportation instructions, and orientation materials to all incoming residents.

Special Studio Facilities at Arquetopia Puebla:

An on-site darkroom is provided for photographers. An on-site printmaking studio and ceramics facility with medium-sized kiln (2ft X 2ft X 2ft interior chamber) are also provided, as well as a unique, on-site laboratory for our Organic Painting and Gold Leafing instructional residency programs.

RESIDENCY PROGRAMS WE OFFER AT ARQUETOPIA PUEBLA (CLICK EACH FOR INFORMATION)

1. ARQUETOPIASUMMER 2019 Triple International Academic Residency Program
2. ART, DESIGN or PHOTOGRAPHY Residency (self-directed)

3. ART EDUCATORS Residency (assisted)

4. ART HISTORY or CULTURAL RESEARCH Residency (assisted)
5. MEXICAN CERAMICS Residency (self-directed)
6. GOLD LEAFING and Estofado Instructional Residency
7. ORGANIC PAINTING Instructional Residency

8. PRE-COLUMBIAN CERAMICS Instructional Residency

9. PRINTMAKING Residency (self-directed) 

10. SHOWCASE ART EXHIBITION Residency (assisted)