Deadline: 19/08/2018

Natural Ink Silkscreen Instructional Residency. All Sessions Summer & Fall 2018. Arquetopia. Oaxaca, Mexico

With master instruction, learn Natural Ink Silkscreen techniques in the countryside of Oaxaca.

With master instruction, learn Natural Ink Silkscreen techniques in the countryside of Oaxaca, southern Mexico. Extendable 3-week sessions during Summer or Fall 2018.

APPLY NOW: Fee reduction options. Spaces are limited. All residency applications are evaluated for selection when they are received vs. after the deadline has passed.

This unique instructional residency offers competitive professional opportunities for emerging and mid-career, national and international artists age 22 and over.

From centuries, ago to the present day, artists continue to engage in quests to find sources for the perfect colors. The region including modern day Mexico is abundant in plants, mineral, and animal colorants, and historically produced the knowledge and technology for a wide spectrum of colors, including red and purple hues cochineal, the famous blue range of indigo, etc.  Red and blue occupy a privilege place in the color hierarchy, and Mexican cochineal and indigo being at the top of the scale are highly valued around the world.

The inhabitants of Mesoamerica had long perfected ways to derive brilliant red colorant from the cochineal insect, selectively bred on its prickly pear cactus host, and to obtain blue coloring extract by farming the local indigofera tinctoria plants. Both colors have majorly impacted the development of the world through several centuries, with a singular and enduring importance in the history of commerce, science, politics, art and ideas.  Before the European invasion of the Americas and through the Spanish colonial period, artists appear to continue deliberately choosing natural colors from among all available. El Greco, Tintoretto, Velázquez, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Van Gogh used them. Today, contemporary artists and designers continue to embrace natural colorants for their beauty and meaning.  Globally, outside of the regions where cochineal and indigo, as well as other natural colorants, have a continuous history of cultural meaning and use, pockets of contemporary fashion designers have followed in the footsteps of early twentieth-century designers and their use of organic natural colors.

The Natural Ink Silkscreen Instructional Residency acknowledges the rich history of color in Mexico by incorporating the knowledge of natural colorants with the silkscreen printing technique on fabric. The program includes 3 weeks of master instruction (27 hours total; 9 hours per week) to understand the principles of natural colorants and their use in printing mediums through the technique of silkscreen applied on fabric. The program includes hands-on instruction with cochineal (carmine), añil (blue), and pericon (yellow) from Mexico. Instruction is in Spanish and English, focusing in learning and experimentation with traditional organic primers (cactus and lime, rabbit glue, gelatin) stuccos, organic based temperas and frescoes, and related art techniques. This residency is a comprehensive program to learn the natural colorant of Oaxaca, including resources for a better understanding of the complex culture of Mexico and the history of its colors.

Our customized International Artist-in-Residence Programs offer competitive professional opportunities for emerging and mid-career, national and international artists, designers, curators, art historians, art educators, journalists, writers, and cultural researchers age 22 and over. Our programs are based on a non-exploitative model promoting ‚Ä®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. Understanding Mexico or Peru’s context and cultural complexity is key for a successful cultural exchange. We welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds and disciplines who are interested in creating work or inspired by art, elements, techniques or processes specific to Mexico or Peru.

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


  •        Selection decisions are based on artistic work and proposed project. Candidates 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 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 Peru. The connection can be as broad as an artistic technique or as specific as a local theme.
  •        The creation of community with fellow residents and staff during the residency period is important.

Founded in 2009, Arquetopia is an internationally established, award-winning nonprofit arts and cultural foundation with a social scope that emphasizes critical thinking through artistic practices. Our academic 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 especially 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 a reference to every residency program in Latin America and influencing most of them in approaching artmaking with more rigorous practices, critical perspectives, and high standards.

In contributing to a more focused environmental consciousness and renewing our commitment to sustainability and nature, we honor Oaxaca’s traditions by incorporating into our residency a deeper comprehension of how art and the surrounding ecosystem coexist harmonically. Arquetopia’s residency spaces continue to be open for dialogue, exchanges, and encounters while emphasizing our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, reusing materials, and recycling waste.

Our Mexican-style villa hosts up to four artists at a time, with sweeping mountain views from the artist rooms. In this countryside space, the intersection of art and nature set the tone for reflection, research and production. We welcome writers who are interested in seeking a deeper connection with the community, nature, and the environment. Artists are also encouraged to participate in diverse activities such as field trips, cycling, and hiking.

Our residents enjoy a safe and peaceful environment surrounded by the mountains of San Pablo, a nature reserve of 7,500 acres with rich biodiversity. The residency center is located in the countryside village of San Pablo Etla, only 20 minutes away from the center of the city of Oaxaca on the south side; and to the north, it is only 20 minutes away from the Centro de las Artes San Agustín, an early 20th-century textile mill transformed into a spectacular arts center. Though cheap, everyday public transportation is also available from the residency vicinity into the city, Arquetopia also provides scheduled transportation into downtown Oaxaca once per week by van.

The colonial city of Oaxaca is nestled in a valley in the Sierra Madre mountain range of southern Mexico. Oaxaca is located 450 km (280 mi) southeast of Mexico City and is reachable via three international airports: Oaxaca (OAX), Puebla (PBC), and Mexico City (MEX). With a population of 265,000, Oaxaca boasts magnificent colonial architecture, the most outstanding example being Santo Domingo church and its former convent, now home to an impressive anthropology museum. The city and its surrounding areas also feature a high concentration of native Zapotec and Mixtec cultures and archaeological sites. Oaxaca was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 for its central historic district and the archaeological site of Monte Alban. Getting around Oaxaca is easy and enjoyable; museums, studios, libraries and landmarks are all in walking distance. At an elevation of 1,555 m (5,100 ft), Oaxaca features a subtropical climate, resulting in mild-to-warm temperatures year-round.

Rich in history and culture, Oaxaca is a fascinating destination where you can appreciate ancient civilizations, colonial art and architecture, and vibrant cultural traditions. Oaxaca is one of the safest Mexican destinations you could choose.


Technique Instruction:

  •        27 hours master instruction (9 hours per week)

Staff Support:

  •        Each resident meets weekly with our staff for individualized research assistance/resources, project guidance, and critiques
  •        Our residencies are process-based; residents are not expected to give talks, exhibitions, or workshops

Accommodation, Meals, and Local Transportation:

  •        Furnished, private bedroom
  •        Meals and 24-hour access to the kitchen and dining room
  •        Wireless Internet
  •        Shared bathrooms with modern fixtures and showers
  •        Housekeeping
  •        Though cheap, everyday public transportation is also available from the residency vicinity into the city, Arquetopia also provides scheduled transportation into downtown Oaxaca once per week by van

Studio Workspace and Materials:

  •        24-hour access to shared studio with natural light
  •        Personal workspace with large table
  •        Materials and supplies for the instructional course provided
  •        Materials and supplies for additional project production not included but available for purchase locally

Session Length: 3 weeks during Summer or Fall 2018, with option to extend for 1 to 9 more weeks as a self-directed Art Production Residency. Applicants may nominate their own range of dates.

Fee: USD $729 per week (USD $2187 for the 3 weeks). Optional Art Production Residency extension USD $595 per week. Deposit of 25% of Residency Fee due within 1 week of selection. Balance due by 90 days prior to residency start date. Fee reduction options; e-mail us.

E-mail Chris at

Visit the Arquetopia website at
Complete and submit the Arquetopia Artist-in-Residence Online Application Form, following the instructions on the web page.

Following selection, applicants are notified immediately via e-mail.


Arquetopia is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our diverse local and international community. Arquetopia’s resident artist and staff backgrounds vary in all aspects. As part of Arquetopia’s mission is to promote diversity, Arquetopia actively fights discrimination by offering access to its programs and activities without regard to race, color, gender or gender expression, national origin, age, religion, creed, or sexual orientation.

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Natural Ink Silkscreen Instructional Residency. All Sessions Summer & Fall 2018. Arquetopia. Oaxaca, Mexico

Natural Ink Silkscreen Instructional Residency. All Sessions Summer & Fall 2018. Arquetopia. Oaxaca, Mexico


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