Arquetopia Foundation and International Artist Residency — Puebla, Mexico

General information

Brief description of organisation

Our 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 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’s context, and specifically Puebla and Oaxaca’s 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 and/or unique to Puebla or Oaxaca.

Drawing • Painting • Natural pigments (cochineal, indigo, and other pigments) • Paper • Printmaking • Graphic design • Textiles • Mexican textiles (weaving, embroidery, back-strap weaving) • Sculpture • Ceramics • Mexican ceramics (Talavera, loza vidriada) • Gold leafing and antique art techniques • Wood carving • Performance • Ephemeral (including food and other perishable materials) • Photography: digital photography and alternative photographic processes • Digital media • Design and illustration

. 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, of Puebla, or of Oaxaca. 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.

1. ArquetopiaSUMMER 2017 Special International Summer Academic Program
2. Art Production, Design Production, or Photography Production Residency (self-directed)
3. Art Educators Special Artist Residency
4. Art History or Cultural Research Residency (self-directed)
5. Mexican Ceramics Special Artist Residency (self-directed)
6. Mexican Culinary Arts Instructional Residency
7. Gold Leafing and Antique Art Techniques Instructional Artist Residency
8. Mexican Textiles Instructional Artist Residency: Weaving or Embroidery
9. Novohispanic Arts Instructional Residencies: Painting, Sculpture, Graphic Arts, or Architecture
10. Natural Pigments Instructional Artist Residency
11. Printmaking Special Artist Residency (self-directed)
12. Writers Residency (self-directed)

Organisation founded in


Brief description of residency program

Founded in 2009, Arquetopia is an international award-winning, Mexican official nonprofit foundation for visual arts, music, literature, and research. Run entirely by artists, Arquetopia’s programs promote development and social transformation through contemporary art with a nontraditional, culturally diverse and multidisciplinary approach. Arquetopia’s resident artist and staff backgrounds are diverse in all aspects. As part of Arquetopia’s mission is to promote diversity, artists from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East are especially encouraged to apply.

Arquetopia is distinguished worldwide for its array of unique residency programs with substantial content. In contrast to various property rental schemes, tourist resorts, B&B’s, and sublets elsewhere, 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.

New as of 2015: A spectacular, four-story 1939 Mexican Colonial California-style compound conveniently located in Puebla’s central historic district and close to the Zócalo (city square) accommodates the offices, residency space for up to 12 artists-in-residence, and numerous production spaces of Arquetopia. Recently renovated and expanded, the residency offers large, natural-light studios, a natural-light art gallery, a classroom, a darkroom, a natural pigments laboratory, ten furnished bedrooms, a large dining room, an open-access kitchen, three furnished outdoor terraces, a botanical garden, a research library, and a rooftop lounge with views of the city.

Known as the “City of Angels” and 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).

Lonely Planet, the world’s largest travel guidebook and digital media publisher, announced that Puebla made its Readers’ Choice Top 10 “Best in Travel” list for 2012. A New York Times article named Puebla as #13 of the “45 Places to Go in 2012,” and The San Francisco Chronicle recently named Puebla as one of the top five safest places in Mexico for travelers.

Staff Support:
All Arquetopia residencies include weekly individual meetings with our staff for research assistance, project guidance, and critiques.
Accommodation and Meals:
Furnished, private bedrooms and use of Arquetopia’s residency space including wireless Internet, lounge areas, kitchen, dining room, outdoor terrace, and shared bathrooms with modern fixtures and showers are provided. Meals, open access to the kitchen, and housekeeping are included.
Studio Workspace:
Large and bright, shared art studio is provided with personal workspace, large tables, and some tools. A darkroom is provided for photographers. Artists bring their own materials and supplies or obtain them locally. For instructional residencies, materials and supplies for the courses are included.

Arquetopia is a self-sustaining, official nonprofit foundation in a developing country and is unfunded by outside entities. As such, and as with most artist residencies around the world, our residents fund their own residencies.

The residency program fee covers the costs of accommodation in our facilities including meals, utilities and housekeeping, weekly meetings with guidance and assistance from our staff, studio space, and some tools. For instructional residencies, materials and supplies for the courses are included.

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.

Arquetopia on the Web:
Arquetopia Blog:
Arquetopia on Facebook:
Arquetopia Oaxaca on Facebook:

Residency program since


Disciplines and media
  • Visual Art
  • Sculpture
  • Ceramics
  • Textile Art
  • Literature
  • Educational Programmes
  • New Media
  • Animation
  • Printmaking
  • Curatorial
  • Film Making
  • Architecture
  • Graphic Design, Wood, Digital Media, Paper, Natural Pigments, Design, Photography, Art History Research, Gold Leaf, Mixed Media, Site-Specific Intervention
Type of organisation
  • Artist-Run
  • Independent Association/Foundation

Non-profit; strictly unaffiliated with any political, religious, or weapon-building entities

Residency conditions

Duration of residencies
  • 3 weeks
Number of artists resident at one time

between 5 and 10

Companions allowed
  • Other

Arquetopia accommodates partners/spouses in cases when both are selected and actively participating Artists-in-Residence (individually or collaborating). As our spaces are professional adult environments, children and pets are not accommodated.

Grants available

See the Funding Opportunities page on our blog which lists granting entities in many states and countries worldwide. Many artists have also raised their funds through programs such as Pozible, Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Indiegogo:

Expectations of the artist
  • Other

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

Application who/how

Digital Application

Selection procedure

By Committee

Presentation of artists' work

Arranged on a case-by-case basis

Description of residency


Urban-- Vibrant, scenic, safe historic city brimming with art and artist resources

  • Internet Connection
  • Library
  • Kitchen
  • Printmaking Facilities
  • Ceramics Facilities
  • Woodworking Tools
  • Arquetopia is partnered with numerous premier spaces for the production and showcasing of its resident artists’ work.
Number of studios


Type and size of studios

Shared Studio

  • Private Room
Working language(s)
  • English
  • Spanish
Other activities happening at the space
  • Workshops
  • Presentation
  • Exhibitions

How to reach

By plane

Puebla is reachable via two international airports in Puebla (PBC) and Mexico City (MEX).

Flights to Mexico City are usually more frequent and less expensive than to Puebla. If flying into Mexico City, there is a cheap (about USD $16) and comfortable charter bus service direct from inside the Mexico City airport to Puebla, a scenic 2-hour ride.

For incoming residents who book an early arrival and stay in Mexico City for a few days, there are inexpensive hotels we can suggest that are conveniently located in walking distance of many important landmarks/attractions and the Metro (subway). Bus transportation to Puebla would not be from the airport but from the TAPO terminal which is closer to the hotels.

In any case, there is no need to purchase a bus ticket ahead of time; you can do so at the terminal when you show up to take the bus to Puebla.

Arquetopia always provides carefully detailed arrival transportation instructions to all incoming residents.

Nearest airport

Puebla/Huejotzingo (PBC) or Mexico City (MEX)

Contact information

Arquetopia Foundation and International Artist Residency — Puebla, Mexico
Avenida 15 Poniente No. 715, Centro Histórico
72000 Puebla, Puebla

Phone: +52 222 594 7728

Social Media


Arquetopia Foundation and International Artist Residency — Puebla, Mexico Arquetopia Foundation and International Artist Residency — Puebla, Mexico Arquetopia Foundation and International Artist Residency — Puebla, Mexico Arquetopia Foundation and International Artist Residency — Puebla, Mexico Arquetopia Foundation and International Artist Residency — Puebla, Mexico