Arquetopia Oaxaca International Artist Residency — Oaxaca, 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. PERFORMATIVITY OF MORTUARY RITUALS 2017 Special International Program (Fall 2017)
2. ART, Design, or Photography Production Residency (self-directed)
3. ART EDUCATORS Residency
4. ART HISTORY or Cultural Research Residency
5. MEXICAN CERAMICS Artist Residency (self-directed)
6. GOLD LEAFING and Estofado Instructional Artist Residency
7. MEXICAN TEXTILES Instructional Artist Residency: Weaving, Embroidery, or Tapestry
8. NATURAL PIGMENTS Instructional Artist Residency (fiber dyeing)
9. NOVOHISPANIC ARTS Instructional Residencies: Painting, Sculpture, Graphic Arts, or Architecture
10. PERUVIAN ARTS Instructional Residencies: Painting or Sculpture
11. PERUVIAN TEXTILES Instructional Artist Residency: Weaving
12. PRINTMAKING Artist Residency (self-directed)
13. WRITERS Residency (self-directed)

Organisation founded in


Brief description of residency program

Arquetopia Oaxaca is the second residency space of Arquetopia, an award-winning, Mexican official nonprofit foundation for visual arts, music, literarture, and research founded in 2009 in Puebla. Run entirely by artists, Arquetopia promotes Development, social transformation and productivity through artistic, cultural, and educational programs. The core of the Foundation is Sustainable Development through four principles embodied in all of Arquetopia’s programs and activities: social awareness, shared responsibility, innovation, and local networks development. Arquetopia is experienced in negotiation and reinvestment of resources for local arts development in Mexico with the following features: social scope, quality, synergy, collaboration, innovation, viability, reciprocity, and respect for local knowledge.

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, 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: In contributing to a more focused environmental consciousness and renewing our commitment to sustainability and nature, we are excited to announce the new Arquetopia Oaxaca. This new space contrasts our urban Puebla residency center and honors 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 alpine-style villa hosts up to four artists at a time, with sweeping mountain and city 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 artists who are interested in developing projects with non-toxic techniques and 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 as well as helping to maintain our organic orchard.

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 30 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.

The colonial city of Oaxaca is reachable via three international airports: Oaxaca (OAX), Puebla (PBC), and Mexico City (MEX). Nestled in a valley in the Sierra Madre mountain range of southern Mexico, Oaxaca is located 450 km (280 mi) southeast of Mexico City. 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.

Staff Support:
All Arquetopia residencies include weekly individual meetings with our staff for research assistance, project guidance, and critiques.
Accommodation, Meals, and Local Transportation:
Furnished, private bedrooms and use of Arquetopia Oaxaca’s well-equipped residency space including wireless Internet, kitchen, dining room, covered patio and lounge space, and private bathrooms with modern fixtures and showers are provided. Meals, open access to the kitchen, and housekeeping are included. Though everyday public transportation is also available from the residency vicinity into the city, scheduled transportation into downtown Oaxaca twice per week by van is provided.
Studio Workspace:
Individual live/work space with natural light is provided with table or desk. Larger, shared art studio is also provided with bright natural light, large tables, some tools. 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 fee covers accommodation, meals, utilities and housekeeping, some local transportation, 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
  • Administrative
  • Film Making
  • Architecture
  • Graphic Design, Wood, Digital Media, Paper, Natural Pigments, Design, Photography, Mixed Media, Site-Specific Intervention, Writing, Journalism
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


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, 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


Other-- Small, countryside village in the mountains. Close to vibrant, scenic, safe historic city of Oaxaca brimming with art and artist resources

  • Internet Connection
  • Kitchen
  • 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

How to reach

By plane

Oaxaca is reachable via three international airports: Oaxaca (OAX), Puebla (PBC), and Mexico City (MEX). Van transportation from downtown Oaxaca to the residency space is provided to incoming residents who arrive during Arquetopia’s normal working hours.

Flights to Mexico City are usually more frequent and less expensive than to Oaxaca. If flying into Mexico City, there is a cheap (about USD $40) and comfortable charter bus service from Mexico City to Oaxaca, a scenic 6.5-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 Oaxaca 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 Oaxaca.

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

Nearest airport

Oaxaca (OAX), Puebla/Huejotzingo (PBC), and Mexico City (MEX)

Contact information

Arquetopia Oaxaca International Artist Residency — Oaxaca, Mexico
Calle Morelos No. 105, Col. Santa Cruz
68258 San Pablo Etla, Oaxaca

Phone: +52 222 594 7728

Social Media


Arquetopia Oaxaca International Artist Residency — Oaxaca, Mexico Arquetopia Oaxaca International Artist Residency — Oaxaca, Mexico Arquetopia Oaxaca International Artist Residency — Oaxaca, Mexico Arquetopia Oaxaca International Artist Residency — Oaxaca, Mexico Arquetopia Oaxaca International Artist Residency — Oaxaca, Mexico