Deadline: 25/11/2018

Mexican Ceramics Residency – All Sessions in 2019 (& last spaces in 2018) – Puebla, Mexico

Self-directed sessions of 6 to 12 weeks during 2019 (or last spaces in 2018) in majestic Puebla.

Self-directed sessions of 6 to 12 weeks during 2019 (or last remaining spaces in 2018) in the majestic central historic district of Puebla, southern Mexico (a world capital for premier ceramics). 

Apply Now Through Sunday, November 25, 2018.
Fee reduction options. Spaces are limited. All residency applications are evaluated for selection when they are received vs. after the deadline has passed.

With a culture that spans more than 30 centuries, in Mexico, ceramics have always been a physical display of status and complex social meaning.

The advanced civilizations and cultures of Mesoamerica developed very sophisticated ceramic art with great diversity in shapes, techniques, scale, and a wide variety of usage from storage and household, to the production of goods, cultural rituals and commemorations, and even as social currency. The invasion of Europeans to the Americas in the 16th century introduced new traditions, techniques, symbolisms, and usages, including Islamic and Sephardic styles, glazes, and forms. As the Spanish empire expanded, the need for reconstruction of cities devasted by the conquest, and the development of new urban centers, resulted in new architecture; the demand for tiles to decorate these buildings, plus the availability of high-quality clay in the area, gave rise to the ceramic industry.

In a complex process of amalgamation, local artist from Mesoamerica learned, dominated, and appropriated many of these techniques and cultural expressions by combining them with their local knowledge. Puebla soon became the capital of ceramics in the Americas, producing pottery and tiles for many regions, and Talavera ceramic was coined as symbol of class differentiation. In the 17th century, other influences arrived with the Manila galleons; for instance, the preferred use of blue and Chinese iconography due to the Ming dynasty ceramics that were imported, and in the 18th century, Italian influences introduced the use of other colors. Talavera, the most famous ceramic of Mexico, testifies to the multiplicity of peoples and diversity of cultures, becoming an important symbol for identity in the Americas.

The Mexican Ceramics Residency is a self-directed production residency that offers the unique opportunity to produce a variety of work on-site at Arquetopia, and includes assistance from our experienced and local master ceramist from the community of San Pablo del Monte. The technique and studio facilities work according to the colonial ordinances of Puebla and the Talavera certified methods focusing on handmade processes; no industrial chemicals have been incorporated into the clay or glazes. No instruction is provided.


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 20 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 or Peru’s context and cultural complexity are 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 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.

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 a large, natural-light studio; a darkroom; a printmaking studio, a ceramics firing facility with a medium-sized gas kiln; a natural pigments laboratory; a multi-room public gallery space; ten furnished bedrooms; a large dining room; an open-access kitchen; furnished outdoor terraces and viewing decks; a small botanical garden; a research library; and a rooftop lounge with panoramic views of the city. 

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).

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 for 24-hour resident access; shared bathrooms with modern fixtures and showers; utilities and housekeeping. Arquetopia provides carefully detailed trip preparation materials, arrival transportation instructions, and orientation materials to all incoming residents. 

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 and Meals:

  •        Furnished, private bedroom
  •        Meals and 24-hour access to the kitchen and dining room
  •        Wireless Internet
  •        Use of Arquetopia’s residency spaces including 4th-floor lounge and outdoor terraces
  •        Shared bathrooms with modern fixtures and showers
  •        Housekeeping

Studio Workspace and Materials:

  •        On-site ceramics facility with medium-sized (2ft X 2ft X 2ft) kiln
  •        24-hour access to large and bright, shared art studio with generous natural light
  •        Personal workspace with large table and wall space
  •        Access to special facilities (such as our partnered ceramics studios) provided
  •        Ceramics materials and supplies (clay and standard glazes) provided


Session Length: Flexible, 6 to 12 weeks during 2019 (or last remaining spaces scheduled in 2018). Dates are not predetermined; applicants may nominate their own approximate range of start dates.
Program Fee: USD $595 per week (incl. materials). 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.

Apply Now Through Sunday, November 25, 2018.
Fee reduction options. Spaces are limited. All residency applications are evaluated for selection and priority when they are received vs. after the deadline has passed.
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Mexican Ceramics Residency – All Sessions in 2019 (& last spaces in 2018) – Puebla, Mexico

Mexican Ceramics Residency – All Sessions in 2019 (& last spaces in 2018) – Puebla, Mexico


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