Arquetopia Spotlight

Arquetopia welcomes artists, writers, art historians, curators, and researchers from all over the world and from a wide variety of disciplines. Below are some testimonials from our past residents.

Fawn Douglas
Natural Pigments Instructional Residency 2016

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What is your name, and what is your artistic practice?

My name is Fawn Douglas, and I am an artist from Las Vegas Paiute Tribe. 

What projects are you currently working on?

I am creating paintings that reflect the beauty of thPaiute ancestral lands. The paintings are inspired by the petroglyph sites around Southern Nevada: Gold Butte, Red Rock, Sloan Canyon and Basin & Range.

There is a need to defend these sacred areas, some which have recently gained monument status. Under the current administration these public lands are under attack. I am utilizing my art to bring attention to the beauty and culture of these areas.

What is the most relevant conversation that you remember having during your residency at Arquetopia?

I had the joy of meeting some amazing artists from around the world. Too many conversations about life, love, humor. One of the things that stands out the most was our thirst for adventure, color, life. Then telling that story with our art. All the artists are story tellers, whether with pigments, photos or their woven histories. We color the world and only want it to be a better place with understanding.

What changed after the residency at Arquetopia? 


My view of the world and my place in it. I was very humbled by the experience and to see how people are living, struggling, thriving.The people of Oaxaca reminded me of growing up on the Rez (Indian Reservation). There was much time to reflect on my life and let go. 

How are artist residencies important to the artistic practice?

It was life changing to see new places, culture, history and heart of Mexico’s people. I had a better sense of myself. I came home recharged and took much pride in my own culture. I was moved to embrace the beauty of my own people and learn more of my history.

I don’t believe that I could produce impactful/fresh/inspirational art staying in one place. My art would have been stagnant if I had not had the opportunity to study abroad.



Facebook: fawn.douglas.5   Instagram: artistfawn  Web:

Mark Adato
Ceramics Special Artist Residency 2012


In May 2012, through support from the artist in residence organization Arquetopia, I was invited to collaborate with Estudio San Matías Cocoyotla, a Talavera workshop in Cholula, Mexico. This collaboration began with my arrival in the city of Oaxaca known for its wide diversity of indigenous cultures, a perfect place to expose myself to the richness of Mexican culture, its art, crafts, colors and style. Splitting my time between combing the local markets, museums, ruins, and libraries and combining all these inspirations in the studio, I ended up with a series of themes to explore in the Talavera factory in Puebla.

Once I arrived in Puebla, I spent time getting to know the factory and learning the intricacies of the process. I then adjusted my designs and adapted them to their production. Working closely with the talented potters and painters and digitally prototyping ideas to explore potential innovations, we arrived at a set of designs that would challenge the existing expectations of Talavera while still embracing the tradition. A couple more rounds of refining these designs resulted in several finished collections of Talavera.

Mark Adato

Emmanuel Ortega
Curatorial / Art History Residency 2012, 2013


I was a resident in Arquetopia in the summers of 2012 and 2013. My original project involved an investigation that was to relate the present topic of my Ph.D thesis project to the colonial history of the city of Puebla. As part of my work, I am investigating images of Franciscans who died in New Mexico during the 17th and 18th centuries. Arquetopia allowed me to visit strategic and important sites that have since become central to my topic of investigation. As a result, in the past year, my research has been anchored to Puebla and to the areas surrounding the city.

I have been able to conduct research in places such as Huejotzingo, Acatepec, Cholula, and Tlaxcala, which all house important colonial Franciscan monuments. More and more images relating to my topic have surfaced in different churches in both, Puebla and Cholula. Local scholars such as the archeologist Eduardo Merlo, Francisco Morales, and the executive director of Arquetopia, Francisco Guevara, have made access to archives and colonial art collections much easier. The board of directors in Arquetopia has been fully supporting my project ever since. What is more, my perspective in regards to colonial art and culture has completely shifted as my understanding of Puebla’s visual culture continues to evolve.

While my original residency involved the colonial art history of Puebla, an important dialogue about identity and class difference in contemporary Latin American evolved through casual conversation during my first residency. What started as a topic of conversation, quickly begun to take the form of an important dialogue that seems to be absent from many cultural institutions in Mexico. We quickly began to recognize the need to expand our dialogue to the public. Since, Arquetopia has been organizing a series of lectures and workshops where these topics have grown to include local artists and cultural promoters.

Emmanuel Ortega

Joanna Szczepanik
Short-Term Research Residency 2012

La residencia relacionada con el proyecto periodístico.
Mi residencia en Arquetopia fue relacionada con el proyecto de periodismo de la revista polaca de arte contemporáneo  “Revista de Arte” (“Magazyn Sztuki”). Mi mision como de la editora de esta edicion, fue investigar de los fenómenos de la cultura contemporánea mexicana,entrevisar los artistas, teóricos del arte y los organizadores de la vida artística e invitarlos como autores en el proyecto. En México pasé 3 semanas, la mayoría del tiempo en DF, 4 días en Oaxaca (04-07.09.2012) y un día en Puebla (8-9.09.2012).

Joanna_01La hospitalidad de Francisco Guevara y el equipo de Arquetopia me permitió estudiar los fenómenos del arte contemporáneo de la región y la Ciudad de Oaxaca, con énfasis especial en la tradición del muralismo mexicano y el graffiti en el contexto de la acción colectiva y las actividades entre el arte y la política.

La estancia en Arquetopia y pláticas con su equipo y otros residentes me inspiraron para profundizar ciertos aspectos de la realidad, muy presentes en México. Gracias a la hospitalidad de la Fundacion tuve la oportunidad de incluir una reunión tanto con el profesor Arnulfo Aquino ola directora de Curtiduría, Mónica Villegas, como con los artistas: Yescka, Roberto y Rosario de Lapiztola, o visitar el Instituto de Artes Gráficasde Oaxaca, Museo Casa de la Ciudad, Estación Zero y Espacio Zapata.

La Arquetopia Oaxaca, que se encuentra en el corazón de la antigua parte de la ciudad, es un oasis de paz y armonía. Las condiciones de alojamiento son muy buenas, tanto en términos de la comodidad, como de la estética. El diseño interior del patio da aliento y una vista del cielo azul. Todo ello acompañado de excelentes comidas preparadas segun la cocina oaxaceňa. El equipo de Arquetopia ayuda conasuntos prácticos como compras, viajes o otras necesidades.

Mi proyecto consitío en preparar el número especial de la revista  “Magazyn Sztuki” dedicado a la cultura mexicana contemporánea. El proyecto fue realizado segun la beca para extranjeros 2012 de la Secretaria de las Relaciones Exteriores del Gobierno de México bajo el Programa Especial “Estancias para Colaboradores de Medios Informativos”. La instutucion receptora en Mexico fue Casa Vecina de Mexico DF con su directora Tania Ragasol. La instucion receptora en Oaxaca y en Puebla fue Arquetopia, la Fundacion del Desarrollo con su director Francisco Guevara.

Joanna Szczepanik

Jason Leong and Sarah Firth
Art Educators Special Artist Residency 2012

In 2012, Jason Leong and Sarah Catherine Firth traveled to Puebla Mexico to run a series of Cultural Comic Workshops in partnership with the Imagina Museum and an artist residency with Arquetopia. This video details Sarah’s passion around these cultural comic workshops, she talks about the genesis of the work and her hopes for the future.

Yvelinne Etienne
Art Educators Special Artist Residency 2013


Instants éphémères, regards croisés sur la ville
Ce projet incluant la participation des jeunes a retenu l’attention de la fondation Arquetopia et de la fototeca Juan C. Mendez. Sur la proposition de la Fototeca, le projet s’est déroulé dans le cadre de son événement estival : la commémoration du centenaire de la mort de José G. Posada, illustrateur et graveur mexicain.

1. Mon travail de photographe
J’ai aidé notamment les jeunes dans le choix des prises de vue, des temps d’exposition en fonction de la lumière et de la position du soleil. Je les ai initiés au développement en chambre noire.

J’ai réalisé une vidéo des jeunes qui témoignent de leur connaissance du travail de José G. Posada et de leur attachement à cet artiste.

J’ai réalisé mon propre travail photographique dans lequel les instants de la vie quotidienne questionnent ma perception d’étrangère à la ville et au pays.

Ces photographies sont en cours de tirage et feront l’objet d’une exposition à Puebla.

2. Le travail des jeunes
Avec des boîtes de bonbons en métal transformées en sténopé, les jeunes ont parcouru le centre de la ville – le zocalo, la calle de John Lennon, la plaza del Carmen – pour observer les scènes de la vie quotidienne et faire des repérages. Puis, munis de leur sténopé, ils ont saisi les lieux et les instants qui les ont touchés. Toujours, les poblanos ont accepté avec plaisir que les jeunes posent dans des instants éphémères du quotidien avec des objets offrant un clin d’oeil au travail de José G. Posada : calaveras o sombreros de la Catrina.

Les jeunes ont développé leurs photographies en chambre noire.

Une exposition de leurs sténopés s’est déroulée à la Fototeca en présence de leurs proches et des partenaires du projet.

Etre artiste en résidence à Arquetopia
C’est la possibilité de réaliser un travail artistique dans les meilleures conditions, de rencontrer la population locale, des artistes, des chercheurs, de découvrir une culture différente, d’échanger à tous les niveaux de la vie quotidienne et intellectuelle grâce, entre autres, à la vie collective au sein de la résidence et aux différentes conférences organisées par celle-ci. On a le sentiment d’un foisonnement qui donne à la vie une intensité extraordinaire.

Durant quatre semaines se sont mêlés plaisir et création artistique. Je profite de ce bilan pour saluer toute l’équipe qui a soutenu mon projet et a aidé à sa réalisation.

Yvelinne Etienne
Photographies des jeunes et vidéo visibles sur mon blog

We invite you to apply for any of our outstanding residencies via our

Artist-in-Residence Online Application Form.


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