Tag Archives: Day of the Dead

Apply Now through Monday, September 12: Performativity of Mortuary Rituals Fall 2016 Special International Program

ArtDesignProduction2015-3Apply Now through Monday, September 12 – Performativity of Mortuary Rituals Fall 2016 Special International Program: Exploring the Idea of Death in Mexico

Special 2-in-1 International Fall Residency Program, Includes Day of the Dead Arts Techniques Instruction and Self-Directed Art Production

Session Dates: October 10 to November 7, 2016

E-mail Chris at info@arquetopia.org

Arquetopia’s special international residency program exploring the performativity of rituals in Mexico and focusing on the mortuary celebrations known as Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead).


Why is the idea of Death representing Mexico globally?

This program addresses the subject of Death as a national totem, by questioning its construction as a macabre source of identity, exploring its relevance in the invention of Mexican modern art and its secularization in popular culture.

PERFORMATIVITY OF MORTUARY RITUALS: Exploring the Idea of Death in Mexico, Special International Fall Residency Program (with Day of the Dead Arts techniques instruction and self-directed Art Production) is a 4-week critical program that offers competitive professional opportunities for international emerging and mid-career artists, curators, art historians, and students age 23 and over.

This unique program offers critical approaches to the representations of Death in Mexico as a source of national identity. Through the exploration of the myths of its origins, the program will present a complex perspective of the Day of the Dead celebrations. The goal is to provide tools to understand its performativity by approaching complex nuances, including sentimental representations, material culture, and the historical transition in the meanings of death. Through the program, participants will conceptualize their art by engaging their own art practice and medium in critical perspective while observing cultural practices, including mortuary rituals, food offerings, and familial solidarity. The program will also put into context the construction of popular imagery departing from the tension in baroque representations of death, modernization and the macabre, death in the invention of Modern Art in Mexico, and its political implications with visual culture. Participants will also have a chance to place their own art practice in context, having the opportunity to learn diverse art techniques directly related to the imagery and spatial construction of ofrendas (altars) which are central to the celebration of the Day of the Dead.


This program includes 27 hours of instruction in Day of the Dead ephemeral art techniques, including paper, installation, and the edible dimension of the altar; as well as an exploration of José Guadalupe Posada’s imagery and techniques. Participants will have the opportunity to join guided tours and visits to prominent museums in Puebla, altars, graveyards, and relevant sites. Activities are designed to promote intense creative work and artistic dialogue; therefore, artists are expected to allocate self-directed studio hours as part of their weekly schedule.

Workshop instruction is in Spanish or English. Participants produce work in our partnered studio at one of Mexico’s most important art museums, in Puebla’s majestic central historic district.


Museo de Arte Ex Convento de Santa Mónica is one of Mexico’s most prominent religious and colonial art museums. Its collections were formed in the 1930s with artwork from the 16th through 17th centuries including some of the greatest artists of the New Spain such as Juan Correa, Miguel Cabrera, Miguel Jerónimo de Zendejas, and Lorenzo Zendejas, among others. The museum also records monastic life in different periods of history, from everyday life to religious rituals.


Term of 4 weeks. Dates for this program are fixed, from Monday, October 10 to Monday, November 7, 2016.


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 25 and over. Our programs are based on a non-exploitative model promoting 
social consciousness. Residents are strongly encouraged to explore various ways ofcultural 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.

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.


  • 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.


Technique Instruction:

  • 27 hours master instruction, spaced over the 4 weeks

Staff Support:

  • 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

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:

  • 24-hour access to large and bright, shared art studio with generous natural light
  • Personal workspace with large table and wall space
  • Some tools provided
  • Equipped darkroom provided for photographers
  • Materials and supplies for the instructional course provided
  • Materials and supplies for additional project production not included but available for purchase locally


USD $665 per week (USD $2660 total for the 4 weeks). Residency Fee due within 1 week of selection notification.


Visit the Arquetopia website at http://www.arquetopia.org
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: http://www.arquetopia.org

Arquetopia Blog: http://www.arquetopia.com

Arquetopia on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Arquetopia

Arquetopia Oaxaca on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ArquetopiaOaxaca

Now Welcoming Priority Applications for Day of the Dead 2016 and Winter/Spring 2017 Residencies

P1180849 - Version 2 copy 5For a limited time, we are now welcoming priority applications for Day of the Dead 2016 and Winter/Spring 2017 (and a few other spots in Fall 2016).

New Open Calls and Deadlines

E-mail Chris ASAP at info@arquetopia.org

Day of the Dead at Arquetopia in Puebla, Mexico – Highlights

Our El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) 2015 ofrenda (altar) at Arquetopia in Puebla, Mexico, honoring deceased Caribbean-American civil rights activist Audre Lorde and Mexican educator Ricardo Guevara.

Artists, Writers: Apply Now through Sunday, November 15. All Self-Directed and Instructional Artist and Writers Residencies 2016. Space is limited. Early applications receive priority status and immediate processing. Click here for Open Calls + Deadlines.

P1110192 P1110199 P1110203 P1110204 P1110208 P1110213 P1110218 P1110224 P1110226 P1110244 P1110278 P1110298 P1110322 P1110363 P1110368 P1110527b copy

Day of the Dead Artist Residencies 2015 – Puebla or Oaxaca, Mexico

dotdELIGIBILITY: emerging and mid-career, national and international artists and designers age 25 and over.
DEADLINE: Apply Now Through Monday, August 24, 2015.

Visit our website at www.arquetopia.org to view both of our spectacular new residency spaces in Puebla and Oaxaca.

E-mail us at info@arquetopia.org for more info or to apply.

Create and participate in southern Mexico’s spectacular Day of the Dead celebrations in the extraordinary multicultural kaleidoscopes of Puebla or Oaxaca. This residency is offered at a term of 5 or 6 weeks, starting on September 28 or October 5, 2015. Self-directed and instructional residencies eligible.

As practiced by the indigenous communities of Mexico, el Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) commemorates the transitory return to Earth of deceased relatives and loved ones. The festivities take place each year at the end of October to the beginning of November. This period also marks the completion of the annual cycle of cultivation of maize, the country’s predominant food crop. Families facilitate the return of the souls to Earth by laying flower petals, candles and offerings along the path leading from the cemetery to their homes. The deceased’s favorite dishes are prepared and placed around the home shrine and the tomb alongside flowers and typical handicrafts, such as paper cut-outs. Great care is taken with all aspects of the preparations, for it is believed that the dead are capable of bringing prosperity (e.g. an abundant maize harvest) or misfortune (e.g. illness, accidents, financial difficulties) upon their families depending on how satisfactorily the rituals are executed. The dead are divided into several categories according to cause of death, age, sex and, in some cases, profession. A specific day of worship, determined by these categories, is designated for each deceased person. This encounter between the living and the dead affirms the role of the individual within society and contributes to reinforcing the political and social status of Mexico’s indigenous communities. –Inscribed in 2008 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (originally proclaimed by UNESCO in 2003).

Octubre 2014_141103_3171 logo copy

Artist-in-Residence Ingrid Mesquita (Canada)

Octubre 2014_141028_3473 logo copy

Artist-in-Residence and Arquetopia Synergy Award 2015 Recipient Ellen Bepp (USA)