Arquetopia Foundation and International Artist Residency – Puebla, Mexico

Name of Residency: Arquetopia Foundation & International Artist Residency – Puebla, Mexico


Click here for interviews with past Arquetopia resident artists, a spotlight on outstanding Arquetopia alumni.

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 is key for a successful cultural exchange.

Arquetopia is distinguished worldwide for its array of unique, customized residency programs with academic content. Our residency spaces function exclusively for productive art professionals, writers, and researchers and include informative programs; a network of collaborative workspaces, institutions, and studios; and individualized project support.

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 Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl 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 29C (84F).

A spectacular, four-story 1939 Mexican Colonial California-style compound conveniently located in Puebla’s central historic district and close to the Zocalo (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.

Special Studio Facilities at Arquetopia Puebla:
An on-site darkroom is provided for photographers. An on-site printmaking studio and ceramics facility with medium-sized gas kiln (2ft X 2ft X 2ft interior chamber) are also provided, as well as a unique, on-site laboratory for our Organic Painting and Gold Leafing instructional residency programs.

Our residencies are professional programs with academic content customized to each artist-in-residence. Our comprehensive programs for each resident include weekly meetings with our directorial and curatorial staff for individualized research assistance/resources, project guidance, and critique; large, 24-hour 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. For the instructional residencies we offer, the instruction our residents receive from the Mexican master artists we contract is funded directly from the residency tuition, and materials and supplies for these instructional courses are included. Arquetopia provides carefully detailed trip preparation materials, arrival transportation instructions, and orientation materials to all incoming residents.

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

1. Art & Activism: ArquetopiaSUMMER Triple International Academic Residency (June/July)
2. ART, DESIGN or PHOTOGRAPHY Residency (self-directed)
3. ART EDUCATORS Residency
4. ART HISTORY or Cultural Research Residency
5. MEXICAN CERAMICS Artist Residency (self-directed)
6. GOLD LEAFING & Estofado Instructional Artist Residency
7. MEXICAN TEXTILES Instructional Artist Residency: Weaving, Embroidery, or Tapestry
8. NATURAL INK SILKSCREEN Instructional Artist Residency
9. NATURAL PIGMENTS Instructional Artist Residency (fiber dyeing)
10. ORGANIC PAINTING Instructional Artist Residency
11. PERUVIAN TEXTILES Instructional Artist Residency: Andean Weaving
12. PRE-COLUMBIAN CERAMICS Instructional Artist Residency
13. PRINTMAKING Artist Residency (self-directed)
14. SHOWCASE ART EXHIBITION Residency (self-directed)
15. WRITERS Residency (self-directed)

Arquetopia is a self-sustaining, official nonprofit foundation run entirely by artists in two developing countries. Because Arquetopia receives zero external funding from governmental, corporate, or other entities, we are not a granting institution. As such, and as with most artist residencies around the world, the operating costs of our programs are sustained via the tuition covered by the participating artists. Our residents cover the costs of their own residencies or seek third-party funding. The residency program tuition covers 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.

Main Website:

Residency Programme since: 2009
Description of Organisation: ARQUETOPIA FOUNDATION Now well into its tenth year, 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. Arquetopia was officially established and registered as a nonprofit foundation in 2009, with a solid International Board of Directors comprised of renowned scholars, artists, entrepreneurs, and supportive community members fully committed to social transformation. We are proud to have established through our multiple residency programs a generous and culturally diverse space by hosting every year artists, scholars, and researchers from the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. Our experience has been enriched by the multiplicity of perspectives of hundreds of our resident artists and writers who have come from all regions of the world and more than 80 countries. Founded by Mexican visual artist and curator Francisco Guevara and north American classical musician Christopher Davis, our small nonprofit arts foundation was born in the vibrant, majestic city of Puebla, Mexico in 2009. Having initially functioned as an educational art center for inner-city youth, Arquetopia soon expanded its focus to offer international artist residency programs in under a year and then opened its second professional residency space in the historic city of Oaxaca, Mexico in 2011. Arquetopia has since grown to offer the premier artist residency programs of Mexico and Latin America, with extensive collaborative networks in central and southern Mexico and now, South America, with Arquetopia’s third professional residency space having launched in spectacular Cusco, Peru in early 2018. We are honored that many of our Artists-in-Residence have returned for residencies at Arquetopia multiple times. Arquetopia was recently featured by Hyperallergic. Read the full article and interview here. DECENTERED Gallery Arquetopia was also recently featured by Hyperallergic. Read the full article here.
Organisation founded in: 2009
What type of organisation are you?:
  • Not-for-profit
  • Foundation
  • Artist-Run
  • Independent Association/Foundation
  • Other Non-Profit Charitable Music Organization
Working Languages:
  • English
  • Spanish
Presentation of artists’ work: Arranged on a case-by-case basis
Duration of residency:
  • Weeks: 3
  • Months: 1
  • Months: 3
  • Months: 1 – 3
Number of studios: 4
Number of artists in residence at one time: between 5 and 10
Studio type and size: Shared studio
Accommodation type:
Private Room
Which disciplines does your residency cater to?:
  • Visual Art
  • Sculpture
  • Ceramics
  • Printmaking
  • Textile Art
  • Literature
  • New Media
  • Animations
  • Film-making
  • Architecture
  • Curatorial
  • Education Programmes
  • Photography
  • Other
What practical facilities does your residency offer to artists?:
  • Private accommodation
  • Shared studio / workplace
  • Kitchen
  • Internet
  • Meals
  • Cleaning
What artistic facilities does your residency offer to artists?:
  • Exhibition space
  • Library/research resources
  • Ceramic facilities
  • Printmaking facilities
  • Technical assistance
  • Networking
  • Promotional services
  • Other
Is your residency wheelchair accessible?: No
Companions Allowed:
  • Other
  • If other, please specify: Residency partners are welcome as officially selected and actively participating Artists-in-Residence (individually or collaborating). In these instances, a partial tuition waiver applies for sharing a bed.
    Does your residency uphold partnerships beneficial to resident artists? : Yes; these are detailed here:
    Application process: Digital application
    Do you charge a residency fee for your residency?: Yes
    If yes, what is the residency fee? (in your local currency): Residency tuition varies per program; please e-mail us for specifics prior to applying. Arquetopia is a self-sustaining, official nonprofit organization of artist-run spaces in two developing countries and receives zero external funding from public, governmental, corporate, or other interests. As with approximately 90% of residency programs around the world, our residents fund the operating costs of their own programs and travel. E-mail us at for information regarding the program tuition for our comprehensive residency programs and for available program tuition fee waiver options. Some of our residents apply for third-party funding from their local arts organizations and governments. Many of our residents have also raised their funds (often exceeding their goals) via crowdfunding programs such as Pozible, Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Indiegogo.
    Do you provide the residents with any funds associated with the residency? (e.g. stipend, fellowship, production allowance): Yes
    If yes, what is the amount of the fund? (in your local currency): We offer a generous scholarship program and a special mentorship program to past Arquetopia residents whose residencies were outstanding (by invitation only). For certain programs, we offer the Fondo Latinoaméricano y del Caribe, for artists from Latin American countries (see our website).
    Expenses paid by the artist:
    • Other
    If other, please specify: Our residencies are professional programs with academic content customized to each artist-in-residence. Our comprehensive programs for each resident include weekly meetings with our directorial and curatorial staff for personalized research assistance and resources, project guidance, and critique; 24-hour studio access with personal workspace 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 kitchens with organic and local produce, meats, and dairy for 24-hour resident access; shared bathrooms with modern fixtures and showers; utilities and housekeeping. For the instructional residencies we offer, the instruction our residents receive from the Mexican and Andean master artists we contract is funded directly from the residency tuition, and materials and supplies for these instructional courses are included. For our self-directed residencies, artists bring their own materials and supplies or obtain them locally. Arquetopia provides carefully detailed trip preparation and arrival transportation instructions and orientation materials to all incoming residents. At Arquetopia Oaxaca and Arquetopia Peru, our staff provides pickup and dropoff transportation on the scheduled start and end date of the residency.
    Are artists expected to do one of the following during their residency stay?:
    • Other
    If other, please specify: Arquetopia Foundation’s residencies are not public studio space rentals or vacation resorts but are a full array of more than 20 customized, professional programs with unique content and project support of our directorial/curatorial staff. Though Arquetopia’s residencies are process-based vs. product-based, each resident is expected to be working on his or her proposed project for the duration of the residency session, and to engage in the program methodology and weekly discussions with our directorial/curatorial staff.
    Other activities happening at the space:
    • Workshops
    • Presentation
    • Exhibition
    • Open Studios
    Selection process: By committee
    Setting: Urban
    Nearest Airport: Puebla/Huejotzingo (PBC) or Mexico City (MEX)
    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.
    Street & Number: Avenida 15 Poniente No. 715, Centro Historico, Puebla, Puebla, Mexico
    Postal Code: 72000
    City: Puebla, Puebla, Mexico
    Country long: Mexico