Arquetopia Peru International Artist Residency – Cusco, Peru

Name of Residency: Arquetopia Peru International Artist Residency – Cusco, Peru


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.

The city of Cusco is accessible via two international airports in Cusco (CUZ) and Lima (LIM). Cusco was classified in 1972 as Cultural Heritage of the Peruvian Nation and declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. Located in the heart of the Central Peruvian Andes of South America at 3,400 m (11,155 ft) above sea level, the Cusco region extends into a fertile alluvial valley of approximately 20 km (12 mi), called the Sacred Valley of the Incas, an incomparable scenic and historical major destination.

The city of Cusco was remodeled and redesigned in the 15th century after a pre-Inca occupation process of over 3,000 years, under the Tawantinsuyu Inca Empire. After the conquest of the Spaniards in the 16th century when the city was destroyed, the basic structure of buildings was used to construct Baroque churches and palaces over the ruins of the Inca city, such as the Temple of the Sun (Qorikancha), the Aqllahuasi, the Sunturcancha, the Kusikancha and a series of very finely finished buildings that shaped the Inca compounds. As a result a local baroque style was developed creating a unique and high quality mixed configuration of architecture and art representing the initial juxtaposition and fusion of different periods and cultures, as well as the city’s historic continuity.

Our third residency space is environmentally conscious, continuing our commitment to sustainability and nature, and conveniently located in the town of Urubamba in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Surrounded by the rugged Andes mountains, Urubamba sits next to the Urubamba river and historically has been a transportation hub. Near the Maras Salt Mines dating back from the Inca times, Urubamba architecture dates back to the 16th century and was declared Province in 1825.

Like our other two residency spaces, Arquetopia Peru incorporates a deeper comprehension of how art and the surrounding ecosystems, as well as the complex cultural heritage, are rooted in the sense of community. 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 spacious Peruvian Chalet-style residency hosts up to four resident artists and writers at a time, with sweeping mountain views of the Chicon glacier and views of the little town, including local flora and fauna from the artist rooms. Established close to our local master artists/instructors and partnered institutions, the space accommodates the offices, sleeping living, and workspace for up to four artists-in-residence. In this countryside space, the intersection of art, history, culture, and nature set the tone for reflection, research and production. We welcome artists and writers who are interested in developing projects with non-toxic techniques and seeking a deeper connection with the community, the historical context, and the environment. Artists are also encouraged to participate in diverse activities such as field trips, cycling, and hiking.

Our residents enjoy a safe and peaceful environment, as well as the mild weather that the Sacred Valley provides. The residency center is conveniently located in the countryside village of Urubamba, outside of the touristy areas, and only one hour away from the center of the city of Cusco and 15 minutes away from the Ollantaytambo train station that serves the renowned archeological site of Machu Picchu. Cheap, everyday public transportation is also available from the residency vicinity in different directions and to various destinations.

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 shared studio with personal workspace, large tables, and some tools; and wireless Internet; furnished, private accommodation and use of shared indoor and outdoor common spaces; home-cooked meals, locally grown coffee, and stocked kitchen 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 Peruvian master artists we contract is funded directly from the residency fee, 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.

Airport Transportation:
Arquetopia provides carefully detailed trip preparation materials, arrival transportation instructions, and orientation materials to all incoming residents. Arquetopia Peru staff provides Cusco airport pickup and dropoff transportation on the scheduled start and end date of the residency.

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. 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. ART & SCIENCE Residency
6. MEXICAN CERAMICS Artist Residency (self-directed)
7. GOLD LEAFING & Estofado Instructional Artist Residency
8. MEXICAN TEXTILES Instructional Artist Residency: Weaving, Embroidery, or Tapestry
9. NATURAL INK SILKSCREEN Instructional Artist Residency
10. NATURAL PIGMENTS Instructional Artist Residency (fiber dyeing)
11. ORGANIC PAINTING Instructional Artist Residency
12. PERUVIAN ARTS Instructional Residencies: Painting or Sculpture
13. PERUVIAN TEXTILES Instructional Artist Residency: Andean Weaving
14. PRE-COLUMBIAN CERAMICS Instructional Artist Residency
15. PRINTMAKING Artist Residency (self-directed)
16. SHOWCASE ART EXHIBITION Residency (self-directed)
17. 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 professional programs are sustained via the tuition paid by the participating artists. Our residents cover the costs of their own residencies or seek third-party funding. The residency program tuition covers the costs of 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:

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: 1
Number of artists in residence at one time: 5
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
  • Other
What practical facilities does your residency offer to artists?:
  • Private accommodation
  • Shared studio / workplace
  • Kitchen
  • Internet
  • Meals
  • Cleaning
  • Other
  • Small hand and power tools available
  • Fabric and textiles
  • Library
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 program tuition varies per program; please e-mail us for this information 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 academic 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 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 academic 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
    • Gardening
    • Open Studios
    Selection process: By committee
    Setting: Both
    Nearest Airport: Cusco, Peru (CUZ) direct or via short connecting flight from Lima (LIM)
    How to reach by plane: Our staff provides pickup and dropoff at Cusco Airport on the scheduled start and end date of the residency.Cusco is reachable via the Cusco (CUZ) airport direct, or a short connecting flight from the Lima (LIM) airport. Van transportation (pickup and dropoff) from Cusco airport to the residency space is provided to incoming residents who arrive during Arquetopia&rsquos normal working hours, on the scheduled start and end date of the residency.Arquetopia always provides carefully detailed arrival transportation instructions to all incoming residents.
    Street & Number: Jirón Pisagua 103, Centro, Urubamba, Cusco, Peru
    Postal Code: 08661
    City: Urubamba, Cusco, Peru