About Arquetopia Foundation

Now in its 14th year, Arquetopia Foundation is a multiple award-winning nonprofit arts and academic foundation with a social scope that is internationally established on three continents. Our mission emphasizes critical thinking, a commitment to reciprocity, and a sense of ethics at the core of all artistic practices. Our customized, professional International Artist-in-Residence Programs are among the largest and most reputable worldwide, with a model in constant flux, offering a wide range of distinct learning opportunities. All of our multinational artist residency programs are autonomous, unique, research based, and founded on social creativity, thus, providing an array of content anchored in local knowledge, critical academic perspectives, and a solid structure of collaborations with renowned experts, and notable artists. Our residency sites are located in four distinct artistic regions selected for their historical importance, influence and artistic contribution to the world: Puebla and Oaxaca both in southern Mexico, Cusco in Peru, and Naples in southern Italy.

Considering how dominant visual culture has contributed to the invention of Mexico, Peru, and Italy in popular imagination, at Arquetopia, we learn from local epistemologies and models of resistance as a source of knowledge to contribute to social change. We are invested in approaching creative practices with critical perspectives to challenge all preconceived notions of “history” and “place,” and through the use of dynamic language, we question the idea of the body as a fixed identity in the process of rethinking space and time. Through the years, we have successfully created a generous space where different perspectives meet and address important questions on the legacy of art history and the current state of the world.

Artists-in-Residence Madeline Fischer (USA), Caroline Ongpin (Philippines/USA), and Stefanie Smith (Canada)
Our programs have become an international reference for sustainability in the arts and a model for many residencies around the world, emphasizing research and thinking processes. Since its founding, Arquetopia Foundation has raised the bar worldwide in the residency field, by putting the value of reciprocity at the forefront of every relationship with the environment, our residents and staff, as well as everyone connected to our programs. We acknowledge the problematic ties of artist residencies to colonization and imperialism, the extractive practices of tourism and the problematic tradition of the “Grand Tour”; thus the need for critical perspectives and high standards to approach art making as an ethical practice. Our methodology is unique and inspired by the works of Emmanuel Levinas, Knud Logstrup, and Audre Lorde, in the field of ethics, we continuously challenge the narratives of “artistic mobility” and “cultural exchanges” and rather approach international encounters as opportunities in time and space to provoke change in the world.

Arquetopia was officially established as an autonomous and registered Mexican nonprofit foundation in 2009, with a solid International Board of Directors and Advisors comprised of renowned scholars, artists, entrepreneurs, and supportive community members 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 more than 1,100 of our resident artists and writers who have come from all regions of the world and more than 100 countries.

Arquetopia is distinguished worldwide for its array of unique residency programs with substantial mentoring, research-based and academic content customized to each resident. Our residency spaces function exclusively for productive art professionals, writers, academics, and researchers and include comprehensive, mentored and informative programs; a network of premier collaborative workspaces, institutions, and studios; and individualized project support.

Artists-in-Residence and Special Guest Scholars in technique workshops, program seminars and museum visits

Founded by Mexican visual artist and curator Francisco Guevara and north American classical musician Chris 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 Peru, with Arquetopia’s third professional residency space having launched in spectacular Cusco, Peru in early 2018. Arquetopia opened its fourth professional residency space and art history research center in stunning Naples, Italy in 2022. We are very honored that many of our Artists-in-Residence have returned for residencies at Arquetopia multiple times.

Arquetopia Foundation is an entirely independent, self-sustaining, officially registered Mexican and Peruvian nonprofit organization of artist-run professional spaces that receives zero external funding. Arquetopia is strictly unaffiliated with any political, religious, war industrial or weapon-building entities.

In the News

Click Here for Profiles and Reviews from
Our Outstanding Resident Artists & Writers
Updated May 2024

September 2023 –
We are excited that Arquetopia is included on this list of
The Top 10 Artist Residencies in Latin America

June 2023 –
We are thrilled that Arquetopia is included on this list of
10 of the Best International Art Residencies around the World

The End of the Grand Tour?

Virtual Symposium on Artist Residencies: Future, Place and State
June 3 to July 27, 2020
Click here to view the videos and presentations from all sessions

Hello World
is an international project to which artists throughout the

world have submitted art works to share with all of us. We hope you enjoy
this gesture of goodwill and solidarity from our colleagues around the globe,
starting with this link to Arquetopia’s video.

Francisco Guevara, Co-Founder and Co-Director of Arquetopia,
was recently interviewed on the Latinos Who Lunch podcast.
Listen to the full interview here.

Our Arquetopia Virtual Residency 2020 series discussions
are now available to view on YouTube.

We are excited to announce the