Includes Master Printmaking Technique Instruction,
Site-Specific Intervention & Art Production

Session Dates: June 7 to July 19, 2021 (6 Weeks)
Application for this program is now closed.

This comprehensive, customized and prestigious 6-week critical residency program offers competitive professional opportunities for emerging and mid-career, national and international artists, curators, art educators, art historians, and students age 20 and over.

ART & ACTIVISM: ArquetopiaSUMMER 2021, Arquetopia’s flagship residency program, will focus on the relationship between art practices, activism, and the visual history of Mexico.

The rise of authoritarian nationalism in the 21st century, through the 2016 elections in the United States and the Brexit in Europe, has affected not only global politics but local realities in every corner of the world. Artists, more than ever, are turning to activism as a response to the complex realities they face. As a result, social issues have taken center stage in visual discourses, and many artists have moved social concerns into galleries and museum settings; however, this does not translate into social change. Knowing the problematic relationship between art and power, how can we take into action without implicating expropriated labor, extinction, and genocide?

In his essay, “Empty the Museum, Decolonize the Curriculum, Open Theory,” Nicholas Mirzoeff questions the right to appear, and states that “only those qualified can ever enter the space of representation.” How can representation trivialize our intention through visual expression? And how is activism in relation to art able to provide a space for social change? Is it possible to create a space in which those who are present can claim the “right to appear” and the “right to look”?

Special Guest Scholars and Artists-in-Residence in program seminars, tours and technique workshopsarqsum2019a

This unique program offers critical methodologies for diverse art practices while exploring the problematics and implications when art and activism intersect. Participants will conceptualize their art by engaging their practice in critical discussions and exploring the possibilities and limitations of intention in the process of articulating artistic agency. One of the central goals is to understand how violence is constructed through the language of aesthetics, hierarchies, and categories. The program will also put into context the role of cultural institutions, such as museums and galleries, in the production of meaning through objects, social relations, and art consumption.

The Mexican printmaking tradition has a complicated relation with the development of modern and contemporary art in Mexico, by rendering contentious realities mixed with current events, and political messages. This strong political legacy has not only influenced other forms of art but also set the tone to the tense and contradictory relationship between art and social activism in Mexico; nevertheless, the accessibility and collaborative nature of this art practice allows a dynamic grass-root space where the discussion of social issues is very relevant.

The seminars and tours included in the program explore the problematics of visual cultural and the possibility of resistance through artistic agency. Through hands-on workshops in collaboration with the Erasto Cortés Printmaking Museum, and the ARPA BUAP School of Fine Arts and Digital Arts, participants will have the opportunity to expand their art practice by exploring printmaking techniques and diverse site-specific interventions.

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

This mentored program includes 27 seminar hours; 9 hours of collective critique; guided tours and visits to prominent museums in Puebla, independent galleries, and relevant sites. The program also includes a 27-hour hands-on art workshop instructed by a professional master printer, exploring the artistic dimensions of printmaking techniques and site-specific interventions. Activities are designed to promote intense creative work and artistic dialogue; therefore, artists allocate self-directed studio hours working in their usual medium as part of their weekly schedule.

Renowned international art historians, artists, and master restorers facilitate the dialogues, collective critique, seminars, and workshops. Seminars are conducted in English. Workshop instruction is in Spanish or English. 

Artist-in-Residence and Arquetopia 2019 Residency Scholarship Award Recipient Miguel Keerveld (Suriname)
Special Guest Scholars and Artists-in-Residence in museum visit




Francisco Guevara
is a visual artist and curator specializing in creating projects using contemporary art to promote Development by designing alternative models of social entrepreneurship for human development. He graduated with the degree of University Expert in Management and Planning of Development Cooperation Projects in the Fields of Education, Science and Culture from the Universidad Nacional de Estudios a Distancia (UNED) in Madrid, Spain, in coordination with the Organization of Latin American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI). He also received his postgraduate degree in Cultural Management and Communication from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He joined the Race, Gender and the Historiographies of Art Seminar at the University of New Mexico in 2009 to incorporate into his curatorial projects a broader understanding of identity in the local and international context. His work and projects emphasize the role of contemporary art practices as a tool for social change. His experience covers international projects including: intangible heritage, public art, exhibits and visual arts education. As an artist he has researched, studied and worked exploring the connection between food, rituals of eating and collective identity. He is Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Arquetopia Foundation.


Karim Kattan, Ph.D., is a writer who lives between Bethlehem and Paris, where he recently completied a Ph.D. in comparative literature. In 2014, he cofounded el-Atlal, an international residency for artists and writers in Jericho, Palestine. He has written among others for The Paris Review, Vice's i-D, and The Funambulist. His first collection of short stories, Préliminaires pour un verger futur, was published in 2017 by Elyzad, and It was positively reviewed by national and local newspapers, radio and television shows in France and abroad, including Libération, lHumanité, Radio France International and TV5.

Dr. Eduardo Merlo


Dr. Eduardo Merlo, a native of Puebla, is a renowned archaeologist who discovered and studied the archeological site of Cacaxtla in Tlaxcala, he is also an expert in the Mesoamerican cultures of the central valleys of Mexico as well as colonial arts from the Americas. He has a degree in archaeology from the National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH) a master’s degree in anthropological sciences and a Ph.D. in architecture and urbanism from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Dr. Merlo is an emeritus professor and researcher from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and a permanent advisor to UPAEP. For more than 30 years, he coordinated the archeology department at Centro INAH Puebla and is currently a professor at Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla. He is also the author of several books on art, archaeology and a history of Mexico and Puebla, and is regularly interviewed on television and radio.



Emmanuel Ortega, Ph.D.
, is a curator specializing in in Ibero-American colonial art. He is professor of Latin American Colonial Art at the University of Illinois at Chicago and was previously an adjunct instructor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Since 2007, he has investigated images of violence in the Novohispanic context. For his master thesis, Ortega investigated images involving public performances organized by the Novohispanic Inquisition. For his Ph.D. dissertation at the University of New Mexico, Ortega researched visual representations of the New Mexico Pueblo peoples in Novohispanic Franciscan martyr paintings. He has contributed several entries for the Khan Academy website and the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies online bulletin. He has presented his work in the XXXVI Annual Colloquium of Art History organized by the Universidad Autónoma de Mexico, 2012, the College Art Association and American Studies Association in 2015. Also, in 2015, Ortega partnered with the Museo de Arte Religioso Ex-Convento de Santa Mónica in Puebla, Mexico to curate two art exhibitions based on recently restored paintings from the museum’s permanent collection.

Carlos Rivas ArquetopiaSUMMER


Carlos Rivas, Ph.D.
completed his doctorate in Art History at UCLA. Born in Los Angeles to undocumented parents who fled the Salvadoran civil war, Carlos has taught courses on Latin American visual and material culture at UCLA, Pitzer College, and Cal State Long Beach, and is involved in numerous Latinx artist and activist collectives in Southern California. His dissertation uses Mesoamerican spirituality and decolonial methodologies to analyze an eighteenth-century set of watercolor landscapes/maps from Central America, found in the lengthy Descripción Geográfico-Moral de la Diócesis de Goathemala. He also writes about Latinx artists working today in the U.S. southwest region and is interested in the contemporary use of ancient and colonial Mesoamerican iconography in art.

Serda Yalkin


Serda Yalkin
is the Curatorial Assistant for the Arts of the Americas and European Collections at the Brooklyn Museum. At Brooklyn, she has worked on projects including Impressionism and the Caribbean: Francisco Oller and His Transatlantic World and French Moderns: From Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950 and serves on the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) committee. Her research interests include the intersection of art and activism in Latin America and de-colonial approaches to art and art history. While Serda has a regional focus, she believes in the importance of working with ideas that cross geo-political borders and is interested more broadly in issues of race, gender, and the historiography of art. Prior to working at the Brooklyn Museum, she worked for the Agustin Fernández Foundation with headquarters in New York and Paris. A Brooklyn based native New Yorker, she holds a B.A. in Art History from Bard College and a M.A. in Art History with a concentration in 20th century Latin American art and visual culture from the University of New Mexico.

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

Session of 6 weeks, Monday, June 7 to Monday, July 19, 2021.

  • 27 hours in seminars with guest scholars
Technique Instruction:
  • 27 hours master instruction (9 hours per week), materials included for the course
Staff Support:
  • Each resident meets weekly with our directorial and curatorial staff for individualized research assistance/resources, project guidance, and group critique
Accommodation and Meals:
  • Furnished, private bedroom
  • Meals and 24-hour access to stocked kitchen and large dining room
  • Wireless Internet
  • Use of Arquetopias 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
  • On-site darkroom provided for photographers
  • On-site print/graphics studio provided for printmakers
  • Materials and supplies for the instructional course provided
  • Materials and supplies for additional project production not included but available for purchase locally

E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for program tuition info and application deadlines for this program.