Mexican Jewelry & Silversmithing Instructional Residency Program

Location: Oaxaca, Mexico
All Residency Programs + Dates in 2024 & 2025
Missed the June 4 Deadline? E-mail Us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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This comprehensive, customized residency program offers competitive professional opportunities for emerging and mid-career, national and international artists and designers age 20 and over.

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Since the 16th century, the silver from the Americas has been associated with wealth and global exchange. Munitions, equipment for shipping and other metal ware, as well as Chinese silks, Indian cottons, porcelain, spices, and wax, all were traded for silver extracted from the mines of the New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. From the Manila Galleon to the vessels of the Atlantic trade route, all were loaded will silver in their returning voyages, so much so that silver became the monetary standard in most of Asia. The mining industry contributed to the expansion of commerce but also the slave trade and the exploitation of people.

Mexican silver has a complex and fascinating history that spans several centuries and is still a unique symbol of taste. From the centuries of baroque intricated designs from Oaxaca to the glamour of the 1920’s and 1930’s art deco silver from Taxco, silver’s versatility, beauty, and malleability has adapted to a multiplicity of techniques from textiles to jewelry and everything in between. Filigree, as such, is a technique used in jewelry with an intricated metalwork that resembles lace, and that migrated from the Islamic world into Europe and then the Americas. Introduced into Mexico in the 1600 to local silversmiths, it developed its own style through the centuries and established the Oaxacan jewelry and silversmithing tradition.

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The Mexican Jewelry & Silversmithing Instructional Residency is a 3-week mentored production residency that includes 27 hours of instruction by a prominent master silversmith. Artists will learn the technique of utilizing wire as frame and create their design by curling, twisting and plating silver wire to create intricate metal threads. As part of the process, artists will learn how to melt a silver troy ounce, included as part of the materials for the residency, to create their own silver wire. Instruction is in Spanish, though resident artists need not speak Spanish in order to successfully complete the course. Individual mentoring is provided by our directorial and curatorial staff for personalized research assistance/resources, project guidance, and critique; participants of this program also work independently in our spaces.

Sessions of 3 weeks, with option to extend for 1-2 more weeks of continued production as a standard Art, Design or Photography Residency. Dates are not predetermined but are proposed by the applying artist.

Technique Instruction:
  • 27 hours master instruction, at 9 hours per week
Staff Support:
  • Each resident artist meets weekly with our directorial and curatorial staff for personalized mentoring, research assistance/resources, project guidance, and critique
Accommodation and Local Transportation:
  • Furnished, private bedroom
  • 24-hour access to the kitchen for residents to prepare their own meals; residents are responsible for their own meals/food
  • Wireless Internet
  • Use of Arquetopia’s residency common spaces
  • Shared, serviced (single) bathrooms with modern fixtures and showers
  • Housekeeping
  • Downtown arrival pickup and departure dropoff transportation provided
  • Cheap, everyday public transportation is also available from the residency vicinity into the city. Artists are oriented to the local transportation system by Arquetopia staff upon arrival
Studio Workspace and Materials:
  • 24-hour access to shared studio
  • Personal workspace with large table
  • Some tools provided
  • Materials and supplies for the instructional course provided
  • Materials and supplies for extended 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.

Click here to apply for this instructional residency program.

Arquetopia Mexican Jewelry Residency 2023 2024