Andean Weaving

Now Welcoming Applications for 2021 – All Sessions
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Applications are evaluated for selection priority
when they are received versus after the deadline has passed.

This comprehensive, customized instructional residency program offers offers competitive professional opportunities for emerging and mid-career, national and international artists, designers, and photographers age 20 and over.
In the ancient Andean world, art and technology were not separated; textiles especially had extensive roles in the development of technology and culture. In Peru, textiles are living documents, and probably one of the most important visual expressions, a complex system of communication with meanings and values. The importance of textiles is such that it goes beyond the sphere of clothing; for instance, fabric technology has a primal role in the development of material culture in Peru, and an extensive role in the organization of space influencing stone construction and Andean architecture.

During the Spanish colonization of the Americas, efforts to convert the native populations to Catholicism set in motion complex historical dynamics affecting the art of the people of the Andes in profound ways; nevertheless, many of these processes involved contestation and negotiation of power. In that sense, textile design and abstraction in Peru differs from many other textile traditions, and although there are similarities with other cultures of the Americas, the Andean textile tradition stands out as with unique and complex cultural expressions.

The back strap loom used in the Andes today dates from pre-Inca times, and weavers use very similar technology to that of their ancestors. Today in Peru, spinning and weaving yarn keeps being an art form, an intrinsic part of Peru’s national heritage, and an integral part of the living culture of the Andes. The knowledge of weaving is usually transferred by the Andean method of person-to-person communication, and by watching and practicing which informs the structure of our weaving programs at Arquetopia.

Multigenerational Andean master weavers of Cusco
Rich array of typical textiles of Cusco

The Peruvian Textiles Instructional Residency is a mentored production residency that includes 3 weeks of master instruction (27 hours total; 9 hours per week) in Andean textiles techniques. Residents learn how to use the traditional back-strap loom, including how to assemble it, and basic weaving techniques. Artists join an integral program in which they learn the technique, approach iconography and traditional textile production systems with more resources, and get a better understanding of Peruvian culture. Instruction is in Spanish, though resident artists need not speak Spanish in order to successfully complete the courseIndividual 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.

"Aymara Weaver" by Felipe Guarnan Poma de Ayala, c.1615
Uncu, or inca poncho


Sessions of 3 weeks, with option to extend for 1 to 9 more weeks of continued production as an Art, Design or Photography ResidencyDates are not predetermined but are nominated by the applying artist.

Technique Instruction:
  • 27 hours master instruction (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, Meals, and Airport Transportation:
  • Furnished, private bedroom
  • Meals and 24-hour access to stocked kitchen and dining room
  • Wireless Internet
  • Shared bathrooms with modern fixtures and showers
  • Housekeeping
  • Arrival pickup and departure dropoff transportation provided at Cusco Airport
Studio Workspace and Materials:
  • 24-hour access to shared studio with natural light
  • Personal workspace with large table
  • Some tools provided
  • 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.

Click here to apply for this instructional residency program.

Arquetopia Peruvian Weaving 2021B