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Day of the Dead Immersive Learning Artist Residency — Puebla, Mexico — October/November 2024

ARQUETOPIA IMMERSIVE LEARNING PROGRAM: Day of the Dead Artist Residency — Puebla, Mexico

Dates: October 21 to November 4, 2024 (for 2-week duration); OR October 21 to November 11, 2024 (for 3-week duration)

Why is the concept of death so integral to our understanding of our experiences? From its profound implications with collectivity, to the grief experienced when losing loved ones, death has consistently been a central question in our shared history. In Mexico, the annual festivities of Day of the Dead occur at the end of October and the beginning of November symbolizing the culmination of the maize cultivation cycle, and the temporary return of deceased relatives and beloved individuals to Earth.

The Arquetopia Immersive Learning Program focuses in the significance of the Day of the Dead as a cornerstone of national identity, rooted in indigenous wisdom, and explores its impact on the development of Mexican modern art, as well as its transformation into a secularized element of popular culture. The program examines the performative nature of rituals in Mexico, with a particular focus on the mortuary celebrations. Within the context of this national holiday participants will engage in practical Spanish language lessons, culinary exploration, and hands-on art learning fostering a multidisciplinary approach encompassing art creation, culinary arts, and linguistic practice. Moreover, the program prompts critical inquiry into themes of eternity, nationalism, and identity, challenging preconceived notions surrounding death as a national symbol and questioning its portrayal as a morbid facet of identity construction.

The Arquetopia Immersive Learning Program: Day of the Dead is a two-week intensive experience designed to provide competitive professional opportunities for emerging and mid-career artists, curators, art historians, and students aged 20 and over, from around the world. This distinctive program offers critical perspectives on the representation of death in Mexico as a foundational element of national identity. By delving into the myths surrounding its origins, the program offers participants a nuanced understanding of the Day of the Dead celebrations. Its objective is to equip participants with the analytical tools necessary to comprehend the performative nature of these rituals, exploring intricate facets such as emotional portrayals, material culture, and the evolving historical significance of death. Participants will also have the opportunity to contextualize their own artistic practices by learning papier mâché techniques directly related to the creation of ofrendas (altars), which are central to the celebration of the Day of the Dead.


This two-week program includes 8 hours of instruction in Day of the Dead ephemeral art techniques, including paper, installation, and the edible dimension of the altar; as well as an exploration of José Guadalupe Posada’s imagery. Participants will have the opportunity to join guided tours and visits to prominent museums in Puebla, altars, graveyards, or relevant sites. Alongside these artistic endeavors, attendees will engage in 20 hours of Spanish language lessons, divided into 8 hours of grammar, 6 hours of conversation practice, and 6 hours of immersive on-site language practice. They will also embark on food tours, a total of 4-hours, to savor the culinary delights of the region and spend 6 hours on academic visits to museums, altars, graveyards, and other relevant sites. Furthermore, participants will benefit from 2 hours of artistic mentoring sessions. Activities are designed to promote intense creative work and artistic dialogue; therefore, artists are expected to allocate self-directed studio hours as part of their weekly schedule. Reading materials are provided in English and workshop instruction is in Spanish. Materials are provided for the instructional course.

Contact Arquetopia Foundation at for complete details and application instructions.

Deadline: 06.30.2024
Name: Chris Davis, Co-Executive Director
Address: Avenida 15 Poniente 715, Centro Histórico. Puebla, Puebla 72000 MEXICO
Phone: +52 222 594 7728