Arquetopia began 2013 facing new challenges and undergoing big changes in structure, plans, programs and major anticipation of its new headquarters in Puebla, Mexico. New staff and board members joined our Foundation to continue developing the arts and contribute to social change. We welcomed to our staff international artists Priscilla Rojas-Kauffmann and Steve Tierney to expand Arquetopia Oaxaca, while art collectors, art historians, entrepreneurs, and a lithography guru joined the Board of Directors including Raymundo Fraga, Emmanuel Ortega, Margarita Herrera, Alejandra Maza and Gildardo Flores, and Marge Devon.
Marking Arquetopia’s three-year anniversary, we decided to review our most successful projects and history of promoting Development and social transformation through the arts. The result was a new exciting structure incorporating into all of our projects and programs: social scope; quality; synergy; collaboration; innovation; viability; reciprocity; and respect for local knowledge.
We are excited to announce Aulas the newest addition to our programs. Aulas are Arquetopia’s nontraditional learning model offering educational and training opportunities for youth and emerging artists, curators, and musicians. The goal is to elevate the quality of performance, analysis, and production of the arts, instilling critical sense as part of the creative process. Last January, we launched this program at Museo Taller Erasto Cortés with the first workshop for local artists and curators taught by art historian Emmanuel Ortega addressing diverse art critique theories including critical gender and race.
Stay tuned! We will have more exciting news and upcoming surprises to share: music ensembles, concerts, international collaborations and a public dedication!
While plans for the renovation for Arquetopia’s new home are in motion, we end the year with a very international exhibition and public art program.
Architects Without Borders Canada continues designing and planning, along with our staff, the renovation of our new building. The plan is to start restoring the art deco building in downtown Puebla in the beginning of 2013. International artist Raymundo Sesma has agreed to design the façade of Arquetopia’s new permanent home which will host the artist-in-residence program, art and music studios, and contemporary art gallery.
In the meantime, Arquetopia reaches the end of the year with an international exhibition and public art program, presenting work by Elizabeth Carter (Canada) and site-specific public pieces by Jorge De la Torre (USA) and Ameet Gill (India). I Am A Sinner, the exhibition by Carter at the Juan Tinoco Gallery in downtown Puebla presents new work addressing historical roots of violence and oppression by challenging stereotypes and raising questions about the negotiation and identity of Native Americans and Canadians in contemporary culture. Displacement, the site-specific public art event by Gill included homage to the mythical figure of La China Poblana, and Off The Wall, De la Torre's glow-in-the-dark car wall inspired by the Pan-American race, both addressing diaspora in the context of historical events in Puebla.
Next year looks very promising for Arquetopia with the exciting project of the new building and new programs that will continue to serve international artists and promote local development. We will keep you posted on the progress and thank you again for your generous support. We hope 2013 will also be a year full of satisfaction and success for you and your loved ones!
A new public masterpiece is about to emerge in Downtown Puebla at the heart of this World Heritage City: a living piece of art that will accommodate the largest Artist-in-Residence Program in Mexico, several social and art initiatives, an art gallery, art and music studios, and which will become the permanent home for Arquetopia Foundation. The space will be dedicated to promoting social change, the arts, and preserving cultural heritage while engaging the community in discussions about social issues.
Architects Without Borders Canada (AWB) visited Arquetopia this summer to discuss plans for the space renovation and to visit the actual building, an art deco building from the 1940s. For this exciting new project, students of the University of Manitoba, along with AWB, will be designing and developing the master plan this fall for the renovation and restoration of our Foundation’s new home. This new space will continue to celebrate local aesthetics, combining it with contemporary art, Latin American music and our concern for sustainability and a low environmental impact.
Arquetopia will soon engage the community of the old historic neighborhood of San Francisco, Puebla in creative processes and will donate a public art piece from a soon-to-be-revealed international artist. Our new home will continue to be a generous space, hosting international artists and safeguarding freedom of speech and creativity, as well as making contemporary art and music accessible to the community.
Thank you for being such a generous community of supporters and believing in the power of art!
The Largest Public Art Piece: A Haven for Art and Human Rights
Great news from Arquetopia! As we continue to expand our programs in Oaxaca by officially opening the exhibit “Metamorphosis” by Canadian textile artist Jessica de Haas and the product of our first formal collaboration with the Oaxaca Textile Museum, we continue to offer more artistic opportunities to reduce the impact of violence and have decided to take on bigger challenges. This year, our Foundation has embarked in the creation of the largest living permanent art piece that will promote human rights and social transformation.
We are very excited to announce that Arquetopia will become the world's fourth refuge facility for visual artists persecuted for pursuing their ideas of social change. We became the only program in the Americas to offer this kind of program by joining freeDimensional, an international network that supports art spaces which host activism and provide a safe haven for oppressed artists. We are committed to promote human rights internationally and put into context the work we already do in the local sphere.
It is also time for Arquetopia to find a permanent home, a place that will serve as an anchor for art and expression and that will provide more opportunities for diverse communities. We have started the search, and, in keeping all of our programs in mind, we want to reaffirm our commitment to our mission by renovating a historic building in the downtown area of the colonial city of Puebla. Our new home not only will preserve historic heritage and continue to serve as an open space for the creation and discussion of the arts, but it will be a living artwork, full of art and music, hosting activism, and promoting human rights. This space will allow us to fortify the cultural circuits both in Puebla and Oaxaca, bringing us closer to the communities we serve.
It will soon be official, and we’ll keep you posted with news and photos of our new building. Thanks again for all your support! We will continue creating more art and transforming our community!
The fight against violence continues: art connects Puebla and Oaxaca.
Puebla and Oaxaca are two of the poorest states in the country with the highest immigration rates and youth high school dropouts. Thus, Arquetopia decided to bring the best of its programs to Oaxaca and invest in old lasting tradition, art and youth. “Both states will benefit with this initiative and will create more opportunities for artists and youth, furthering the discussion about social issues in a public spectrum,” Francisco Guevara, Executive Director of Arquetopia, expressed.
Without a doubt, the fall of 2011 was a busy season and while our public art team continued to work on the design for San Agustin Calvario, Arquetopia’s staff worked intensively to make this initiative a reality. The big date was December 10, and the celebration of Arquetopia’s second anniversary brought exciting news to everyone: the new Arquetopia Oaxaca had also opened it doors. With a clear commitment to keep fighting violence in Mexico through art and continue to create opportunities for underrepresented communities, the new cultural center was inaugurated with music and tamales, Oaxacan style.
Together, through Arquetopia and Arquetopia Oaxaca, we will be able to establish a permanent circuit to promote development through art. We will bring international artists to participate in the discussion, keep investing in the future generations, promote tourism, create new jobs, and foremost, to present a more nuanced perception of Mexico and fight the image of violence, danger and blood.
Arquetopia has great plans for 2012 and we will keep you posted on future projects. Thanks again for all your support, and we look forward to creating more art and transforming our community!
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