Rooms will be filled with creativity, ideas will be put into action, and art will keep contributing to social change. With a project that took two years in the making, Arquetopia celebrates its fifth anniversary with great fanfare!
Starting in 2009 in Puebla, as a pilot art project with a social scope, our international award-winning Foundation has proven to be a dynamic, innovative, and committed organization promoting art and social change. Five years later, and with the support of Global Giving, Arquetopia has become one of the most solid cultural models in Mexico. Having developed 120 different art projects with visual artists, curators, historians, researchers, and educators from six continents, Arquetopia continues to invest in local arts development, benefitting more than 150 diverse students and artists each year in Puebla and Oaxaca in Mexico.
Now, in 2014, Arquetopia Foundation is reaching a milestone, embarking in an ambitious project that will definitely be a game changer in the art scene in Mexico. The Foundation is very proud to officially announce the development of a new art center as its new home. Located in the heart of Puebla, the new facilities will expand the possibilities of Arquetopia’s mission by raising the quality of local art production while preserving Mexico’s artistic heritage. The new center will also allow local and foreign artists to engage in critical discussions with an emphasis in social awareness and cross-pollination of ideas for social change, resonating as well in local universities, galleries, museums, etc.
As we celebrate our fifth anniversary, we want to thank you for all your help and welcome you in this new journey. Your continuous support and donations through Global Giving will help us not only to create beautiful quarters to nurture art and host phenomenal projects but to construct a space to exercise generosity, shared responsibility and reciprocity. With great anticipation, we are excited to share the sneak preview of our new space!
Creating social awareness to reduce violence is one of Arquetopia's dearest principles and greatest challenges. Not only does it mean to persist in developing artistic projects that promote ideas of social change but to examine our own behavior and face it with a greater sense of responsibility. The philosopher Emmanuel Levinas summarizes it in simple words: "Real violence doesn't consist so much in injuring and annihilating persons as in interrupting their continuity, making them betray not only commitments but their own substance, making them carry out actions that will destroy every possibility for action."
Throughout the summer and fall, Arquetopia launched an extensive program incorporating young students, local artists, and curators as well as our staff and board members in the discussion and understanding of violence through social issues, discrimination, and injustice. We all pitched in and developed an ambitious program starting from Arquetopia's core and extending to museums, artists studios, and open spaces. The results were a series of workshops, lectures, studio visits, exhibitions, and public art projects.
We had the privilege to work with brilliantly talented people including Kirsten Pai Buick, Gustavo Larach, Emmanuel Ortega, Martí Peran, and Jakub Szczesny who generously participated sharing their knowledge and establishing one-on-one dialogues with local artists. We presented the results of outstanding Art Educators Residencies such as Yveline Etienne’s pinhole photography project at Fototeca Juan C. Méndez, Lindsay Sparagana’s digital photo project at the children museum Imagina, and Bronwyn Treacy’s printmaking installation in collaboration with students from Bachillerato 5 de Mayo BUAP at Museo de la Memoria Histórica Universitaria BUAP. All projects engaged young students in the critical discussion of social issues and extending the dialogue to broader audiences.
This is only the beginning, and with your help we will continue to raise questions, reeducate, and engage artists in projects that actively contribute to social justice. You are welcome to join us in the dialogue.
Thank you again for your generous support!
Arquetopia launched an exciting summer with a program full of projects and activities, transforming a car into a bike, constructing a water purification island, challenging the local contemporary art production, and developing a new music project.
During the months of April and May, we hosted Martin Kaltwasser, Berlin-based artist, and with the help of 30 students fromUniversitario Bauhaus, he dismantled a 1985 Chrysler New Yorker to transform it into a bicycle cart. In the process, students not only learned basic engineering principles but also about urban development and the bike movement as an option for green transportation and social participation. The result was a clever and fun mobile sculpture that circulated through downtown Puebla raising questions about global warming, privatization of public space while promoting ideas of sustainability.
In June, we welcomed Jakub Szczesny, fun and highly energetic Warsaw based architect and artist. Together with a group of local engineers and entrepreneurs, Jakub developed a large-scale public art project consisting of a floating island powered by exercise machines that will purify the water of the San Baltazar Lagoon in Puebla. The island is an example to follow that creates environmental awareness from the perspective of individuals working together for a greater good, to contribute to water conservation. The project was extremely successful by adapting a previously designed art project to the local context by implementing local knowledge and using Mexican technology with the help and support of Neowattss, GASE, Inled, Ferrecepsa, and Tecnoplast Ecológico. The project is currently under construction and will be installed permanently this coming fall, so stay tuned!
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!
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