As promised, here is the scoop on my upcoming plans to jet set to Oaxaca for three whole weeks this summer! I was excitedly accepted to attend a short residency program to learn about natural pigments and paper and cloth dying techniques through the Arquetopia Oaxaca program. Arquetopia is a nonprofit foundation promoting development, social transformation and productivity through artistic, cultural, and educational programs. They are experienced in negotiation and reinvestment of resources for local arts development in Mexico and pair international artists with local artists for a truly rewarding exchange of information, skills and community.
During my Arquetopia residency, I will use my time to learn the skilled craft of cultivating natural dyes from the landscape and ecosystem of Southern Mexico from a wealth of talented local artists. I hope to integrate a richer material nature into my work and provide an intersection of my current abstract painting practice with that of a long-standing Mexican tradition. In tandem with learning these skills, I am also hoping to use this opportunity to explore my identity as a second generation Mexican American and begin investigating the incorporation of these ancestral traditions into my contemporary practice.
It has been 6 years since I last visited Mexico and I can't wait to be surrounded by the sounds, smells, colors and food that stole my heart back in 2004 when I first studied there. More pictures will certainly follow but in the meantime, I am desperately trying to find my acento again so I can at least order a taco without embarassing myself. Ah, the plight of a second generation Tejana!