Classes/Workshops


Oaxaca Art + Culture Workshop, a Deep Dive: watercolor, art journaling with mixed media, collage

art workshop with watercolor, mixed media, collage + culture immersion
with Oaxacan artist Pedro Cruz Pacheco + Corrie McCluskey

DATES: March 15–24, 2024
Oaxaca, Mexico

ART + CULTURE ADVENTURE IN THE HEART OF OAXACA

~  Hands-on, deep dive into the art and authentic culture of Oaxaca
~  Replenish your artistic toolkit with fresh inspiration and newfound creativity (you too, beginners!)
~  Unlock your creative potential with Pedro’s art instruction, rooted in indigenous Oaxacan culture
Creative time with likeminded travelers in an intimate setting

Do you love the magic of watercolor painting, or want to learn the basics? Are you hooked on art journals and want to play with mixed media and collage while experiencing Mexico? This workshop is for lifelong learners and intrepid travelers who enjoy expressing themselves visually. Immerse yourself into the art and authentic culture of Oaxaca, with its soulful art scene, indigenous culture & customs, and rich culinary and artisanal traditions. The REAL Oaxaca is found in the villages, and our field trips include a Sunday market, studio visits in a weaving village, a women’s red clay collective, a papermaking studio, a gorgeous ecological art center housed in an old textile factory, and archaeological ruins – all mixed in with art instruction and creative play time. Come join our tribe on a creative adventure…We welcome all levels, you too beginners!

WHAT OUR ART ADVENTURES ARE ALL ABOUT:
When Corrie, our co-instructor, first started coming to Oaxaca, she was seeking an experience – to play with art, connect with likeminded creatives, immerse herself in the culture, and investigate the artisan studios and galleries that Oaxaca is known for. But going it alone was intimidating and she didn’t want a tourist experience. She stayed in a Mexican neighborhood a few blocks away from tourist central and put together a mix of art days + field trips for herself. We’ve created that trip for you.

This workshop is a combination of watercolor exploration and creative/visual journaling with mixed media (in a sketchbook or on loose paper) to develop your unique visual voice and mark making by playing with different materials. Be surprised by what shows up on paper, find the imagery that resonates with you. The ultimate goal: finding your symbols, talismans, and personal marks. Complete beginners are welcome and encouraged to join us!

Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman in Oaxaca, Mexico

IN THE PAINTING CLASS:
Pedro is an amazing watercolorist who incorporates personal symbols, talismans, and the natural world into his art, and he’ll patiently guide you in exploring watercolor + painting with natural pigments. This is a chance to consider the “secret soul” of things that matter to you and bring them into your painting. There will be demonstrations in Pedro’s techniques to get you started, but participants will be encouraged to create using their own personal approach.

Corrie will introduce simple techniques and exercises for mixed media + collage to play with the materials at hand, find your voice, and get over your fears of making a mistake. You will experiment with mark making, using fragments, found objects and bits & pieces of ephemera – taking risks and letting go of needing to be perfect. You’ll use Oaxaca-sourced natural pigments and handmade paper in an artist book you create to take home.

Workshop details:

  • All levels, 7-day art + culture workshop in the heart of Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Group field trips with private van
  • Maximum 10 participants
  • 9 nights at a beautiful location – Villa apartments, a 20-walk from the center of downtown
  • apartments equipped with wifi, functional kitchens, hot water, surrounded by a lush garden to enjoy
  • large supermarket, mercado, restaurants, taxis/busses all within walking distance
  • art material lists – for all levels of art experience (you bring your own art supplies)
  • list provided of restaurants, museums & galleries, optional tours that you can book for your day off, cool places to visit on your own

Preliminary itinerary:

    • Day One: arrive in Oaxaca – informal dinner in the neighborhood
    • Day Two: all day class, group welcome dinner
    • Day Three: AM field trip to Sunday market; PM studio visit of weavers + special lunch
    • Day Four: AM field trip to renowned art center + papermaking studio, PM art class
    • Day Five: AM field trip to Monte Albán archaeological ruins, lunch, PM art class
    • Day Six: day off to explore on your own
    • Day Seven: AM art class, PM field trip to ceramics artisan women’s collective
    • Day Eight: all day class, pm gallery walk downtown
    • Day Nine: all day art class + art show, group farewell dinner
    • Day Ten: depart Oaxaca

The art classes generally run from 10 am – 4 pm.

Instructors:
Pedro Cruz Pacheco is a painter from Santa Cruz Amilpas, Oaxaca, Mexico who works in watercolor, oil, and mixed media. He left his job in a brickyard in 1999 and initially began his career as a self-taught artist. He spent 8 years apprenticing in the studio of master Oaxacan painter Felipe Morales, and showed & sold his work for years in Labastida Plaza in downtown Oaxaca (by Santo Domingo church). Pedro has exhibited in Mexico (Oaxaca, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Merida, Monterrey), Texas, and California (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sonoma County, Eureka), and has taught watercolor workshops in Baja, BCS, Mexico. Pedro’s style is very Oaxaca-influenced, with magic realism as an artistic point of view – a Mexican version of surrealism. His work is intimate, private, and incorporates personal symbols and talismans that reflect his own life experiences as well as the history and customs of Oaxaqueños. His work features bright, vivid colors and his own deeply personal and heart-felt spiritual view of the world around him.

Corrie McCluskey (the workshop coordinator) is a visual artist from Northern California who was a b&w photographer for two decades. She transitioned into visual journaling, mail art, collage, bookbinding and making artist books. She now focuses on mixed media on paper: encaustic monotypes, painting with natural pigments & India ink, graphite, cold wax with oil pigment sticks. Creative journaling is a part of her art expression: it’s all about process and discovery – a container for ideas and working through life experiences. She is a “Guidess”-in-training for people who feel unqualified or too intimidated to express their creativity because they think they can’t “do art”. For 20 years, she was a workshop and event coordinator, and she loves to bring small groups of people together and facilitate an amazing workshop experience.

 

Workshop location & apartments:
Private apartments in La Noria barrio, Oaxaca

Our unpretentious, comfortable & basic lodging is just a quick 20-minute walk to the zocalo, the main center of the city. This family-owned villa is a peaceful walled compound with lush gardens; the owner is an Airbnb Superhost (with 850+ reviews and a 4.85-star rating). This is not a 5-star hotel or luxurious BnB, but a real Mexican family’s property with individual lodging, providing basic necessities – an intimate, safe place with a retreat-like vibe. Our art workshop will be at the large home on the property, out on the beautiful terrace. There is a large supermarket, mercado, restaurants, taxis/busses all within walking distance.

We have reserved 6 individual apartments, all with small kitchens or kitchenettes. And at the large house, there is a big kitchen, beautiful living rooms on both floors, 2 private upstairs bedrooms with shared bathroom, and 1 downstairs bedroom with several beds (for a group traveling together) + bathroom. Lodging will be assigned to participants on a first-come, first-serve basis when you register and pay the trip deposit (so register early to claim your desired lodging).

Schedule:
arrival
: in Oaxaca, Friday, March 15
art classes + field trips: 7 days
day off: (no class or scheduled field trips) Wednesday, March 20
departure: Sunday, March 24
airport: Oaxaca Xoxocotlan International airport (OAX)

Trip fee, deadline & cancellation:
$2200 for workshop participants – deadline to register 12/1/23

  • 50% deposit with registration guarantees your space – register early before the workshop sells out.
  • Deadline to register & pay deposit is 12/1/23. (Deposits, reservations, and arrangements are made well in advance of the trip, so we need to receive your registration + deposit on time.)
  • Balance is due by 2/1/24, or you can pay in full upon registration (deposit + trip fee).
  • Deadline to register in class is 12/1/23; no deposit or trip fee refund will be given after 12/1/23. No exceptions.
  • If you must cancel, contact Corrie, the workshop coordinator, immediately. You can transfer your deposit & trip fee to another person, at no charge. If there is a wait list, we will give you the first name on the list to whom you can offer your spot. Otherwise, no refunds will be issued under any circumstances. We encourage you to purchase trip insurance with “Cancel for Any Reason” to cover you for unexpected circumstances.

Registration + payment online:
To register and pay online, click HERE. Your payment will be processed through PayPal.

Price includes:

  • apartment or shared house rental – assigned on first-come, first served basis
  • private van transportation (for all field trips & excursions)
  • field trips to Sunday outdoor market; weaving & pottery artisan studios; art center & papermaking studio; ancient ruins
  • admission fee to Monte Albán Ruins

Not included in price:

  • airfare or transportation to/from airport
  • food & drinks (except for special meal at weaver’s studio)
  • required trip insurance

Required travel insurance:
Why you need it: Oaxaca doesn’t have a robust healthcare system like you’re used to, so if you have a serious fall (sidewalks can be treacherous here), get sick, or the taxi you’re in has an accident, it could be very pricey to get you home for treatment. Therefore, we’re requiring everyone to purchase travel insurance for this trip (include medical evacuation of at least $50,000, international accident & health insurance including primary medical coverage, and trip cancellation coverage). There are also trip policies that include COVID cancellations. Also, we recommend purchasing additional “cancel for any reason” coverage – this will cover you in case you need to cancel at the last moment and there is no one on the wait list to take your place. We recommend that you get PRIMARY medical coverage, not secondary. Proof of insurance must be sent to us at least 45 days before departure.

suggested provider: Squaremouth – https://www.squaremouth.com/travel-insurance-quotes
More COVID policy info: https://www.squaremouth.com/press-room/travel-insurance-coronavirus
best choices on Squaremouth:
– HTH Worldwide, TripProtector Preferred, includes COVID cancellation
– Trawick Intl, Safe Travels Voyager, includes COVID cancellation
– TinLeg Gold, includes COVID cancellation
another provider: https://www.insuremytrip.com

COVID-19:
You are required to send proof of vaccination to participate. You must send a photo or PDF of the documentation and forward it to us. Depending on COVID and the health circumstances in 2024 in Oaxaca,  participants may be required to wear face masks in certain public buildings. Proof of vaccination must be sent to us at least 45 days before departure.

Health & walking:
Oaxaca is high altitude, at 5100 feet – some people need a few days to acclimate if they are coming from sea level. Can you walk 6,000 steps a day unassisted at 5100 ft? If not, you will be unhappy on this trip, and we only accept travelers who are in good health and can walk uneven cobblestone streets (narrow, with high curbs) and don’t have mobility or breathing issues. Also, dietary restrictions could be tricky, although there are restaurants that have gluten free and vegan options. Travelers will need to make personal accommodations and adjustments to meet group needs and schedule.

Valid passport:
Also, be certain that your passport has at least six months on it before it expires from the date you enter Mexico – if not, you won’t be allowed entry into the country by your airline.

Flights & getting to/from the airport:
airport
: Oaxaca Xoxocotlán Intl airport (OAX)
Oaxaca City (OAX) is a 45-minute flight from Mexico City (MEX), with many available connecting flights on AeroMexico,  Volaris, and other carriers.
To bypass Mexico City airport: in the US, American has a direct flight from Dallas to Oaxaca, and United has a direct flight from Houston to Oaxaca.
NOTE: if you fly thru Mexico City, book flights that allow at least a 3-hr layover going TO Oaxaca (the line for passport control can be long and you’ll miss your flight), and 1-hr layover coming FROM Oaxaca.

About a month prior to the workshop, we will send you detailed instructions about how to get from the airport to our location, what to bring, how to get cash from ATMs, etc.

Materials & suggestions:

  • We don’t supply materials for participants, please bring your own – we offer 2 lists of suggestions, watercolor or mixed media.
  • For mixed media / creative journaling materials: materials list here
  • For watercolor – you can bring your favorite quality watercolor paints, brushes and paper. NOTE: if you are a watercolor beginner, you do NOT need to buy the complete list or most expensive art supplies, but just the basics. We suggest buying student quality watercolor kits & good paper to get started. Here is an optional list with suggestions for those undecided about materials: materials list here
  • We suggest that you familiarize yourself with Pedro’s website and take a look at his artwork for inspiration as you begin to think about your own personal symbols and talismans.

If you have questions:
For questions regarding the workshop, lodging or transportation, contact the workshop coordinator:
Corrie McCluskey at corrie[at]pedrocruzpacheco.com



Make Your Mark Oaxaca Art + Culture Workshop: mixed media, collage, art journaling – for art makers & art lovers

DATES: May 24 – June 2, 2024

art workshop with mixed media, collage, mark making, art journaling + culture immersion with Oaxacan artist Pedro Cruz Pacheco + Corrie McCluskey Oaxaca, Mexico

ART + CULTURE ADVENTURE IN THE HEART OF OAXACA

~  Hands-on, deep dive into the art and authentic culture of Oaxaca
~  Replenish your artistic toolkit with fresh inspiration and newfound creativity
~  Unlock your creative potential with Pedro’s art instruction, rooted in indigenous Oaxacan culture
~  Creative time with likeminded travelers in an intimate setting

Do you love to create visual texture and imagery using paper scraps, old magazines, maps & newspaper, bits and pieces of ephemera? Are you hooked on art journals and want to play with mixed media and collage while experiencing Mexico? Want to discover your own personal repertoire of marks in your artmaking? This workshop is for lifelong learners and intrepid travelers who enjoy expressing themselves visually. Immerse yourself in the art and authentic culture of Oaxaca, with its soulful art scene, indigenous culture & customs, and rich culinary and artisanal traditions.

The REAL Oaxaca is found in the villages and private workspaces, and our field trips include a Sunday market, studio visits with two accomplished Oaxacan painters & printmakers, a master weaving family that works only in natural pigments, a papermaking studio that utilizes a multitude of fibers from local vegetation, a gorgeous ecological art center housed in a renovated textile factory, and a guided street art walk – all mixed in with art instruction and creative play time. This workshop is for art makers and art lovers. Come join our tribe on a Oaxacan adventure…

Who should attend this workshop: This workshop is for artists & art lovers who want to explore mixed media collage, mark making with India ink and other simple materials, and visual journaling. We welcome all levels of artmakers, but some previous art experience is preferable so you can expand your art practice and add to your toolkit—all while immersing yourself into the art, culture, and traditions of Oaxaca. We expect everyone to participate fully in the workshop throughout the week.

What our art adventures are all about: When Corrie, our co-instructor, first started coming to Oaxaca, she was seeking an experience – to play with art, connect with likeminded creatives, immerse herself in the culture, and investigate the artisan studios and galleries that Oaxaca is known for. But going it alone was intimidating and she didn’t want a tourist experience. She stayed in a Mexican neighborhood a few blocks away from tourist central and put together a mix of art days + field trips for herself. We’ve created that trip for you.

In the art class: This workshop is a combination of visual journaling with mixed media (in a sketchbook or on loose paper), collage, and experimenting with mark making, to develop your unique visual voice by playing with different materials. Be surprised by what shows up on paper, find the imagery that resonates with you. The ultimate goal: playing with ephemera, finding your symbols, talismans, and personal marks.

Pedro is an amazing watercolorist and mixed media artist who incorporates personal symbols, talismans, and the natural world into his work, and he’ll guide you in exploring the use of personal symbols in collage. This is a chance to consider the “secret soul” of things that matter to you and bring them into your artwork.
Corrie will introduce simple techniques and exercises for mixed media + collage to play with the materials at hand, find your voice, and get over your fears of making a mistake. You will experiment with mark making, using fragments, found objects and bits & pieces of ephemera – taking risks and letting go of needing to be perfect. You’ll use Oaxaca-sourced handmade paper in an artist book you create to take home.

Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman in Oaxaca, Mexico

Workshop details:

  • 7-day art + culture workshop in the heart of Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Group field trips with private van
  • Maximum 10 participants
  • 9 nights at a charming hotel built in the 16th century, in the heart of the city center
  • hotel rooms have private bathrooms, wifi, fans, restaurant next door, courtyard to enjoy breakfast or sip morning coffee
  • hotel is 1 block from zocalo square, everything within walking distance
  • art material list provided (you bring your own art supplies)
  • list provided of restaurants, museums & galleries, optional tours that you can book for your day off, cool places to visit on your own

Preliminary itinerary (subject to change as needed):

  • Day One: arrive in Oaxaca – afternoon welcome in the hotel courtyard & orientation
  • Day Two: all day art class, lunch at studio, group welcome dinner
  • Day Three: AM field trip to Sunday market; PM studio visit of weavers + special lunch
  • Day Four: AM art class, PM field trip to renowned art center + papermaking studio
  • Day Five: AM artist studio visit, lunch in neighborhood, PM art class
  • Day Six: day off to explore on your own
  • Day Seven: AM artist studio visit, lunch in neighborhood, PM art class
  • Day Eight: all day art class, lunch at studio, pm street art tour
  • Day Nine: all day art class + art show, lunch at studio, group farewell dinner
  • Day Ten: depart Oaxaca

The art classes generally run from 10 am – 5 pm, with lunch at midday.

Our instructors: Pedro Cruz Pacheco is a painter from Santa Cruz Amilpas, Oaxaca, Mexico who works in watercolor, oil, and mixed media. He left his job in a brickyard in 1999 and initially began his career as a self-taught artist. He spent 8 years apprenticing in the studio of master Oaxacan painter Felipe Morales, and showed & sold his work for years in Labastida Plaza in downtown Oaxaca (by Santo Domingo church). Pedro has exhibited in Mexico (Oaxaca, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Merida, Monterrey), Texas, and California (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sonoma County, Eureka), and has taught watercolor workshops in Oaxaca and Baja, BCS, Mexico. Pedro’s style is very Oaxaca-influenced, with magic realism as an artistic point of view – a Mexican version of surrealism. His work is intimate, private, and incorporates personal symbols and talismans that reflect his own life experiences as well as the history and customs of Oaxaqueños. His work features bright, vivid colors and his own deeply personal and heart-felt spiritual view of the world around him.

Corrie McCluskey (workshop coordinator) is a visual artist originally from Northern California (now living in Oaxaca) who was a b&w photographer for two decades. She transitioned into visual journaling, mail art, collage, bookbinding and making artist books. She now focuses on mixed media on paper: collage, encaustic monotypes, abstract painting with natural pigments & India ink, graphite, cold wax with oil pigment sticks. Visual journaling is a part of her art expression: it’s all about process and discovery – a container for ideas and play with ephemera. She is a “Guidess”-in-training for people who feel unqualified or too intimidated to express their creativity because they think they can’t “do art”. For 20 years, she was a workshop and event coordinator, and she loves to bring small groups of people together and facilitate an amazing workshop experience.

Our hotel: Hotel Parador San Agustín, Oaxaca centro
We have a block of 10 rooms reserved at Hotel Parador San Agustín, a 16th century building with a traditional courtyard and terrace (each room has either 2 double beds or 1 king bed, and private bathroom). Rooms are charming yet basic, clean and secure, and the hotel is centrally located one block from the zocalo square in the city’s historic center and within walking distance of the huge indoor market, banks/ATMs, museums, galleries, shops and cafes. Amenities: all rooms have private bathroom, TV, & free wifi; airport shuttle is available (w/ surcharge), breakfast at nextdoor restaurant (w/ surcharge), computer station, self-serve laundry facilities; upstairs floors accessible by stairs only, all rooms have fans only (no A/C).

Our art class location: A private van will pick up the group daily from your hotel to bring you to Pedro & Corrie’s newly built “industrial rustic” art studios, located in the middle of a cornfield in Santa Cruz Amilpas (Pedro’s hometown), just 20 minutes from city center. We’ll have space to spread out, make a mess, play with materials, and just let loose with our creativity! And you’ll get to see and experience what small town life is like in the valley of Oaxaca.

Schedule:
arrival
: in Oaxaca, Friday, May 24
art classes + field trips: 7 days
day off: (no class or scheduled field trips) Wednesday, May 29
departure: Sunday, June 2
airport: Oaxaca Xoxocotlan International airport (OAX)

Trip fee, deadline & cancellation: $2300 for workshop participants – deadline to register 2/15/24

  • 50% deposit with registration guarantees your space – register early before the workshop sells out.
  • Deadline to register & pay deposit is 2/15/24. (Deposits, reservations, and arrangements are made well in advance of the trip, so we need to receive your registration + deposit on time.)
  • Balance is due by 4/1/24, or you can pay in full upon registration (deposit + trip fee).
  • Deadline to register in class is 2/15/24; no deposit or trip fee refund will be given after 2/15/24. No exceptions.
  • If you must cancel, contact Corrie, the workshop coordinator, immediately. You can transfer your deposit & trip fee to another person, at no charge. If there is a wait list, we will give you the first name on the list to whom you can offer your spot. Otherwise, no refunds will be issued under any circumstances. We encourage you to purchase trip insurance with “Cancel for Any Reason” to cover you for unexpected circumstances.

Registration + payment online: To register and pay online, click below. Your payment will be processed through PayPal.

 Price includes:

  • hotel room in our group’s room block (rooms have either 2 double beds or 1 king bed + private bathroom)
  • private van transportation (for field trips & excursions)
  • lunch provided for the 3 days we stay in the art studio (days with no field trips)
  • field trips to Sunday outdoor market; weaving studio & art studio visits; art center & papermaking studio

Not included in price:

  • airfare or transportation to/from Oaxaca airport
  • all other food & drinks (except for special meal at weaver’s studio + 3 lunches mentioned above)
  • required trip insurance

Required travel insurance: Why you need it: Oaxaca doesn’t have a robust healthcare system like you’re used to, so if you have a serious fall (sidewalks can be treacherous here), get sick, or the taxi you’re in has an accident, it could be very pricey to get you home for treatment. Therefore, we’re requiring everyone to purchase travel insurance for this trip (include medical evacuation of at least $50,000, international accident & health insurance including primary medical coverage, and trip cancellation coverage). There are also trip policies that include COVID cancellations. We recommend that you get PRIMARY medical coverage, not secondary. Proof of insurance must be sent to us at least 45 days before departure. We encourage you to purchase trip insurance immediately upon registering, with “Cancel for Any Reason” to cover you for unexpected circumstances – buy trip insurance WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR TRIP if you wish to have this extra coverage.
suggested provider: Squaremouth – https://www.squaremouth.com/travel-insurance-quotes More COVID policy info: https://www.squaremouth.com/press-room/travel-insurance-coronavirus
best choices on Squaremouth: – HTH Worldwide, TripProtector Preferred, includes COVID cancellation – Trawick Intl, Safe Travels Voyager, includes COVID cancellation – TinLeg Gold, includes COVID cancellation
another provider: https://www.insuremytrip.com

COVID-19 protocol: You are required to send proof of vaccination to participate. Covid still persists in Oaxaca, and we want to protect our participants and the people of Oaxaca (there are no boosters available for them, so they are vulnerable to infection by visitors). We require current vax status with proof, and highly recommend having the most current booster before traveling to Oaxaca. If you become ill with Covid during the workshop, we expect you to immediately separate yourself from our group, isolate, and make arrangements to return home. Depending on COVID and the health circumstances in 2024 in Oaxaca, participants may be required to wear face masks in certain public buildings – you must agree to abide by the Mexican govt’s Covid protocol at the time of the workshop. Proof of vaccination must be sent to us at least 45 days before departure.

Health & walking, dietary restrictions: Oaxaca is high altitude, at 5100 feet – some people need a few days to acclimate if they are coming from sea level. Can you walk 6,000 steps a day unassisted at 5100 ft? If not, you will be unhappy on this trip, and we only accept travelers who are in good health and can walk uneven cobblestone streets (narrow, with high curbs) and don’t have mobility or breathing issues. Also, dietary restrictions could be tricky, although there are restaurants that have gluten free and vegan options. Corn is a key ingredient of Oaxacan cuisine & culture, and meat will be consumed at most restaurants we visit (there are a few vegetarian & vegan restaurants in the city center). Travelers will need to make personal accommodations and adjustments to meet group needs and schedule.

Oaxaca weather: May & June are hot – 85°F (29°C) during the day, and 55°F (12°C) at night (and most hotels and buildings in OAX do not have A/C). Bring a light jacket for the evening. Our hotel and the class art studio have fans in all the rooms, but no A/C. If you can’t tolerate heat, we recommend that you consider instead attending one of our workshops in the Fall when it’s usually cooler.

Valid passport: Also, be certain that your passport has at least six months on it before it expires from the date you enter Mexico – if not, you may not be allowed entry into the country by your airline.

Flights & getting to/from the airport: airport: arrival in Oaxaca Xoxocotlán Intl airport (OAX) on 5/24/24 Oaxaca City (OAX) is a 45-minute flight from Mexico City (MEX), with many available connecting flights on AeroMexico, Volaris, and other carriers. To bypass Mexico City airport: in the US, American has a direct flight from Dallas to Oaxaca, and United has a direct flight from Houston to Oaxaca. NOTE: if you fly thru Mexico City, book flights that allow at least a 3-hr layover going TO Oaxaca (the line for passport control can be long and you’ll miss your flight), and 1-hr layover coming FROM Oaxaca. About a month prior to the workshop, we will send you detailed instructions about how to get from the airport to our hotel, what to bring, how to get cash from ATMs, etc.

Materials & suggestions:

  • We don’t supply art materials for participants, please bring your own.
  • For mixed media / visual journaling materials: materials list here
  • We suggest that you familiarize yourself with Pedro’s website and take a look at his artwork for inspiration as you begin to think about your own personal symbols and talismans.

If you have questions:
For questions regarding the workshop, lodging or transportation, contact the workshop coordinator:
Corrie McCluskey at corrie[at]pedrocruzpacheco.com




Día de Muertos Oaxaca Art + Culture Workshop: watercolor, group altar, sand tapestry

DATES: October 26–November 4, 2024

art workshop with watercolor + culture immersion
with Oaxacan artist Pedro Cruz Pacheco + Corrie McCluskey

Oaxaca, Mexico

DAY OF THE DEAD CELEBRATION OF ART + SACRED MEMORY IN THE HEART OF OAXACA

~  Want to experience a hands-on, deep dive into the authentic traditions of Day of the Dead?
~  Replenish your artistic toolkit with fresh inspiration and newfound creativity (you too, beginners!)
~  Unlock your creative potential with Pedro’s art instruction, rooted in indigenous Oaxacan culture
~  Creative time with likeminded travelers in an intimate setting

Experience the sights, sounds, moles and mezcals of vibrant Oaxaca with us – and dive into the color and pageantry of Día de Muertos ~ Day of the Dead. Immerse yourself in the soulful art scene, indigenous culture, rich culinary and artisanal traditions of this magical 16th century colonial city, a UNESCO world heritage site.

Our adventures start with a field trip to a mercado to shop for altar decorations and offerings (cempasuchil flowers, papel picado, long candles, copal incense, chocolate, special breads, sugar skulls, fruit and mezcal). We’ll make visits to 2 cemeteries where Oaxaqueños lovingly decorate the graves of their ancestors and bring offerings to share with their spirits. Participants should bring photos of your dearly departed to adorn our group altar – and if you are so inclined, costumes + face paint for the fiesta. We will catch a comparsa – the traditional Muertos parade – along the pedestrian street as our schedule permits.

We will spend our days painting imagery and symbolic representations of our loved ones to honor their memories, assemble a beautiful group altar and construct and decorate a tapete de arena (sand tapestry).

No visit to Oaxaca would be complete without seeing the work of master artisans in their workshops: additional group field trips include a visit to a renowned tapete (woven wool rugs) artistan family, alebrije (carved wooden objects) artisans, and the Mujeres del Barro Rojo (Women of the Red Clay) who are “guardians of the identity & pottery tradition of their community” (where they will have their own gorgeous Día de Muertos altar).

IN THE WATERCOLOR PAINTING CLASS:
Pedro will focus on symbols + talismans, key elements in all his painting. He will show participants an extensive repertoire of personal symbols that are incorporated into his art, and offer them the opportunity to discover and paint their own in this intimate setting. This is a chance to consider the “secret soul” of things that matter to you and bring them into your painting. There will be demonstrations in Pedro’s techniques, but students primarily will be encouraged to create using their own personal approach.

Workshop details:

  • All levels, 7-day art + culture workshop in the heart of Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Additional group field trips
  • Maximum 10 participants
  • 9 nights at a beautiful location – Villa apartments, a 20-walk from the center of downtown
  • apartments equipped with wifi, functional kitchens, hot water, surrounded by a lush garden to enjoy
  • large supermarket, mercado, restaurants, taxis/busses all within walking distance
  • art materials lists – for all levels of art experience (you bring your own art supplies)
  • list provided of restaurants, museums & galleries, optional tours that you can book for your day off, cool places to visit on your own

Preliminary itinerary (subject to change as necessary):

  • Day One: arrive in Oaxaca – informal dinner in the neighborhood
  • Day Two: AM class, shopping trip to buy altar decorations & offerings; PM create group altar; group welcome dinner
  • Day Three: AM create tapete (sand tapestry); PM art class
  • Day Four: AM art class; PM studio visit @ weavers artisan workshop + special meal
  • Day Five: all day art class; late night visit to cemetery
  • Day Six: AM art class; PM studio visit @ alebrijes artisan workshop; trip to cemetery in small pueblo
  • Day Seven: AM art class; PM visit to ancient tree in Tule; studio visit @ ceramics artisan workshop
  • Day Eight: day off to explore on your own
  • Day Nine: all day art class + art show, group farewell dinner
  • Day Ten: depart Oaxaca

Instructor:

​Pedro Cruz Pacheco is a painter from Santa Cruz Amilpas, Oaxaca, Mexico who works in watercolor, oil, and mixed media. He left his job in a brickyard in 1999 and initially began his career as a self-taught artist. He spent 8 years apprenticing in the studio of master Oaxacan painter Felipe Morales, and has shown and sold his work for years in Labastida Plaza in downtown Oaxaca (by Santo Domingo church). Pedro has exhibited in Mexico (Oaxaca, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Merida, Monterrey), Texas, and California (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sonoma County, Eureka). Pedro’s style is very Oaxaca-influenced, with magic realism as an artistic point of view – a Mexican version of surrealism. His work is intimate, private, and incorporates personal symbols and talismans that reflect his own life experiences as well as the history and customs of Oaxaqueños. His work features bright, vivid colors and his own deeply personal and heart-felt spiritual view of the world around him.

Corrie McCluskey (the workshop coordinator) is a visual artist from Northern California who was a b&w photographer for two decades. She transitioned into visual journaling, mail art, collage, bookbinding and making artist books. She now focuses on mixed media on paper: encaustic monotypes, painting with natural pigments & India ink, graphite, cold wax with oil pigment sticks. Creative journaling is a part of her art expression: it’s all about process and discovery – a container for ideas and working through life experiences. She is a “Guidess”-in-training for people who feel unqualified or too intimidated to express their creativity because they think they can’t “do art”. For 20 years, she was a workshop and event coordinator, and she loves to bring small groups of people together and facilitate an amazing workshop experience.

Workshop location & apartments:
Private apartments in La Noria barrio, Oaxaca
Our unpretentious, comfortable & basic lodging is just a quick 20-minute walk to the zocalo, the main center of the city. This family-owned villa is a secure, peaceful walled compound with lush gardens; the owner is an Airbnb Superhost (with 850+ reviews and a 4.85-star rating). This is not a luxury hotel or super fancy Airbnb, but a real Mexican family’s property with individual lodging, providing the basic necessities – an intimate, safe place with a retreat-like vibe. Our art workshop will be at the large home on the property, out on the beautiful terrace. There is a large supermarket, mercado, restaurants, taxis/busses all within walking distance.

We have reserved 7 individual units (apartments and small studios), all with small kitchens or kitchenettes. And at the large house, there is a big kitchen, beautiful living rooms on both floors, 2 private upstairs bedrooms with shared bathroom, and 1 downstairs bedroom with several beds (for a group traveling together) + bathroom. Lodging will be assigned to participants on a first-come, first-serve basis when you register and pay the trip deposit (so register early to claim your desired lodging).

Schedule:
arrival
: Saturday, Oct 26
art classes + field trips: 7 days
day off: (no class or scheduled field trips) Friday, Nov 3
departure: Monday, Nov 4
airport: Oaxaca Xoxocotlan International airport (OAX)

Trip fee, deadline & cancellation:
$2200 for workshop participants

  • 50% deposit with registration guarantees your space – register early before the workshop sells out.
  • Deadline to register & pay deposit is 4/1/24 (Deposits, reservations, and arrangements are made in advance of the trip, so we need to receive your registration + deposit on time.)
  • Balance is due by 7/1/24, or you can pay in full upon registration (deposit + trip fee).
  • Deadline to register in class is 4/1/24; no deposit or trip fee refund will be given after 4/1/24. No exceptions (unless workshop is cancelled for low enrollment, another pandemic, or natural disaster).
  • If you must cancel, contact Corrie, the workshop coordinator, immediately. You can transfer your deposit or full workshop payment to another person, at no charge. If there is a wait list, we will give you the first name on the list to whom you can offer your spot. Otherwise, no refunds will be issued under any circumstances. (This is why we require travel insurance, and recommend purchasing additional “cancel for any reason” coverage.)

Registration + payment online:
To register and pay online, click below. Your payment will be processed through PayPal.

 

Price includes:

  • apartment or shared house rental – assigned on first-come, first served basis
  • private van transportation (for all field trips & excursions)
  • field trips to local mercado (market), alebrije & ceramics artisan studios, 2 cemeteries
  • materials to create sand tapestry and altar decorations

Not included in price:

  • airfare or transportation to/from airport
  • food & drinks (except for special meal at weaver’s studio)
  • required trip insurance

Required travel insurance: Why you need it: Oaxaca doesn’t have a robust healthcare system like you’re used to, so if you have a serious fall (sidewalks can be treacherous here), get sick, or the taxi you’re in has an accident, it could be very pricey to get you home for treatment. Therefore, we’re requiring everyone to purchase travel insurance for this trip (include medical evacuation of at least $50,000, international accident & health insurance including primary medical coverage, and trip cancellation coverage). There are also trip policies that include COVID cancellations. Also, we recommend purchasing additional “cancel for any reason” coverage – this will cover you in case you need to cancel at the last moment and there is no one on the wait list to take your place. We recommend that you get PRIMARY medical coverage, not secondary. Proof of insurance must be sent to us at least 45 days before departure. We encourage you to purchase trip insurance immediately upon registering, with “Cancel for Any Reason” to cover you for unexpected circumstances – buy trip insurance WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR TRIP if you wish to have this extra coverage.

suggested provider: Squaremouth – https://www.squaremouth.com/travel-insurance-quotes More COVID policy info: https://www.squaremouth.com/press-room/travel-insurance-coronavirus best choices on Squaremouth: – HTH Worldwide, TripProtector Preferred, includes COVID cancellation – Trawick Intl, Safe Travels Voyager, includes COVID cancellation – TinLeg Gold, includes COVID cancellation another provider: https://www.insuremytrip.com

COVID-19: You are required to send proof of vaccination to participate. You must send a photo or PDF of the documentation and forward it to us. Depending on COVID and the health circumstances in 2023 in Oaxaca,  participants may be required to wear face masks, use hand sanitizer and practice social distancing while we’re together. Proof of vaccination must be sent to us at least 45 days before departure.

Health & walking: Oaxaca is high altitude, at 5100 feet – some people need a few days to acclimate if they are coming from sea level. Can you walk 6,000 steps a day unassisted at 5100 ft? If not, you will be unhappy on this trip, and we only accept travelers who are in good health and can walk uneven cobblestone streets (narrow, with high curbs) and don’t have mobility or breathing issues. Also, dietary restrictions could be tricky, although there are restaurants that have gluten free and vegan options. Travelers will need to make personal accommodations and adjustments to meet group needs and schedule.

Valid passport: Also, be certain that your passport has at least six months on it before it expires from the date you enter Mexico – if not, you won’t be allowed entry into the country.

Flights & getting to/from the airport: airport: Oaxaca Xoxocotlán Intl airport (OAX) Oaxaca City (OAX) is a 45-minute flight from Mexico City (MEX), with many available connecting flights on AeroMexico,  Volaris, and other carriers. To bypass Mexico City airport: in the US, United has a direct flight from Houston to Oaxaca, and American has a direct flight from Dallas to Oaxaca
NOTE: if you fly thru Mexico City, book flights that allow at least a 3-hr layover going TO Oaxaca (the line for passport control can be long and you’ll miss your flight), and 1-hr layover coming FROM Oaxaca.

About a month prior to the workshop, we will send you detailed instructions about how to get from the airport to our location, what to bring, how to get cash from ATMs, etc.

Materials & suggestions:

  • We don’t supply materials for participants, please bring your own.
  • For watercolor – you can bring your favorite quality watercolor paints, brushes and paper. NOTE: if you are a watercolor beginner, you do NOT need to buy the complete list or most expensive art supplies, but just the basics. We suggest buying student quality watercolor kits & good paper to get started. Here is an optional list with suggestions for those undecided about materials: materials list here
  • We suggest that you familiarize yourself with Pedro’s website and take a look at his artwork for inspiration as you begin to think about your own personal symbols and talismans.

If you have questions: For questions regarding the workshop, lodging or transportation, contact the workshop coordinator: Corrie McCluskey at corrie[at]pedrocruzpacheco.com