Vida y Sueños: Life and Dreams, a Mixed Media Tapestry for Oaxaca -- July 16-23, 2015

To me travel and art making go hand in hand as one seems to always inspire the other, and what better place to go this summer than Oaxaca, Mexico during the incredible Guelaguetza Festival. Traditional Costumes, dancing, parades and artisan markets…a veritable feast for the eyes.

I love the art of story telling through the use of colour, pattern and symbols, in fact it is integral to the way that I create art. In this retreat we will be celebrating the longstanding tradition of story telling through the creation of a wall-hanging based on the traditional Mexican garment called the huipil (pronounced we-peel). The huipil is a traditionally indigenous garment made by women and for women. The tunic style clothing is often made up of three heavily decorated sections and includes a wealth of personal symbolism depicting the stories and the lives of the woman in each region they represent. This concept will be the starting point for our journey.

Your tapestry will be a collection of mixed media scrolls that can be stitched, chained or wired together and then hung for display. We’ll start off with a canvas (rolled canvas for easy travel) that we will divide into three sections for our tapestries and then with a variety of techniques create our unique stories incorporating many elements from the region as well as the personal symbols you bring along. We’ll “weave” our tapestries, not from thread, but rather through the use of paint, pastels, collage, stencils, textiles, and found objects. Together we’ll transform the canvas into a visual narrative; your own story as factual or fantastical as you wish.

A message from our organizer Colleen Darling:

Join Andrea Matus deMeng for a workshop in the beautiful city of Oaxaca, Mexico, a UNESCO world heritage site.  Immerse yourself in the ancient cultural traditions passed down through generations of Oaxacans during the magical Guelaguetza Festival.  Guelaguetza is a Zapotec word meaning mutual help, cooperation, and community.  Each of the seven regions of Oaxaca shares their unique dances and celebrates their customs, cuisine, and culture.  The riot of colors and festive atmosphere in town will bring plenty of inspiration to the workshop.  We will visit village markets and artists workshops and explore the many museums and architectural delights throughout the city.


Thursday July 16th   - Arrival day in Oaxaca, time to get settled in at the hotel and if you are an early arrival explore the city.  It takes all day for the various flights to arrive so we will have our welcome dinner on the second night.

Friday July 17th  - Breakfast.  Workshop begins at 10am.  Orientation to the city. and lunch.  Return to the workshop.  Late afternoon free.   Welcome dinner at 7:30pm.

Saturday July 18th  - Breakfast.  Workshop begins at 10am.  Lunch.  Return to the workshop.  Late afternoon free.  Calenda (parade) tonight, very colorful as Guelaguetza kicks off officially.  Dinner on your own.

Sunday July 19th - Breakfast.  Today we will head out early for a visit to the Tlacolula market, the oldest in the Americas.  This is the valley where corn was first discovered over 8,000 years ago.  We will have lunch and stop in the Zapotec town of Teotitlan del Valle, home to over 5000 weavers.  You will be tempted by beautiful rugs and wall hangings dyed with natural colors.  Dinner on your own.

Monday July 20th  - Breakfast.  Guelaguetza begins at 10am.  We will have a late lunch and return to the workshop.  Dinner on your own.

Tuesday   July 21st – Breakfast.  Workshop begins at 10am   Lunch and return to the workshop.  Late afternoon free.  Dinner on your own.

Wednesday July 22nd – Breakfast.  Workshop will finish by noon.  Lunch.  Afternoon free.  Danzon at 6:30pm.  Farewell dinner at 7:30pm.

Thursday July 23rd – Breakfast.  Departures.

There will be plenty of free time to explore the city and optional tours of the surrounding archeological sites and villages can be arranged easily.  

This workshop includes:
7nights hotel, 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 2 dinners, tours w/English speaking guide and tickets to the Guelaguetza dances.

**Not included:
Airfare to Oaxaca (OAX) and alcoholic beverages.

Workshop price: 

$1950. Shared double

$2300. Single

Deposit $250 to secure your spot. Please pay by check.

Balance due: May 25th 2015

For Registration please contact:

Colleen Darling

Travel insurance is always a good idea