San Miguel de Allende is a beautiful city located in the high plateau of Mexico, widely recognized on a global scale for its historical value, which in 2009, gained its inclusion in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites. Founded at the beginning of the 16th century by Spanish friars in an ancestral indigenous territory and due to the abundance of water and generous nature of this region, San Miguel reached a high economic development towards the end of the Viceroy era, especially in the production of textiles. The vigor of this industry earned San Miguel’s fame and wealth, which is reflected today in the civic and religious architecture of this final period of Spanish dominion. This economic splendor was also one of the determining factors of the insurgence, placing San Miguel at the center point of the Independence movement at the dawn of the 19th century.
After more than a century of blunder and decay, San Miguel went through an unexpected and quite remarkable cultural rebirth in the midst of the 20th century, which since then has marked its reputation not only as a tourist destination, but also as a “Mecca” for artists from all backgrounds, yearning for a propitious space for creative endeavors. The foundation of the Escuela de Bellas Artes (School of Fine Art) in an old colonial convent, by the visionary initiative of the painter and intellectual Felipe Cossío del Pomar, and by the North American writer and philanthropist Stirling Dickinson, attracted young artists to this forgotten town. Among this youth came Diego Rivera, Carlos Mérida, Roger von Gunten y David A. Siqueiros, along with a crescent number of creative folk from North America and other nationalities. Many of them made San Miguel their home, and since then have become part of the diverse local population. New art schools, studios and galleries have emerged with the years, as well as diverse art festivals, reinforcing the prestige of this city. And today, despite the growth of tourism, San Miguel has maintained its personality and character, which is marked by many decades of intense artistic and cultural activity.
Our mission is to provide a space for the research, production and exhibition of works tied to the local arts community of San Miguel de Allende. While in residence, the artists will benefit from a vast cultural exchange in a stimulating environment while employing their time on creating new work and/or delving deeper into a subject of their choosing while exchanging ideas with their colleagues.
who we are
The San Miguel Art Residency was created by Sabina Arias, a musician and visual artist from San Miguel de Allende. Her family has been an integral part of the community for many decades, and is active in supporting the local arts community. Before receiving a double degree in Art and Jazz Studies from The California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles, Sabina realized how influential her upbringing in San Miguel was not only to her own creative process, but how inspirational this city has been and continues to be for many artists from all backgrounds. The San Miguel Art Residency is an effort to create bridges between the San Miguel arts community and artists from around the World, as well as to continue the legacy of cultural exchange which is the essence of this very special place.