Día de los Muertos: San Miguel de Allende

December 17, 2014

Posted In: Ceramics, Field Expeditions, Photography and New Media

Ed Kashi & Andrea Wallace

Holly Hughes & Doug Casebeer

DATES: October 30, 2015 – November 6, 2015

CONCEPT: Our setting, San Miguel de Allende, is a Unesco World Heritage Site rich in history and authentic Mexican culture. Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is simultaneously a very personal yet widely celebrated Mexican tradition that can be traced back to a pre-Columbian past. Integrating both Catholic and indigenous traditions, the Day of the Dead is easily one of Mexico’s most fascinating and well known festivals. This three day celebration that includes Halloween, Día los Niños and All Souls’ Day is filled with a variety of time-honored traditions.

In addition to working in San Miguel, we visit nearby small communities to experience the authentic traditions from an intimate perspective including preparation of altars in homes and cemeteries. A day trip to the famous colonial city and mining town of Guanajuato, the prehispanic settlement of Cañada de la Virgen pyramid & archaeological zone just west of San Miguel and the sancutary of Atononilco are included.

Deluxe accommodations are at the Antiqua Village Santa Mónica Hotel, located in the Juarez park’s borders and a five-minute walk from the city center. Tuition price includes all breakfasts and two group dinners. www.santamonica.mx




During our week in San Miguel, you have the opportunity to experience, document, and immerse yourself in San Miguel’s famed Day of the Dead rituals – a feast for the visual senses. Whether it’s a series of streets portraits or an exploration of local cuisine and architecture, you are encouraged to discover a subject that speaks to a personal passion and document it in a compelling and unique visual style.

This workshop focuses on how to create a personal documentary project in a land of rich culture, and infinite photographic opportunities. Ed and Andrea work personally with students in the field. The workshop includes individual and group reviews, personal assignments and lots of fun. Our goal is to return home not only with images to be proud of, but with newfound skills that expand our overall photographic technique.

We strike a balance between fieldwork and discussions and the freedom to explore and photograph this spectacular region. Students are encouraged to bring a lap top computer to edit and process images.

FACULTY: Ed Kashi is a photojournalist, filmmaker and educator whose sensitive eye and an intimate relationship to his subjects are signatures of his work. He is a member of VII Photo Agency. Through his photography, filmmaking, and work as a mentor, teacher and lecturer, Ed is a leading voice in the photojournalism and visual storytelling community. www.edkashi.com

Andrea Wallace is the Artistic Director of Photography and New Media at Anderson Ranch. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She exhibits nationally and internationally with numerous shows throughout the Americas, Europe, China and the Middle East. www.andreawallace.com


SKILL LEVEL:  Open to all

During our week in San Miguel, painters and ceramic artists will delve into decorating tiles and plates – this class will encourage the development of a visual vocabulary of marks and imagery. Sources in nature as well as Mexican culture and history will serve as starting points. Participants will be encouraged to experiment, moving between the improvisational and the planned, between abstract and descriptive imagery. The emphasis will be on individual style and discovery. Drawing inspiration from the local culture, we proceed to make test tiles of our own. Sketching, drawing and painting on paper, students work individually on projects and try things from a menu of suggested options.

Holly and Doug give one-on-one guidance and lead group brainstorming sessions. We strike a balance between studio work and critiques and the freedom to explore this spectacular region.

FACULTY: Holly Hughes makes paintings, prints and ceramics with imagery drawn from nature and sources in the decorative arts. She paints  tiles and plates in Mexico, France and Italy, enjoying talavera, faience and maiolica’s color palate and painterly history. She lives in New York and is currently Professor of Painting and Drawing at Rhode Island School of Design, RI.

Doug Casebeer is the Associate Director and Artistic Director of Ceramics at Anderson Ranch. He has been teaching and organizing workshops for 30 years and exhibits nationally and internationally. He received his M.F.A. at Alfred University and is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics.


Tuition: $2,050

Single – $2,500 per person
Double – $1,250 per person
Triple – $850 per person

Lodging: includes breakfasts at Antiqua Village Santa Mónica Hotel.

*Tuition, airport transfers, field excursions, welcome and farewell dinner, instructions and studio supplies included.  Airfare not included.

Photography: [email protected]
Ceramics: [email protected]

Deposit: $500
Registration Fee: $150
Payment in Full by: August 29, 2015

Tuition for workshops in Mexico includes airport transfers, field excursions, welcome and farewell dinner, instruction and studio supplies. Airfare is not included.

Housing Accommodation Options: includes breakfasts at Antiqua Village Santa Mónica Hotel.


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