DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS: San Miguel de Allende Traditional Talavera Decoration – FMEX1017C

Date: Oct 28 - Nov 03, 2017

Skill Level(s): Open to All i

Instructor(s): Holly Hughes & Doug Casebeer

Price Option(s):
$2,025 — Tuition + Registration Fee


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. San Miguel is known for an intense cultural and artistic life as well as stunning colonial architecture. In addition to working in San Miguel, we will visit the famous Spanish sanctuary in nearby Atononilco. During our stay, San Miguel will be alive in preparations for Día de los Muertos. 

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.

The host studio for our workshop is Barro Clay in the section of town called San Antonio. Deluxe accommodations are available throughout San Miguel. Please contact the Ranch for more information and suggestions. There are many hotels, b&b’s and rentals available at a variety of prices and comfort levels. Tuition includes instruction, studio supplies, local field trip, as well as both a welcome and a farewell dinner. Airfare, housing and meals not included.

Payment in full by September 1, 2017

Arrival Date: Friday, October 27, 2017 by 5pm; Departure Date: Saturday, November 4, 2017


Holly Hughes makes paintings, prints and ceramics with imagery drawn from nature and sources in the decorative arts. This will be Holly’s second time teaching our workshop in San Miguel. She paints tiles and plates in Mexico, France and Italy, enjoying Talavera, Faience and Maiolica’s color palette and painterly history. She lives in New York and is currently Professor of Painting and Drawing at the Rhode Island School of Design.


Doug Casebeer is the Associate Director and Artistic Director of Ceramics at Anderson Ranch. He has been teaching and organizing workshops for 32 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. 


San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

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