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Artist residency offers time to reflect

Unwind. Reevaluate. Check out. Unhook. Self-care. Slow down. Solitude. Breathe. Just breathe. Sounds pretty good, eh?

pg21aWe all wish we took more time to follow this advice and adhere to these principles.  When was the last time you stood still and were just present? As a creative, whether as an artist or a writer or a musician, your mind is always racing, churning and thinking about that next project. Or finishing the three projects glaring at you from across the room. Or the blank page that is blinking on your laptop. Creating downtime is a challenge and we rarely take the time to just be.

The Xochi Quetzal Artist Residency is offering a self-directed personal residency for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color) artists in late winter. A live/work space will be offered with a US$250 stipend for an artist who is looking for a space to refresh. An artist will be given the month to use as they please, but one consideration is just slowing down and taking their time to reevaluate.

“Rest is elusive within the BIPOC community,” says Sunya Folayan, the director of the residency. “We are a part of the hustle and grind culture and it is ingrained in us to work endlessly.”

Folayan is offering this designated time for an artist to recover from a life spent working—and often working for someone else. Providing for families, the pressure of paying for education and sometimes maintaining a one-parent home creates an environment of generational trauma, she says.

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One month’s stay will be provided at the QQ Hotel in Chapala. Each room is decorated individually and the artist will be given the freedom to design the residency as they see fit. There will be opportunities to network with other artists, communal meals, field trips and possible workshops. There is no age restriction, it is open to men or women and the fee to apply is US$40.

Applications are being received from international artists who would use the time for a variety of reasons:  maybe to finish writing a book, photograph the Mexican culture, write songs or paint.

Folayan says she understands if they need to be here to sleep and manage self-care, which is their prerogative. Twenty-eight years ago, she was working five jobs to provide for her daughter and fell asleep at-the-wheel while driving home one night. She drove off the road and awoke when her car made contact with the front porch of someone’s home. She decided in that moment that something had to change.

Since that moment Folayan has focused on reevaluating her relationship with work, her body and herself. “Lack of sleep, poor health conditions and unrealistic expectations are the result of that generational trauma that permeates our culture. I know that from time-to-time, I need to unravel and unpack my life. I was fortunate a few years ago to discover this residency program and it changed my life.”

Folayan has decided to make Lakeside her home and will pursue her work as a fiber artist among this community. She is offering this residency so a BIPOC artist can experience the warmth and generosity of the locals, the inspiration of our art scene and the beauty of these communities in which we live. She asks that you share this opportunity with any BIPOC artist who you feel deserves a chance to start fresh and be rejuvenated.

You can learn more by visiting the Xochi Quetzal website at www.360xochiquetzal.com.

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