Readers may remember artist Julian Calleros from his whimsical penis piñatas. “Years ago, I was thinking about how I’m Mexican and how my being gay means people will think I like dick,” he says. “I combined those things and came up with penis-shaped piñatas.”
For the last year and a half, Calleros, Marcin Wisniewski and Aidan Cowling have been putting together an artists’ residency in Mexico called Anima Casa Rural.
Artists from around the world will travel an hour outside of Guadalajara and stay on Calleros’s family farm. They will have an opportunity to work on their art in a beautiful valley surrounded by cherry, alfalfa and sugar-cane farms. A nearby town’s numerous festivals bring out scores of cowboys and mariachis.
For 2015, Anima Casa Rural will include winter and summer programs. For the winter program, people can choose to visit for a two-week session in either January, February or March (or they can come for the whole three months). Each session can accommodate approximately 13 people.
The January session runs from the fifth to the 20th. It is curated by Wisniewski and called Body Becoming. “Marcin wants artists to look at ideas of what the body means politically, socially, ethnically, technologically, and how our perspective of the body has changed,” Calleros says.
As well as benefiting from a change of scenery, artists may find inspiration in their chosen session’s theme. Most sessions will be shaped to allow attendees to gain insight from learning about local customs and the environment.
“It’s also important to emphasize that it’s a safe place for queer people,” Calleros says. “We’re not going to sit around talking about Toronto’s gender politics, but if someone’s work has some gender- or orientation-related aspect, that’s great.”