At the beginning of the year my husband asked if I wanted to go to New Orleans for our 20th anniversary in July. I said New Orleans in July? Way too hot and it would be like having no escape from the summer heat here in Florida. Besides, I told him, I am going to San Miguel De Allende for an art workshop in July…..
So, my husband asked if I was going to celebrate our anniversary without him. Ha ha, no we would celebrate as I would return in time. I just needed to do this trip.
Artists have been going to San Miguel De Allende in Guanajuato, Mexico since the 1930’s. San Miguel De Allende is a colonial city at the heart of Mexico’s independence from Spain. Miguel Hidalgo, declared Mexico’s independence from Spain in the nearby town of Dolores in 1810. In San Miguel, General Allende helped lead the army to victories.
In 1938, Felipe Cossio del Pomar (Peruvian artist) established San Miguel’s first art school and the rest is history. Today there are many art schools, workshops, classes and galleries!
After years of being a teaching artist, a mom of two children with the youngest in high school, I have been dreaming of doing in artist workshop in a foreign country. I wanted to visit another culture and be inspired by new colors, themes, language, etc. Furthermore, I have been practicing my Spanish via Duolingo so I could at least attempt conversations and show some respect by trying to learn the language.
Also, I wanted to do this because of spending three years in grad school becoming an art therapist! I graduated with my masters of art in art therapy in December of 2014 and it was grueling and my passion. I worked at a mental health center as an intern for the year of 2014 and just needed some real artistic inspiration.
Culturally, there are a lot of Americans and Canadians who visit San Miguel De Allende. I read that twenty percent of residents are expatriates and a lot of them artists. For me, I wanted to not only practice my Spanish but be respectful of the culture and try to converse with locals in their language. I tried to be polite, not entitled, and tried to learn about the culture. I had some very interesting conversations with locals and really need to go back since I was barely getting started.