Make Your Mark Oaxaca Art + Culture Workshop May 2024

Make Your Mark, Oaxaca Art + Culture Workshop: mixed media, collage, art journaling – for art makers & art lovers

DATES: May 24 – June 2, 2024

art workshop with mixed media, collage, mark making, art journaling + culture immersion with Oaxacan artist Pedro Cruz Pacheco + Corrie McCluskey Oaxaca, Mexico


~  Hands-on, deep dive into the art and authentic culture of Oaxaca
~  Replenish your artistic toolkit with fresh inspiration and newfound creativity
~  Unlock your creative potential with Pedro’s art instruction, rooted in indigenous Oaxacan culture
~  Creative time with likeminded travelers in an intimate setting

Do you love to create visual texture and imagery using paper scraps, old magazines, maps & newspaper, bits and pieces of ephemera? Are you hooked on art journals and want to play with mixed media and collage while experiencing Mexico? Want to discover your own personal repertoire of marks in your artmaking? This workshop is for lifelong learners and intrepid travelers who enjoy expressing themselves visually. Immerse yourself in the art and authentic culture of Oaxaca, with its soulful art scene, indigenous culture & customs, and rich culinary and artisanal traditions.

The REAL Oaxaca is found in the villages and private workspaces, and our field trips include a Sunday market, studio visits with two accomplished Oaxacan painters & printmakers, a master weaving family that works only in natural pigments, a papermaking studio that utilizes a multitude of fibers from local vegetation, a gorgeous ecological art center housed in a renovated textile factory, and a guided street art walk – all mixed in with art instruction and creative play time. This workshop is for art makers and art lovers. Come join our tribe on a Oaxacan adventure…

Who should attend this workshop: This workshop is for artists & art lovers who want to explore mixed media collage, mark making with India ink and other simple materials, and visual journaling. We welcome all levels of artmakers; we’ll help you expand your art practice and add to your toolkit—all while immersing yourself into the art, culture, and traditions of Oaxaca. We expect everyone to participate fully in the workshop throughout the week.

What our art adventures are all about: When Corrie, our co-instructor, first started coming to Oaxaca, she was seeking an experience – to play with art, connect with likeminded creatives, immerse herself in the culture, and investigate the artisan studios and galleries that Oaxaca is known for. But going it alone was intimidating and she didn’t want a tourist experience. She stayed in a Mexican neighborhood a few blocks away from tourist central and put together a mix of art days + field trips for herself. We’ve created that trip for you.

In the art class: This workshop is a combination of visual journaling with mixed media (in a sketchbook or on loose paper), collage, and experimenting with mark making, to develop your unique visual voice by playing with different materials. Be surprised by what shows up on paper, find the imagery that resonates with you. The ultimate goal: playing with ephemera, finding your symbols, talismans, and personal marks.

Pedro is an amazing watercolorist and mixed media artist who incorporates personal symbols, talismans, and the natural world into his work, and he’ll guide you in exploring the use of personal symbols in collage. This is a chance to consider the “secret soul” of things that matter to you and bring them into your artwork.
Corrie will introduce simple techniques and exercises for mixed media + collage to play with the materials at hand, find your voice, and get over your fears of making a mistake. You will experiment with mark making, using fragments, found objects and bits & pieces of ephemera – taking risks and letting go of needing to be perfect. You’ll use Oaxaca-sourced handmade paper in an artist book you create to take home.

Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman in Oaxaca, Mexico

Workshop details:

  • 7-day art + culture workshop in the heart of Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Group field trips with private van
  • Maximum 10 participants
  • 9 nights at a charming hotel built in the 16th century, in the heart of the city center
  • hotel rooms have private bathrooms, wifi, fans, restaurant next door, courtyard to enjoy breakfast or sip morning coffee
  • hotel is 1 block from zocalo square, everything within walking distance
  • art material list provided (you bring your own art supplies)
  • list provided of restaurants, museums & galleries, optional tours that you can book for your day off, cool places to visit on your own

Preliminary itinerary (subject to change as needed):

  • Day One: arrive in Oaxaca – afternoon welcome in the hotel courtyard & orientation
  • Day Two: all day art class, lunch at studio, group welcome dinner
  • Day Three: AM field trip to Sunday market; PM studio visit of weavers + special lunch
  • Day Four: AM art class, PM field trip to renowned art center + papermaking studio
  • Day Five: AM artist studio visit, lunch in neighborhood, PM art class
  • Day Six: day off to explore on your own
  • Day Seven: AM artist studio visit, lunch in neighborhood, PM art class
  • Day Eight: all day art class, lunch at studio, pm street art tour
  • Day Nine: all day art class + art show, lunch at studio, group farewell dinner
  • Day Ten: depart Oaxaca

The art classes generally run from 10 am – 5 pm, with lunch at midday.

Our instructors: Pedro Cruz Pacheco is a painter from Santa Cruz Amilpas, Oaxaca, Mexico who works in watercolor, oil, and mixed media. He left his job in a brickyard in 1999 and initially began his career as a self-taught artist. He spent 8 years apprenticing in the studio of master Oaxacan painter Felipe Morales, and showed & sold his work for years in Labastida Plaza in downtown Oaxaca (by Santo Domingo church). Pedro has exhibited in Mexico (Oaxaca, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Merida, Monterrey), Texas, and California (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sonoma County, Eureka), and has taught watercolor workshops in Oaxaca and Baja, BCS, Mexico. Pedro’s style is very Oaxaca-influenced, with magic realism as an artistic point of view – a Mexican version of surrealism. His work is intimate, private, and incorporates personal symbols and talismans that reflect his own life experiences as well as the history and customs of Oaxaqueños. His work features bright, vivid colors and his own deeply personal and heart-felt spiritual view of the world around him.

Corrie McCluskey (workshop coordinator) is a visual artist originally from Northern California (now living in Oaxaca) who was a b&w photographer for two decades. She transitioned into visual journaling, mail art, collage, bookbinding and making artist books. She now focuses on mixed media on paper: collage, encaustic monotypes, abstract painting with natural pigments & India ink, graphite, cold wax with oil pigment sticks. Visual journaling is a part of her art expression: it’s all about process and discovery – a container for ideas and play with ephemera. She is a “Guidess”-in-training for people who feel unqualified or too intimidated to express their creativity because they think they can’t “do art”. For 20 years, she was a workshop and event coordinator, and she loves to bring small groups of people together and facilitate an amazing workshop experience.

Our hotel: Hotel Parador San Agustín, Oaxaca centro
We have a block of 10 rooms reserved at Hotel Parador San Agustín, a 16th century building with a traditional courtyard and terrace (each room has either 2 double beds or 1 king bed, and private bathroom). Rooms are charming yet basic, clean and secure, and the hotel is centrally located one block from the zocalo square in the city’s historic center and within walking distance of the huge indoor market, banks/ATMs, museums, galleries, shops and cafes. Amenities: all rooms have private bathroom, TV, & free wifi; airport shuttle is available (w/ surcharge), breakfast at nextdoor restaurant (w/ surcharge), computer station, self-serve laundry facilities; upstairs floors accessible by stairs only, all rooms have fans only (no A/C).

Our art class location: A private van will pick up the group daily from your hotel to bring you to Pedro & Corrie’s newly built “industrial rustic” art studios, located in the middle of a cornfield in Santa Cruz Amilpas (Pedro’s hometown), just 20 minutes from city center. We’ll have space to spread out, make a mess, play with materials, and just let loose with our creativity! And you’ll get to see and experience what small town life is like in the valley of Oaxaca.

: in Oaxaca, Friday, May 24
art classes + field trips: 7 days
day off: (no class or scheduled field trips) Wednesday, May 29
departure: Sunday, June 2
airport: Oaxaca Xoxocotlan International airport (OAX)

Trip fee, deadline & cancellation: $2300 for workshop participants – deadline to register extended  3/1/24

  • 50% deposit with registration guarantees your space – register early before the workshop sells out.
  • Deadline to register & pay deposit is 3/1/24. (Deposits, reservations, and arrangements are made well in advance of the trip, so we need to receive your registration + deposit on time.)
  • Balance is due by 4/1/24, or you can pay in full upon registration (deposit + trip fee).
  • Deadline to register in class is 3/1/24; no deposit or trip fee refund will be given after 3/1/24. No exceptions.
  • If you must cancel, contact Corrie, the workshop coordinator, immediately. You can transfer your deposit & trip fee to another person, at no charge. If there is a wait list, we will give you the first name on the list to whom you can offer your spot. Otherwise, no refunds will be issued under any circumstances. We encourage you to purchase trip insurance with “Cancel for Any Reason” to cover you for unexpected circumstances.

Registration + payment online: To register and pay online, click below. Your payment will be processed through PayPal.

 Price includes:

  • hotel room in our group’s room block (rooms have either 2 double beds or 1 king bed + private bathroom)
  • private van transportation (for field trips & excursions)
  • lunch provided for the 3 days we stay in the art studio (days with no field trips)
  • field trips to Sunday outdoor market; weaving studio & art studio visits; art center & papermaking studio

Not included in price:

  • airfare or transportation to/from Oaxaca airport
  • all other food & drinks (except for special meal at weaver’s studio + 3 lunches mentioned above)
  • required trip insurance

Required travel insurance: Why you need it: Oaxaca doesn’t have a robust healthcare system like you’re used to, so if you have a serious fall (sidewalks can be treacherous here), get sick, or the taxi you’re in has an accident, it could be very pricey to get you home for treatment. Therefore, we’re requiring everyone to purchase travel insurance for this trip (include medical evacuation of at least $50,000, international accident & health insurance including primary medical coverage, and trip cancellation coverage). There are also trip policies that include COVID cancellations. We recommend that you get PRIMARY medical coverage, not secondary. Proof of insurance must be sent to us at least 45 days before departure. We encourage you to purchase trip insurance immediately upon registering, with “Cancel for Any Reason” to cover you for unexpected circumstances – buy trip insurance WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR TRIP if you wish to have this extra coverage.
suggested provider: Squaremouth – More COVID policy info:
best choices on Squaremouth: – HTH Worldwide, TripProtector Preferred, includes COVID cancellation – Trawick Intl, Safe Travels Voyager, includes COVID cancellation – TinLeg Gold, includes COVID cancellation
another provider:

COVID-19 protocol: You are required to send proof of vaccination to participate. Covid still persists in Oaxaca, and we want to protect our participants and the people of Oaxaca (there are no boosters available for them, so they are vulnerable to infection by visitors). We require current vax status with proof, and highly recommend having the most current booster before traveling to Oaxaca. If you become ill with Covid during the workshop, we expect you to immediately separate yourself from our group, isolate, and make arrangements to return home. Depending on COVID and the health circumstances in 2024 in Oaxaca, participants may be required to wear face masks in certain public buildings – you must agree to abide by the Mexican govt’s Covid protocol at the time of the workshop. Proof of vaccination must be sent to us at least 45 days before departure.

Health & walking, dietary restrictions: Oaxaca is high altitude, at 5100 feet – some people need a few days to acclimate if they are coming from sea level. Can you walk 6,000 steps a day unassisted at 5100 ft? If not, you will be unhappy on this trip, and we only accept travelers who are in good health and can walk uneven cobblestone streets (narrow, with high curbs) and don’t have mobility or breathing issues. Also, dietary restrictions could be tricky, although there are restaurants that have gluten free and vegan options. Corn is a key ingredient of Oaxacan cuisine & culture, and meat will be consumed at most restaurants we visit (there are a few vegetarian & vegan restaurants in the city center). Travelers will need to make personal accommodations and adjustments to meet group needs and schedule.

Oaxaca weather: May & June are hot – 85°F (29°C) during the day, and 55°F (12°C) at night (and most hotels and buildings in OAX do not have A/C). Bring a light jacket for the evening. Our hotel and the class art studio have fans in all the rooms, but no A/C. If you can’t tolerate heat, we recommend that you consider instead attending one of our workshops in the Fall when it’s usually cooler.

Valid passport: Also, be certain that your passport has at least six months on it before it expires from the date you enter Mexico – if not, you may not be allowed entry into the country by your airline.

Flights & getting to/from the airport: airport: arrival in Oaxaca Xoxocotlán Intl airport (OAX) on 5/24/24 Oaxaca City (OAX) is a 45-minute flight from Mexico City (MEX), with many available connecting flights on AeroMexico, Volaris, and other carriers. To bypass Mexico City airport: in the US, American has a direct flight from Dallas to Oaxaca, and United has a direct flight from Houston to Oaxaca. NOTE: if you fly thru Mexico City, book flights that allow at least a 3-hr layover going TO Oaxaca (the line for passport control can be long and you’ll miss your flight), and 1-hr layover coming FROM Oaxaca. About a month prior to the workshop, we will send you detailed instructions about how to get from the airport to our hotel, what to bring, how to get cash from ATMs, etc.

Materials & suggestions:

  • We don’t supply art materials for participants, please bring your own.
  • For mixed media / visual journaling materials: materials list here
  • We suggest that you familiarize yourself with Pedro’s website and take a look at his artwork for inspiration as you begin to think about your own personal symbols and talismans.

If you have questions:
For questions regarding the workshop, lodging or transportation, contact the workshop coordinator:
Corrie McCluskey at corrie[at]