Benicia Workshops

Where are you located? We are located in the same building as our gallery, in the historic Benicia Arsenal, at 940 Tyler Street, Benicia, CA 94510. Our gallery is number 30, and our workshop space is number 28. If you haven’t been to the gallery before, the streets and signage within the Arsenal can be confusing. We recommend downloading our PDF map by clicking HERE before venturing out.

What do I do for lunch for daylong workshops? Lunch is included for some day long workshops. See our Dining Info page HERE for more information on where to dine close by. Each workshop registration has information about what is included with your registration fee.

How many people are in each workshop? This totally depends on the type of workshop. For studio workshops, we have a maximum of 16 in the Ballroom, and 12 in our project space. Other events will vary. Prior to your studio workshop, we will be providing you with further information.

Can I take public transit to the Arsenal? From San Francisco, you can take a walk-on ferry to Vallejo, and then take Uber or Lyft to the Arsenal. Public transit does not go directly into the Arsenal, but within a walkable distance. If you would like to carpool with another participant, please reach out to us. There is plenty of parking around the Arsenal.

What is the refund policy? Please see our Policies page for more info by clicking HERE

What should I bring? Whatever you need to feel comfortable. Studio classes: bring clothes to get dirty or bring your painting apron/shirt, comfortable shoes. On chilly days, we recommend layered clothing as this old building can be drafty. Bring your re-fillable carafe for coffee or tea.

Can I bring my pet? We’re sorry, no. Only service animals are welcome in our spaces.

How much space do I get to work? We are sensitive to a good working environment for artists, and we do our best to not overcrowd any of our workshops. We recommend not bringing excessive amounts of boxes, bags and large bulky items, which can also take up your space, and your neighbors.

Can people under 18 take workshops? Unfortunately, not at this time. We are not properly covered for minors.

Can I bring my baby/kid/dog/friend/sister/another person: No. Registration is only for one adult human. Service animals are welcome.

Mexico Workshops

Cell Phones in MX: you must check with your carrier prior to your trip to arrange for service in San Miguel.

Studio Time: you can access the studio any time day or night (if quiet) because we are reserving the entire hotel.

Credit Cards: Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted all over San Miguel, Amex is spotty at best. Let your card company know you are traveling to MX, so they don’t stop any of your charges (sometimes they freeze accounts due to fraud if charges appear from MX or Central America).

Can my partner share my room? This depends on your room type, availability, and group transportation needs. Your partner/spouse cannot attend the workshop unless they purchase a student spot. Please email us and we can discuss.

Can I stay at another hotel and do the workshop? Unfortunately, no, as all the fees are baked in together.

Do I have to know Spanish? In the hotel, no Spanish is needed. Spanish is helpful but not mandatory around San Miguel, where most people outside of the hotel speak a little English. There are so many expats and English speaking tourists, locals are used to non-Spanish speakers. If you know no Spanish and want to explore on your own, we recommend writing down the hotel address on a piece of paper to show someone if you get lost, or to show a taxi driver. But if you plan on traveling other places in MX before or after the workshop, it’s very helpful to know a decent amount of Spanish (enough to get by).

How do I get from the airport to the hotel in San Miguel? We will provide transportation from Leon Airport (BJX airport code) to and from the hotel on travel days. There are some time restrictions for after 9:00 pm arrival. Travel time from Leon to San Miguel is 90 minutes. For Mexico City arrivals, there are several luxury busses that go to San Miguel. The trip is 4 hours, and it’s a wonderful way to see the country in a double decker bus that is extremely nice (like first class flying). One way is around $50. If staying in Mexico City, ask your hotel concierge to make reservations for you.

Will I need a car? No. There is no parking at the hotel, or really anywhere. Our hotel is close to the central square (Jardin) and most of the town is very walkable. For uphill journeys or longer drives, you can hail a taxi, which are plentiful in San Miguel and cost $2.50-5.00 equivalent to US to get pretty much everywhere around town. Taxis only take Pesos. You can also use Uber or Lyft.

Climate: June is the “rainy season”, but actually that means it may just rain for a short time in the afternoon, and then become sunny again. Generally, San Miguel has more of a Mediterranean climate, being more dry than tropical locations. San Miguel is up 6000 feet, so the altitude keeps it cool in the evenings. There are numerous websites with weather info online.

Clothing: San Miguel is very casual in general, and is filled with Expats and tourists wearing “touristy” type of clothes. We recommend thick soled shoes or tennis shoes for walking on the cobblestones, which are impossible to navigate in heeled or very thin soled shoes like flip flops. Keen sandals and Clarks seem to be the norm.

Getting $ USD’s to Pesos: You can get Pesos via ATMs (with a service fee) around San Miguel, Leon, Mexico City or any MX airport, or at the airport money exchange once you arrive. You will need cash (Pesos only) for taxis and other miscellaneous things, but most restaurants and shops take credit cards. NOTE: Taxi drivers will NOT accept even slightly torn or defaced bills or bills with corners missing… so make sure you are getting clean, crisp bills. The airport money exchange places are notorious for giving crumpled bills… so be careful.