What an incredible workshop! Join us next summer in San MIguel de Allende for another adventure!


4-Over-4 Abstraction by Design

with Michael Shemchuck “Shem”

A Five Day Workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

JUNE 23 - 29, 2019

Join us in San Miguel de Allende June 23-29 for a once in a lifetime class with Micheal Shemchuk (“Shem”), where you’ll dive deep into mixed media, paper and paint while in one of the most inspirational and artistic cities in the world.

You’ll go home with a completed 8-panel piece able to fit in your suitcase, and armed with new tools, techniques and knowledge to apply to your own work for years to come.

You’ll be creating a gorgeous, 8-panel installation utilizing all of Shem’s trademark methods of design using papers and paint along with a process of scrubbing, sanding and scraping to reveal and discover patterns, shapes and textures. Shem, known for his multi-layered mixed media works on panel, is a Bay Area artist with decades of experimental art making. A career dating from the 1980’s includes photography, installation, painting, mixed media and a commitment to art mentoring and instruction.

One of the country’s most sought after instructors, Shem is full of enthusiasm, support and boundless creative energy. Shem is known for signature bold abstracted mixed media works with paint and paper on panels that involve a process of layering and revealing, creating both intricate and graphic compositions. He is fearless in his approach, and generous in sharing his skills and knowledge with student lucky enough to study with him.

“Brilliant, unique technique taught by master teacher - generous with his expertise and his superb eye. Excellent instruction and i’m excited about the possibilities unlocked over the course of the workshop. I’ll be mining them for years to come.”

Shem is represented by Jen Tough Gallery. His recent solo show Surface Tension opened January, 2019, concurrently with a show he curated of his student’s work called Learning Curve. See more info on the gallery website, click here for link.

In this 5-day Mexico workshop, we will be creating a modular, 8-panel installation that you will be able to fit in your suitcase for travel home. As with our past multi-panel workshops, each panel should work on their own and be integral to the installation as well.  We will establish a limited color palette with both our collage papers and paint. This parameter allows us to fully focus on our design, mark making and balance skills, as well as permit a manageable interplay between our panels.

This destination workshop is for both beginning students who have never taken a class with Shem before, and also for more advanced students who want Shem’s input and wisdom to further refine their skills and get critical feedback.

Materials: we will be providing a lot of materials for the class, including all paints and varnishes that are difficult to bring in suitcases. Students are asked to bring 8 flat (non-cradled) 16” x 16” panels and a few other items such as collage and tissue papers.

About San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

If you haven’t been yet, now is your chance to do it with friends and learn something, too. Long known as an international art destination and art community, San Miguel boasts one of the largest expat populations in all of Mexico. The art scene is thriving here, with galleries all over town, and a huge number of artists and collectors, along with one of the world’s first art schools and a converted fabric factory that houses dozens of galleries. The colorful atmosphere, with it’s cobblestone streets, brightly painted buildings and secret courtyards with bubbling fountains and flowers add to the creative charm.

Our Hotel (and Studio!)

We’re taking over a small boutique hotel, just blocks from the Jardin (central park) and the studio is located inside the hotel, which allows artists to have almost unlimited access to their work. After the included breakfast, participants can wander upstairs to the airy studio and begin class.

Formerly a bordello, the quaint boutique hotel called Casa de la Noche is now owned by former Bay Area resident and gallery owner, Barbara Poole. It has a great, close-in location, easy walk to Main Plaza, the Jardin when you’re ready to explore. Other amenities include: water purification throughout, wireless Internet/cable, A/C in common rooms, phone for US calls and 24 hour desk coverage.