Meixco workshops


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.


Sunday, June 23

Travel and arrival day. Artists arrive in San Miguel from either Leon International Airport (recommended) or Mexico City. Time to explore San Miguel and settle in.

Monday, June 24

After a delicious breakfast at the hotel, guests will gather in the studio at 9:00 to meet and greet with Shem. Break for lunch from 12:00-2:00 to explore. Afternoon: join Shem for a “paper hunt” around San Miguel, searching for interesting papers and ephemera to use in the week’s work. Class/hunt ends at 6:00 in time for dinner, or a visit to the studio again.

Tuesday, June 25

Following breakfast, artists will gather in the hotel art studio for class at 9:00 for more studio time and instruction from Shem. At noon, we’ll make a journey to Fabrica La Aurora, an art gallery and artist studio complex where you can grab lunch at one of 4 restaurants, followed by a gallery and studio tour with Jen Tough. We’ll head back to the hotel studio around 4:00, where Shem will be teaching until 7:00.

Wednesday, June 26

After another beautiful breakfast, class begins at 9:00 with Shem. Lunch is on your own from 12:00-2:00 where you can explore San Miguel, or grab something to go and stay in the studio. Class resumes from 2:00-5:00.

Thursday, June 27

Following breakfast, class begins at 9:00 for more studio time and instruction from Shem. Lunch is on your own from 12:00-2:00, and class resumes from 2:00-5:00. You are free to keep working, or explore all of the incredible dining and shopping options in San Miguel.

Friday, June 28

Last day of class after breakfast. Review and discussion of work accomplished. Grab a quick bite at noon as class resumes at 1:00, and ends at 4:00, in time for a festive Farewell Dinner at 6:00 as a group.

Saturday, June 29

Travel and departure day. Breakfast is served and artists travel back home with their new work, new friends and new knowledge.

(Itinerary subject to change due to weather, artist suggestions or interests of group, or any other unforeseen circumstance)

Select Room Type & Register

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.

Accommodations & Fees

DELUXE ARTIST ROOM ~ $3500 | A larger private room with king bed, a private bath and some rooms have a small sitting area or balcony

STANDARD ARTIST ROOM ~ $3250 | A beautifully appointed private room with queen bed and private bath

SHARED ARTIST SUITE ~ $3000 | Double occupancy suite for two artists, with 2 twin beds, a kitchenette, a sitting area, 1 private bath, and some suites have a balcony or terrace

INCLUDED: 5 full days of instruction by Shem; Airport transfers to and from Leon Airport on travel days; breakfast each day at the hotel, access to the art studio to continue working early mornings or late into the evening; paper hunt around San Miguel with Shem, art gallery tour with Jen Tough, farewell dinner at the hotel for all the artists, great new friends, lots of new art knowledge

Deposit: $1000 non-refundable for your cancellation / Balance due in full March 30, 2019 (see policies by clicking here) If you give a deposit now to hold your room, when you are ready to purchase and pay in full, you will be given a discount code to apply at checkout to deduct the $1000 from your total.

Note on rooms and deposits: Rooms will be sold on a first come, first served basis, so if you have your heart set on a certain type of room, you may want to pay in full as soon as possible. If you decide to pay the deposit first, and then the balance later, we will give you a password to deduct your $1000 deposit from the total in your shopping cart. Sorry, but you cannot pick which exact room, only the type of room. You can choose the type of room when paying in full or paying your balance due. If you’re wanting to share a Shared Artist Suite with a friend, each artist should purchase their room, then email us your roommate preference.

Refunds: We will work with you to fill your spot if you must cancel if done before March 30. We will refund any balance paid toward your workshop if we can fill your spot. If we cannot fill it, we cannot refund your money. The $1000 deposit is non-refundable. See policies by clicking HERE. If we do not get full enrollment by March 30, we will cancel this workshop and refund all monies paid minus a 4% credit card processing fee. If for some reason cancelation occurs due to something out of our control (earthquake, hotel issues, etc) we will refund all monies paid minus a 4% credit card processing fee.

We recommend vacation insurance, travel medical insurance and purchasing refundable airline tickets.

Airfare is not included.

Note on airports: We recommend flying to Leon International Airport (BJX) as it is much closer to San Miguel than Mexico City, and the hotel provides transport to San Miguel as part of your fee. There are plenty of resources online for travel from Mexico City to San Miguel via bus (they are gorgeous double-decker affairs with wifi) and the trip is 4 hours. Consider a trip to Mexico City before or after, it is incredible!


A Love Note to San Miguel

About San Miguel: Travel and Leisure Magazine

Live webcam of San Miguel

Our hotel: Casa de La Noche