ARTES was created by classically trained artist and master teacher, Oscar Aguirre and designed to foster an environment of creative discovery in traditional arts education through the open studio method.

        Director, Oscar Aguirre has lived, worked and taught students of all ages in San Miguel de Allende for nearly 25 years. A classically trained artist with a degree in museology, he has exhibited widely in museums throughout Mexico, the United States and Europe and through prestigious venues such as ARCO, España and Art Basel, Miami, Florida. He taught modeling and sculpture at the Bellas Artes, San Miguel for 10 years and served as Co-Director of Kunst Haus Gallery, Santa Fe. SMA. He has conducted innumerable workshops and arts-education events for years for children of all ages throughout San Miguel and other cities.


Most arts education programs are limited to group instruction, but in the ARTES open studio environment, individual instruction and mentoring of students– at all ages and skill levels– is provided in a multicultural, intergenerational and bi-lingual environment. At the beginning of their course of study, each student is assessed to determine experience and skill level, then a particular medium is chosen– whether painting, drawing, modeling or interdisciplinary– and the design for a project and its completion is underway. The multi-cultural, bi-lingual and intergenerational environment at ARTES allows for lively, cross-cultural exchanges, discoveries and a nurturing interaction that we believe is unique to the ARTES open studio experience.

There are currently 25 students studying at ARTES, with 15 adults and 10 children between the ages of  7 and 14.

For the children, special emphasis will be placed upon ideas about recycling and reusing refuse by transforming it into art. Currently, students will be working on creating puppets from a variety of found and recycled materials that will eventually be sold at the Museo del Juguete (Toy Museum). An additional project designed around the creation of Mojigangas (or giant puppets)– traditional icons of San Miguel fiestas– will help children gain proficiency in the various studio arts and specifically in modeling papier maché in a traditional Mexican application. Furthermore, it will heighten their awareness of environmental conservation while engaging in the process of producing something that can be sold in the marketplace. The project has a therapeutic purpose as the most important  point.

Interaction between young students and continuing education (adults with prior experience or 1st time painters) creates a lively interchange for discovery

Instruction in studio arts: drawing, painting and modeling is always available. In addition, group instruction will be given with classic training and technique in the various disciplines (i.e. modeling methods, drawing: perspective and scale, color interaction, and the various traditional methods and materials used in studio art) as well as a general survey of art history with special emphasis upon Mexican traditional arts among indigenous cultures. Final individual projects will be developed at the end of each semester with a special exhibition and sale.




Empezarte -Art Start- is a non-profit NGO.

This project can only survive with your support, the children and adolescents participating in it will appreciate your help to become more tolerant and sensitive adults.

If you want to support us you can go to the next league and make your donation.

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