New Roots Foundation
New Roots Foundation( est. 1998) is dedicated to supporting art, education and the environment in Guatemala. Founded in 2013, their Art & Culture program promotes and strengthens Guatemalan participation in the visual arts, fosters connections between cultures, and inspires dialogue and collaboration through creative spaces. After 5 years of hosting residencies for artists, in 2018 they opened La Nueva Fábrica, a contemporary art space in Antigua, Guatemala that supports creative exploration through galleries for exhibitions and community events. La Nueva Fábrica is an art space with rotating exhibits of contemporary art, and a permanent collection of historic photography and works by New Roots Foundation founder, the late Guatemalan artist Lissie Habie. Named for its close proximity to the textile mill, La Nueva Fábrica is on the same property as the residency house. Residents are encouraged to visit La Nueva Fábrica and are welcome to join openings, community events, etc. Residents are also welcome to propose an artist talk, performance, or activity at La Nueva Fábrica.
Located on the same site as La Nueva Fábrica and an artisanal textile mill, the residency program provides artists with a rich environment to explore new practices and engage with a diverse community.
The New Roots Foundation artist residency brings emerging and established artists, curators, scholars, and cultural practitioners together to reflect, research, dialogue, create and share across diverse disciplines. The dedicated space for the artist residency at La Nueva Fábrica offers living quarters for residents, private studios, as well as ways they can direct or engage in public programs that take place at La Nueva Fábrica throughout the year. La Nueva Fábrica’s dynamic location offers artists the opportunity to draw inspiration from Antigua’s surroundings and immerse themselves in Guatemala’s rich history. The proximity and partnership with a neighboring textile atelier means artists have full access to all of the weaving resources: its expert staff, hand and mechanical looms, dyeing shop, carpentry and metalsmithing workshops.
To qualify, individuals must work professionally in their field and demonstrate quality of work, commitment to their process, and an interest in connecting with the local community. They consider applications from visual artists working across media. To get the most out of the residency experience, artists must be independent and self-motivated.
They encourage artists to apply with ideas that are relevant to the Guatemalan context, or to the vision of the New Roots Foundation. In other words, they are looking for artists who would benefit specifically from their unique residency program and its surroundings. Duos wishing to work collaboratively on a project are welcome to apply.
They accept applications across all media, and there is absolutely no requirement to produce textile work. No prior knowledge of weaving is required if you chose to pursue a textile project, although of course it is beneficial.
Basic knowledge of Spanish is beneficial, but not required. While New Roots Foundation staff will help residents navigate their stay in Guatemala, artists are expected to be independent and self-motivated. Residency lengths vary from 2-8 weeks. Exact residency lengths are agreed upon after an applicant has been accepted. NRF grants stipends to each resident. Stipends vary from residency to residency. Exact stipend amounts will be confirmed once an applicant has been accepted. New Roots Foundation welcomes individuals of all backgrounds to apply for admission and does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of age, gender, religion, nationality, marital status, ancestry, color, race, disability or sexual orientation.
While there is no expectation to produce a finalized artwork during the residency period, artists are encouraged to share their work through informal gatherings. They also welcome proposals for activities in La Nueva Fábrica, including: artist talks, guided studio visits, performance work, etc.
La Nueva Fábrica and the artist residency house are on the site of a working textile mill. The mill is a completely separate business, but grants residents access to its facilities and expert staff. Upon arrival, artists receive a designated studio space, often in the textile mill, although some artists choose to use the residency house as their studio.
Smaller scale productions are supported free of cost to the artist by the textile mill. This includes certain materials and access to the looms, carpentry shop and metal shop. A common example is when an artist chooses to learn how to use a loom and weave their own project, in which case New Roots Foundation and the textile mill can provide technical support and certain materials free of cost.
You are free to work at the mill during factory hours and, on a case by case basis, after closing. Please consult with NRF staff if you need access to the mill after hours. Because artists work on a range of equipment and across media, studio spaces are determined and set up upon arrival to best adapt to individual artists’ needs.
They have a small two-bedroom house on the premises of the textile mill. They affectionately refer to this space as Doña Paula’s house, in honor of our first resident who lived on the site of the factory for 36 years! Though the house is on the premises of the mill, it is surrounded by a wall for privacy and has a small garden. Please note that because of the proximity to the mill and Santa Ana’s central plaza, the house can get noisy at certain times and night. They are happy to provide earplugs. While we have found that the proximity to the mill is exciting and inspiring for residents, you are welcome to book your own accommodations off-site (at your own expense). However, if you decide to find your own housing, please let them know of your plans at least one month prior to arrival so they can plan accordingly.
The house is fully stocked with linens, towels, cookware, etc. There is a kitchen where you can prepare your meals, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a living room.
They welcome applications from artists with families. Please note, however, that the residency house is not the best environment for young children due to its proximity to the textile mill. Artists bringing their families are encouraged to book their own accommodations. While they cannot cover the cost of childcare, they can help you make arrangements.
In the rare case that you will be sharing the two-bedroom house with another artist, you will be notified ahead of time, and introduced via email to your fellow resident before arrival in Guatemala.
In addition to hand and mechanical textile looms, there are also metal and wood workshops at the mill. All textile, metal and wood projects require a written proposal as a starting point.
Guatemala has a strong artisanal culture, with a good selection of raw materials. However, please be prepared to bring down highly specialized tools and materials, such as small etching or woodworking tools, certain archival photo paper and chemicals, etc. They are happy to go over your specific material list before arrival. For basics, they provide residents with a resource guide that includes a list of art supply vendors.