Our Workshop Features:
- Individual and small group instruction in stone carving and clay modeling
- Breathtaking and inspiring location
- Fully equipped art studio
- Instruction from master artists
- Affordable programs
- English/Spanish language
- Quality imported stones onsite
- Gallery tours of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico’s arts capital and other arts destinations
- Accommodations at Casa Alexandra convenient to Malecon, beach, and downtown
Our one- or two-week workshops are held throughout the year in the fully equipped studio adjacent to Casa Alexandra. Master artist Manuel Palos and award winning sculptor Martin Distancia Barragan lead guests in an exploration of stone carving and clay modeling, helping to build new skills and encouraging creative expression. Classes are capped at ten students, to assure ample time and individual instruction.
The 3000 square foot, three level studio, with its natural enhanced lighting and breathtaking views, offers access to hand tools and state-of-the-art pneumatic and electric equipment. Both domestic and imported stone is available for purchase, including a wide variety of Italian marble and Mexican limestone. Additional supplies, such as pins and bases and hand tools, are also available.
These workshops are appropriate for experienced artists looking to create new work in a beautiful, relaxed setting, and for the novice seeking to learn new skills. The experienced instructors at Palos Studios work one-on-one with guests to provide the support needed to reach each individual’s artistic goals. Emphasis is placed on studio practice, handling the tools needed for creation, and understanding the raw materials.
To learn more about our instructors, click here.
Workshops are 7 or 14 days long, with weekdays for instruction and studio work, and weekends for open studio or exploring Puerto Vallarta. Students work for three hours in the morning, and three hours in the afternoon, with a break for a buffet lunch. Evenings are open to enjoy dinner in one of the city’s excellent restaurants, or cook a meal in Casa Alexandra’s well-appointed kitchen.
Following is a sample curriculum for the Stone Carving/Clay modeling 7 day workshop:
Day One: Orientation to the studio, tools, and demonstration of basic tool use and safety including hammering, chiseling, and texturing. Each student chooses his or her approach.
Day Two: Students focus on setting their creative vision and begin to build in clay or stone. Sunday walk on the Malecon art path at the beach.
Day Three: Individual discussions about personal artistic goals and visions for each student’s piece in progress. Afternoons are available for individual work with instructors.
Day Four: Visit local bronze foundry and galleries for ideas and inspiration during the morning session, hands-on application in the afternoon.
Day Five: Continue creative work with group and instructor support.
Day Six: Visiting artist demonstration and discussion in the morning. Time to apply new techniques in the afternoon.
Day Seven: Presentation of work. Day closes with talk and review of progress and packing pieces for shipment. Enjoy an evening farewell dinner with students and faculty at Casa Alexandra.
*For longer workshops, a small exhibition of work will be organized at end of the course.
Tuition and Materials
Included in tuition:
- Full access to the studio and tools during studio hours*
- Moderately sized piece of Mexican limestone. Imported Italian marble is available for purchase. Additional Mexican limestone can be ordered with sufficient notice to the studio. Cost given upon request.
- Group and individual instruction
- Hands-on demonstrations
- Field trips to local art destinations including foundries and galleries
- Field Trip to Tonala, Guadulajara to visit giant street market that sells handcrafted items such as ceramic, pottery and novelties (for longer workshops only)
- On-Site buffet breakfast and lunch during studio course
- Hosted welcome brunch and send-off dinner with authentic home-cooked Mexican cuisine
- Transportation from airport for arrival and departure
- Assistance with crating and shipping (crates and shipping costs not included)
- Comfortable double-occupancy room with bathroom in Casa Alexandra
- Access to Casa Alexandra’s full kitchen
- Daily Maid Service
- On-site Spanish/English speaking host, also available for city excursions into the heart of Mexico’s arts capital (click here for more information on Puerto Vallarta and local activities)
*Students and artists using the workshop are required to provide their own protective gear. Experienced artists are expected to bring their own basic chisels and air hammer, as well as diamond files and pads for sanding.
Tuition for students at Palos Studios is $158.00/per person per day or $2,212 for 14 days. As a courtesy to our workshop guests, groups wishing to extend their stay at Casa Alexandra after the workshop may inquire about a reduced daily rate.
For experienced artists, special rates are available for self-guided workshops. No instructor will be provided.
A deposit is required to reserve a position in upcoming workshops, full refunds are granted at least three weeks prior to the start date of the course.
Students are responsible for booking their own flights to Puerto Vallarta. We recommend buying a ticket as far in advance as possible as rates increase with short notice.
Guest Instructors and Group Retreats
Casa Alexandra and Palos Studios are available to guest instructors and group retreats seeking a live-work space for a special event or workshop. Guests will have full access to the accommodations at Casa Alexandra, comfortably housing up to 16 guests, and to the adjacent Palos Studios. The studio is fully equipped for the instruction of not just stone carving and clay modeling but painting, drawing, and jewelry-making. This is an ideal setting for an artist retreat, collaborative project, university intensive, or master class given the close proximity of the living space and studio, and the rich artistic heritage of Puerto Vallarta.
Past visitors include:
- The Kendall University Sculpture Department directed by David Greenwood, which held the sculpture study abroad program at Palos Studios for the past two years
- Dana O’Donnell with Stone Soul Studio and co-founder of the Puerto Vallarta Sculpture Symposium, a collaborative project with Palos Studios.
- Carole Turner, Director of Columbia Sculpture Center and co-founder of the Puerto Vallarta Sculpture Symposium, a collaborative project with Palos Studios.
- Bernice Schacter, Author of “Creative Quest” and “Masks of my Muse” Iniated Pietrasanta workshops in Italy over 23 years and has taught stone carving to students from around the world.
- Sharon Gainsburg, Award winning stone carver. She has exhibited widely throughout USA. She conducts stone carving workshops in Puerto Vallarta and Florida.
- Hazel Taylor, famed artist and movie starlet