And the Winners Are….

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And the Winners Are….

Category : XQ Resident Updates

Winners of the 360 Xochi Quetzal 2016 Winter Residency

This year we have invited two writers, two visual artists and one musician to attend the residency in Chapala, Mexico. They are all engaged in exciting work and span four decades of ages, and hail from all over the US and Europe.


sean-hammerSean Hammer is a young novelist from New York City, who bravely chose a career in writing over law. His writing is breathtaking, moving, and deeply contemplative. He will be working on a novel that spans three countries and eighty years. He sometimes writes on his beloved bright orange Smith Corona Karmann Ghia Super G manual typewriter, which will accompany him to Chapala.


unnamedHeidi Souffriau describes her original writing in equally original terms. She sees herself as a recordist, one who records dreams and conversations. Her intention is “to make people laugh and to transfer a feeling of awe towards the peculiar magic of everyday life” and to enable her readers “to meet with the poetry in their own existence.” She draws inspiration from shamanic tradition and tribal life.



louisLouis Chinn is a musician, performance artist, puppeteer and educator from Oakland, CA. Chinn’s Chinese and First Nation roots are seamlessly integrated into his tribal and nature inspired global music, which he creates in a manner more commonly used by collage artists. His multi-media work fuses social activism, community building and awareness of one’s self in the context of nature. He is excited about connecting and collaborating with Chapala’s extensive music and art community.


jennifer-angusJennifer Angus comes to us as an installation artist with an impressive international reputation. 360 Xochi Quetzal not only supports emerging artists, but also rewards and celebrates those who have stayed the creative course for decades. Jennifer, an art professor at the University of Wisconsin, is best known for her highly decorative and powerful wallpaper installations that are composed from insects. She explores the dualities of home and comfort as contrasted by the disgust and uncleanliness generally associated with insects. It seems only natural that she has been drawn to Mexico, home of Cochineal the magnificent red dye harvested from bugs.


santiagoSantiago Galeas is a wildly talented young Latino painter from Philadelphia. In an art world dominated by painting, Santiago’s oil portraits of people of color are truly spectacular and original. It is very exciting to support such a young artist (25) and see where his career will take him.


In addition to these five talented residents, we also welcome Louis’s creative partner, Meng Yu, who collaborates with him and is a visual artist. Jennifer’s son Sasa will be joining her for two weeks to assist her in the studio. And rounding out our creative community, two other writers will also be in Chapala: our writing juror and Poet Laureate of New Hampshire, Alice B. Fogel and acclaimed Iranian-American novelist Anita Amirezanni, who will be here on personal residencies. For more information about the 360 Xochi Quetzal Residency in Mexico including personal residencies:

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Everyone comes to the residency for different reasons. For me it was a
time to reflect upon this whirlwind year. Like many, I lead a hectic life
and run from one exhibition to the next with little time for
contemplation. Even if I hadn’t made a single thing during my residency,
I would have been satisfied because what I really needed was to slow
down and think about what direction my work might take. I reveled in
the environment – the lake and mountains – as well as two trips, one to
see the Monarch butterflies and the other to a fiesta in an indigenous
village with my fellow artists. I left the residency refreshed, with new friends and purpose!

Jennifer Angus, Installation Artist
“Applying for the free Winter residency of Xochi Quetzal was the start of many positive transformations. The silence I found for myself during the residency, allowed me not only to write the best last chapter I can write at this stage of my evolution, it also granted me a most sought-after introspection moment during which I read my dreams and studied ancient Eastern writings. The serenity of the lake and presence of other artists inspired me to get mentally ready and organized for my future as a novelist. I am particularly fond of spending the holidays abroad with ‘strangers’. It always infuses me with these wild insights and whims. Our group was just lovely, the artists one by one very interesting. Cobra and Christian are warm and graceful hosts who made life easy. All in all, Xochi Quetzal was a weighty meditation, a poetic experience that carried me through the rest of Mexico in newness and will resonate long after.”
Heidi Souffriau, Writer
“I was partly inspired to apply for the Xochi Quetzal residency by The Retro Cocktail Hour — a popular Saturday night radio show on Kansas Public Radio 91.5 that features exotica music (a form of tropical jazz).  My hope was for the palm trees,  lakeside sunrises, and culture of Chapala & Mexico at large to inform my creative process.  These elements did precisely that, and the generous hospitality of Cobra & her partner Christian provided me with a cozy composing environment.”
Note from Staff: Listen to the music created during Andrew’s residency -Winter 2016
Andrew Morgan, Composer, Musician

Chapala is a safe, spiritually charged, beautiful place. Wild horses run through town.  It’s a place where you greet strangers on the street.

I walked along the lake in meditation a great deal. I hiked the looming cerro overlooking town. I biked all over the countryside. I wrote, documented, created composed soundscapes utilizing field recordings, and built small maquette light sculptures based on my experiences. I attended traditional temazcals, and sat alone in cathedrals.

It was pivotal for me in a spiritual sense more than a career advancing experience. I’m very grateful for it, and Deborah Kruger is a wonderful advocate to keep in contact with. I truly recommend the residency.

Justin R. Lytle, Sound Artist & Sculptor

My residency at 360 Xochi Quetzal in summer 2015 was both restorative and productive.  I was inspired by the beautiful studio and the surrounding Chapala  / Jalisco region.  The setting worked well for me in terms of inspiring and completing new work, and learning the history and customs of the area.  The flexible residency requirements allowed an easy engagement with other residents, and encouraged me to participate in Chapala and Guadalajara communities.  There are many contemporary art venues in Guadalajara, which are an easy bus ride from Chapala.

Michael Pribich, Sculptor

“Not only was this residency situated in one of the most beautifully mystical, culturally resonant, and stimulating settings imaginable, it also managed to be both peaceful and galvanizing: the perfect combination for immersing oneself in a creative project without hesitation or distraction. Deborah and Christian’s home was an oasis. One of my fellow residents remarked to me that “this place has amazing energy for getting work done,” and I wholeheartedly agree: the atmosphere seemed to hum with a low-key, generative productivity, one that helped me get closer than I’d been in many months to actually fully realizing and finishing a long story. I wish I was still there among the bougainvillea, the jade vines, the dogs and the pelicans.”

Suzanne K. Rivecca, Author

Chapala has become my home away from home. The Xochi Quetztal residency is run efficiently. Cobra and her team are friendly, accessible, and professional. My stay in Chapala is enhanced by the personal relationships I have developed with several of the team members. The casita I stay in is very well maintained and fully equipped. The studio area is large and ready for me to engage in art as soon as I arrive.  The weather is always fantastic. The lake, the town(s), the life, the restaurants, the view, the very friendly local people all call me back again and again. I love it!

Zahava Sherez, Sculptor

“This was the most work I’ve ever done in a single month in my life. I will never forget what an incredible experience this was and I thank you for honoring me with a residency at 360 Xochi Quetzal. The reference material I gathered throughout the trip to Chapala, Mexico is going to fuel my work for years to come. Thank you for everything! You run an incredible residency program!!!”

Santiago Galeas, Painter