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Lisa Pressman & Sue Stover

Art, Artifacts, Altars:
Day of the Dead in San Miguel
October 29 - November 2, 2022
Arrive on October  28th and depart on November 3


Sue Stover

Lisa Pressman

Join Lisa and Sue for a trip to San Miguel de Allende to discover the Day of the Dead and explore how this traditional celebration can influence your life through art.


This 5-day workshop will explore memory, personal mementos, and offerings through art-making. We will learn about Day of the Dead traditions in regards to these concepts and respond to them in our own work.


Also called All Souls Day, it is thought of as the day when the veil between life and death is the thinnest and the best time for the departed to slip back to the living for a visit. It is a celebratory and happy day.


We will immerse ourselves in the colorful architecture, cobblestone streets, vibrant culture, and culinary delights. In the decorated streets, altars, and cemeteries, we will explore all that this tradition has to offer. Incorporated into this focus is the concept of time, of real or imagined histories, and of faded or foggy memories.

Your host, Jan Davis, lives in San Miguel de Allende.  She is eager to share this special celebration with you, as well as her favorite haunts around town.

Each day during this workshop we will explore San Miguel de Allende and learn first-hand about Mexico's Day of the Dead traditions. We will photograph and collect items in our excursions as visual and tangible records of surfaces, textures, and items that will inspire our art in the workshop. Working with pigment sticks, drawing materials, water media, fabric and eco-dyeing, Sue and Lisa will give prompts, ideas, and lead discussions on concepts such as:

  • How we personally and culturally mark time, images, and objects related to passing time.

  • Creating surfaces or layering of materials that suggest decay, history, or wear from time.

  • Exploring personal or cultural artifacts - the things we collect and what they tell us about ourselves.

  • Creating altars to honor our ancestors.

Here are some of the materials we will use:


  • Sketchbook and Journal

  • Drawing materials

  • Ephemera

  • Needle

  • Thread

  • Fabrics

  • R&F pigment sticks

  • Small panels or canvases

  • Water media paints

  • Papers, including Mexican bark paper known as amate

This workshop is held in the Hacienda de las Flores. This spacious, old-world-style hotel is located in the heart of San Miguel de Allende. 

What is included:

  • 6 nights lodging, including taxes and tips.

  • 5 days of instruction from Lisa and Sue.

  • 6 breakfasts and 5 lunches.

  • Opening night meet and greet, with margaritas, piña coladas, and botanas (hors d'oeuvres).

  • Talks from locals regarding Day of the Dead traditions.

  • A guided shopping trip for ofrenda (altar) decorations, such as candles, meringues, papel picado (tissue paper), and skull-shaped items.  We'll also buy candy to hand out on October 31.

  • Guided tour of ofrendas (altars).

  • An escorted trip to the local panteón (cemetery). 

What is not included:

  • Airfare​

  • Airport shuttle

  • Dinners

  • Supplies

  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)

The workshop is limited to 14 students.


Workshop Cost (per person): USD $2460-$2720

There are 3 different price points according to the room you choose.

Rooms may be shared at no additional cost (room only). Email Jan for prices.

$2460: Standard King -- (0 available) 

If two participants share the room the workshop fee is $2135 each

$2460: Standard with two twin beds (0 available)

If two participants share the room the workshop fee is $2135 each

$2620: Jr. Suite with two double beds (0 available)

If two participants share the room the workshop fee is $2210 each


$2720: Suite with 2 double beds  (0 available)

If two participants share the room the workshop fee is $2260 each

$2720: Suite with king-size bed  (0 available)

If two participants share the room the workshop fee is $2260 each

Room choice is on a first-come, first-serve basis.  The Hacienda de las Flores provides photos and descriptions of the rooms here


When you register and pay your deposit, please select your room choice and roommate, if any. 




Itinerary (may be subject to slight changes)

Friday, Oct. 28th: 

Meet in the garden of Hacienda de las Flores at 6 pm for welcome cocktails and botanas (hors d'oeuvres). 


​Saturday, Oct. 29th

After breakfast, a local guest will talk about Day of the Dead and its traditions, and what is involved with making an altar.  We will then shopping for items for the altar (marigolds, sugar skulls, and other traditional items).​

Back to the hotel for lunch.

Workshop begins after lunch.


That evening, Jan will escort those who are interested to the Fabrica de la Aurora art walk.  This annual event is guaranteed to be vibrant with live music, local art, and people in Day of the Dead costume.  This is optional and dinner is on your own.  There are restaurants at the Fabrica.

Sunday, Oct. 30th


Workshop continues.

In the evening, for those who are interested, we can watch the movie Coco at the hotel.  You can order dinner at the hotel or eat out.  We’ll discuss this in the morning.

Monday, Oct. 31st.

Workshop continues.


​For those who are interested, in the evening we will meet at the jardín (main plaza) to hand out candy to local kids who are dressed in adorable costumes.  You can bring candy from home or buy in SMA. This is also a good time to walk around town and visit various altars. Dinner on your own.

Tuesday, Nov. 1st.   


Workshop continues.


In the early evening, for those who are interested, we will meet to get our faces painted and head to the jardín to join in the festivities. For an additional cost, approximately $15-$20, a local professional will paint your face with the design of your choice.  You can add a floral crown (around $10-15) (or bring your own hat)! Men in the group can don a black top hat.  

Fajita dinner at La Posadita.  Cost is $25 and includes tip and does not include drinks.

Wednesday, Nov. 2nd.  

Last day of the workshop.  In the morning, we will go to the local panteón (cemetery), and then return to the Hacienda for lunch and an afternoon in the studio.

Farewell dinner at Boca Ciega.  Dinner and tip are covered, but not drinks.


How to get to San Miguel de Allende

Supplies List

Entrance to Hacienda de las Flores

Mercado San Juan de Dios

Trick or Treat!

Altar at the local Panteón

Your host, Jan Davis

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