SOMA offers a two-year program imparted in Spanish, targeted to contemporary artists and cultural producers interested in developing their practices. This pedagogical model is designed to stimulate exchange among young artists and professionals in the artistic field through courses, workshops, one-on-one interviews, lectures, and studio visits. The faculty at SOMA is mainly composed of artists, but also includes theorists and curators with extensive experience in the national and international art scenes.
SOMA’s task is to build a platform to collectively investigate what art can become and how it can work in different contexts. The pedagogical program seeks to create a space for a horizontal and collective interaction and for critical thinking, taking into account the many different creative communities of Mexico City.
SOMA Program is not designed to promote artists’ careers. SOMA is a space where students have the possibility of critically reconsider their work and where the analysis of creative processes is stimulated. The program’s emphasis is to support the development of both artistic praxis and artistic discourse.
SOMA facilities do not offer workshops or studio spaces for art production.
The faculty team is divided in two groups:
1- Main advisors: This group of six advisors follows students’ development during the two-year program. Each student will meet an assigned advisor six times per year. Advisors are assigned according to each student’s profile.
2- Advisors: This group of teachers is closely affiliated with SOMA and offers individual critiques or courses yearly.
SOMA also invites artists, theoreticians and curators around the year to propose courses or different ways to interact with students. SOMA keeps an open dialogue with students, considering their interest and goals as they pertain to inviting relevant guests.
Each class comprises a group of twelve students. Every year, two classes share the space and courses, for a total of twenty-four students. Each course generally consists of a maximum of twelve students.
SOMA Program operates at the graduate level. It is not imperative that applicants already possess a BFA prior to their application, but a solid body of work is required. SOMA brings together artists who are invested in their practice, who have developed a discipline, and who have a portfolio to back it up.
There are two ways to be accepted into the SOMA program.
The first option is through an open call that can be downloaded here: http://somamexico.org/aplicacionprogramaeducativo/
The second option is through nomination by a group of professional artists who are in contact with outstanding young or emerging artists.
A selection committee, which reviews the applications of both nominated artists and artists who applied directly, makes the final selection.
The two-year program is divided into three quarters per year:
First Quarter January 14 – March22
Spring Break Holliday March 23 – April 7
Second Quarter April 8 – June 16
SOMA Summer * July 1 – August 11
Third Quarter September 30 – December 8
* Three students of SOMA Program will have the opportunity to participate in SOMA Summer in exchange for helping in the latter’s organization/facilitation.
All courses are scheduled Mondays through Fridays from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Interested participants must commit this time to their studies. In order to maintain their scholarship, students must attend 80% of the mandatory courses: topic based courses, workshops, group critiques, individual critiques and “Miércoles de SOMA.”
Subjects of study
Each quarter at SOMA includes
- Two interviews, one-on-one, with a main advisor who will follow the development of the student’s work during the two years of the program (two sessions of two hours each)
- One Individual critiques with an advisor from the faculty team
- Four Individual Critiques with guest artists and curators (four sessions of one hour each)
- One Workshop with an artist to review work collectively (eight sessions of three hours each)
- One Thematic Course with an historian, critic, curator, or artist to develop a specific topic (six sessions of three hours each)
- One Visit to the Studio of an artist whose work responds to the group’s interests
- Miércoles de SOMA (mandatory)
- Two Project Rooms where students show their work individually once a year. From January to October, the project rooms are assigned to each student for fifteen days. At the end of these two weeks, all the faculty and students are invited to review the work shown.
2 – Constantly redefine what art can become and what it can do.
3 – Investigate the possibilities and relevance of art to learn, build and transform contexts.
4 – Generate a pedagogical platform where students help decide content and research processes.
5 – Expand the students’ awareness of the political and social environment of their practice.
6 – Encourage dialogue, collaboration and even confrontation between artists and cultural producers from different generations.
7 – Open interdisciplinary communication channels between different art forms, promoting exchange among artists, writers, musicians, architects, curators, critics, filmmakers, scientists, and theorists.
8 – Promote and complement students’ projects, whether artworks, exhibition spaces, research, and projects.
9 – Understand in novel ways the art of the past and its relevance in the present.
The total tuition, including the 80% scholarship for two years is 32,472 Mexican pesos.
SOMA gives a scholarship of 129,900 Mexican pesos to each student.
Tuition is covered in six payments of 5,412 Mexican pesos each.
Payment months are January, April and September of each year.
Our patrons finance these scholarships
SOMA is a not-for-profit organization. The money gained from tuition covers part of its operating expenses. These include space rental fees, salaries of instructors, tutors and guest artists, space maintenance, and SOMA staff salaries.
Raúl Ortega Ayala
Jorge Méndez Blake
Mario García Torres
The same advisors don’t necessarily return every year. There is no guarantee that a specific advisor will offer a course every semester. Below are some of the past advisors.
José Luis Barrios
María Inés Rodríguez
Pablo Vargas Lugo
Amy Sarah Caroll