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June 30-July 7


June 30-July 7


The Workshop
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Workshop de Allende is a week-long artist retreat presented by TBW Books and held annually in the historic town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Workshops range in medium from Photography and Bookmaking to Graphic Design, Jewelry Making, Cooking, and Painting, to name a few. Each 7-day session is led by an esteemed visiting artist offering personalized instruction to a selected cohort of 10-12 artists.

Each participant will enter the Workshop with a clear goal of honing their practice over the course of the week. We will be discussing, reviewing, editing, and refining your skillset with the intention that you leave with a fuller understanding of yourself and how you relate to your own work.

The Workshop is an arts intensive that doubles as one of the best vacations you've ever been on. All accommodations, meals, and guided outings are inclusive. Just get here and we'll handle the rest!

Please see pricing information HERE

The Basics

The Workshop is not simply a portfolio review. It is an intensive, immersive and highly interactive experience where you will spend quality one-on-one time and group sessions with instructors and fellow participants. 


​Each day is spent in rotations between mentorship meetings with the instructors, seminars, presentations by guest artists, group critiques, and independent time for editing, reflecting and exploring San Miguel de Allende.


Over the course of the week your understanding of your work and your practice will evolve, take new shape, and find new direction.  













What is the cost?

The workshop costs $5,000 USD. The price includes basically everything besides a plane ticket. All your  lodging, food, beverages, activities and transportation related to the workshop are on us! We will of course have some optional activities which you’re welcome to take advantage of (hot springs, massages, local natural wine tastings, etc).

See our FAQs for information about payments and cancellations.

The Food

Workshop de Allende is unique in its emphasis on food as a tool to build community, not only between its instructors and participants, but within the community of San Miguel de Allende as well. Every meal will either be prepared or uniquely curated by our Culinary Director for each workshop session.


bbq sauce on your breakfast taco if ya

The meals are what binds this thing together. Every meal is shared and as a group you will be eating some of the best food San Miguel de Allende has to offer.


We will alternate between meals prepared on site by our resident chef and those enjoyed out on the town. Menus are collaboratively curated by chef and the head chef of each restaurant.  On any given day, dinner might be a guided street food tour, a homemade meal prepared with fresh produce grown on a farm nestled in the nearby Sierra Madre Occidental Mountain Range, or the tastiest mole in town.


The Workshop works closely with local farms, restaurants, and chefs who share our desire to use the best available ingredients as a way to tread lightly on the earth and ensure that a myriad of responsibly-sourced food styles and options are offered to our guests.


Our enthusiasm for the cuisine of Mexico and SMA ensures that every dish served, every restaurant dined in, every bottle of wine uncorked, is chosen with LOVE AND INTENTION.


It's always
"happy hour" 
when it's classic margs w/  
volcanic salt!

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Your Stay
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The Workshop will house its guests at Casa Corazon, a beautiful 10-bedroom historic home at the top of town overlooking SMA. Casa Corazon is special in its combination of the historic elements of classic Spanish colonial architecture with modern amenities, like a rooftop patio with a scenic view, complete with a full bar and an infinity pool.


A separate house, Casa Besos, is reserved for our visiting artists who will be staying offsite but just down the street (through an alley, left at the Virgin de Guadalupe mural, and another right).

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Each room in Casa Corazon comes with a king or queen-sized bed and a full, private bathroom. Some rooms are larger than others and offer different amenities and window views. Upon acceptance, rooms will become available (some with added costs) on a first come, first served basis. If you are interested in sharing a room with a friend or partner who is also applying to the workshop, please note this on the “Anything Else?” section of the application. 


Group critiques, presentations, one-on-one meetings, as well as daily meals will take place on site, either in the main indoor living room, the outdoor central courtyard (it has a waterfall!) or on the upper terrace overlooking town. Our aim is to provide an environment that allows guests to be both comfortable and creatively stimulated.

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Mostly it’s going to be a week of honing your craft and eating... however, the Workshop will have guided outings planned for you as well. You might learn about Siqueiros and mural painting from a curator at Instituto de Allende, or go on an art-historical tour of the city’s sign paintings by the best rotulista in town. There’s also the botanical garden, Baroque and Churrigueresque-style churches, wineries, town square mariachi, and La Fabrica la Aurora, a defunct textile factory turned arts center. And on Sunday—we'll go to the the natural hot springs!


Special Guest

Pablo Ortíz Monasterio

Sessions 1-3 




The Workshop offers diverse programming from jewelry making to graphic design to cooking classes. However the foundation of the Workshop was founded on our relationship as publishers to the paper and ink world. Three of the six Workshops each year have an emphasis on the understanding of contemporary approaches to photo books—photography in its most tangible, accessible and personal presentation.


The edit. The sequence. The layout. The images themselves. Heck, even the title and paper stock will be discussed. A photo book is all of these things and by design is greater than the sum of its parts. At the end of the retreat you'll come away with a clear sense of how your project, in its particular ideas and sensibilities, fits within the book format. 


Each of our instructors has significant experience producing photo books from a photographer’s point of view. This, combined with editorial, design and publishing know-how from TBW Books founder, Paul Schiek, will provide participants with an insider’s perspective on the road to publishing a perfectly articulated photo book.


We welcome photographers of all kinds and from all backgrounds to apply. You might be firmly situated in the photo world, but maybe you've been taking photos in secrecy and have never sniffed an art school campus. Nobody "doesn't belong" for lack of experience or credentials. If you’re serious about your practice and your work shows promise, we want you here!


Our instruction and discourse are at the highest level, but we try not to be stuffy about how we engage with photography and we strive to create an environment in which everyone feels they belong. The Workshop will meet you where you're at and will ensure you leave with a new view, not only of your own work, but of what photography can be and do in your life. 

Payment plans and a limited number of need-based scholarships are available.

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San Migul de Allende

For those unfamiliar with San Miguel de Allende, this small and uniquely-beautiful city is a historical arts center in the state of Guanajuato, about a three-hour drive from Mexico City. SMA was awarded a UNESCO World Heritage designation in 2008, and since the early 20th century has served as a hub for Mexican and expat artists through the formation of cultural institutions like Instituto de Allende and Escuela de Bellas Artes.


San Miguel de Allende has a special history of expat arts organizations and international tourism, but we do not take our presence here for granted. From its beginning, Workshop de Allende has collaborated with the people who call San Miguel home to establish practices designed to benefit the city's longtime residents.

Everyone employed by the Workshop, including kitchen staff, servers, artisans, guides, and drivers are all paid above a living wage. We do not haggle or seek deals on goods or services.

We do all we can to support locally-owned establishments when dining out and source local and organic ingredients for our on-site family-style meals, and we have a rigorous composting, recycling, and reuse program.

​Each session begins by establishing expectations and standards of conduct for visiting participants and instructors, both within the Workshop and in town.




Attending the Workshop was a truly transformative experience for me. San Miguel as a town was magical, and the house we stayed in felt like a home. Chef Karina and sous-chef Ariel were an integral part of the experience, their food and food excursions acted as a catalyst for connection that brought everyone together. Paul is an incredible leader and teacher. His knowledge about art, photography and publishing is vast and he is articulate in the way he passes down his wisdom. Personally, he saw right through me (in the best way possible) and made me feel at ease about being self-taught. The teachers were knowledgeable and kind. They created a safe space for conversation, and pushed us to think more deeply and critically about our work and our process. The retreat schedule struck the perfect balance between structure and flexibility. It allowed time for learning and focused feedback while accommodating the diverse needs and interests of the participants. Whether we were engaged in presentations, personal time, or immersing ourselves in the local culture, there was a sense of purpose and flow to the activities. Reflecting back on this retreat, I can say that it was a life-affirming experience. 


Rasha Kubba, Toronto,Canada

The Crew



Not super smart.  A bit slobbery. Slight limp on the back left leg. Will just sort of be around a lot. Soul Mate: Rob Gronkowski.



Born and raised in Oakland. Holding down the details from an undisclosed location. Basketball fiend. Friend to all. Doesn't even work for us anymore but too good of a guy to leave off the website.


Ariel Thauby Alvarez


Responsible for translating this very site to Spanish (thanks bud!).  The only person among us who knows Diego Rivera's full name (Google it!).   


Raimundo Silva Sánchez

Head of Transportation

Raimundo and his team ensure we arrive on time wherever we’re going. “Happy Day”—that’s what he says when you get out of the car. Best guy ever.

Alec Soth

Magnum Photographer. 

Ping Pong FAnatic.

Lives in the twin cities.

Published Books: Too many to name...


Claire Cichy

Director, TBW Books

California -> Berlin -> California.

Mom to Lawrence.

Started career in galleries and

now in publishing at TBW Books. 

Can find a speling arror a mile away!

Once asked Tyler the Creator for a photo...

he said no. :(((((


Karina Alejandra

Original Culinary Director


Chef K. is responsible for designing our first menu and helping us get this thing off the ground, and we love her for it. She is now helping our dear friend Oscar serve up the most badass tacos in Oakland. If in The Town, you got to go SAY HI

Alec Soth

Magnum Photographer. 

Ping Pong FAnatic.

Lives in the twin cities.

Published Books: Too many to name...


Molly D'Arcy

Digital Manager and Promotions, TBW Books / WDA

Previously: gourmet mushroom farmer

Dream scenario: cottage in Maine filled with photo books

Studied: film

Shoots on: film 

Once had a life-changing palm reading

Favorite poet: Louise Glück 

Left field: professionally certified Feng Shui consultant! 



Matilda Hague

Head Honcho

Mati (Mah - Ti )—it's French people!

French, English, and Spanish. 

Film nerd x10.

Super power: packing a suitcase. 

Cat: Chamoy.

Laugh is both notorious + contagious.

Left field: Huge Shrek fan!


Paul Schiek


Founder of TBW Books and the Workshop. Father, husband, enthusiast of vintage signage and the Milwaukee Bucks. Lives and works in SMA.


Jesús Juarez Soria


One of the last few rotulistas (traditional sign painters) in town and one of the best to ever do it. Made all the hand lettering for this site. Oddly, has the cleanest clothes of any painter we ever met. Unofficial nickname: Cool Hand Jesús.

  • What is the cost?
    The workshop costs $5,000 USD. The price includes basically everything besides a plane ticket. All your lodging, food, beverages, activities and transportation related to the workshop are on us! We will of course have some optional activities which you’re welcome to take advantage of (hot springs, massages, local natural wine tastings, etc).
  • How do I get there?
    We recommend flying into Leon or Quaretaro (1.5 hr drive to SMA). Flights are not included and must be booked separately. Transportation to and from the airport will be arranged for you and is included in the cost. If you happen to be flying into another airport or driving to San Miguel de Allende please let us know so we can help accommodate you.
  • What's the deal with payments and cancellations?
    Once you’re accepted we’ll ask for a 50% deposit payment. The remaining balance will be due one week prior to the beginning of your session. ​ We also understand that life can be unpredictable and that all of the sudden plans can change. If something serious comes up and you need to cancel, please let us know as soon as possible. We’ll try to accommodate you as best as we can, but our official policy is that deposits and balances are non-refundable. Because of this, we strongly recommend travel insurance.
  • My BFF / Partner and I want to do this thing together?
    Awesome. Nothing beats hanging with your bestie. If you’re both admitted to the same session, then we can cut down the cost of lodging and save you some money! Please indicate on your application your special someone’s name and we will take this into consideration when reviewing applications.
  • I really love one of the instructors, I don't mind another, and man, I have no idea who the others are.
    Your application will ask you to rank your choices for the session(s) you are applying to. If you are only interested in attending one session, great!, you're a person who knows what you like! But maybe you're open to studying with a few of them, state that in your application and we will do our very best to accommodate which instructor(s) you want to study with.
  • Getting around town?
    It’s a small town with cobblestone galore! So that means you’ll be walking a lot on uneven stones. Bring good shoes. If you need assistance with anything related to mobility, let us know ahead of time and we will do all we can to accommodate your needs. We have a transportation staff to shuttle us around, and if you're out on your own you can hail a cab or just walk. Most things are just around the corner.
  • I have dietary restrictions...
    No biggie: we got you. Just let us know what’s up and Chef Karina will be sure you are taken care of. Every Meal will offer vegetarian options by default.
  • Are food and drinks included outside of meal time?
    We’ll feed you three square meals a day and there will always be fresh fruit, snacks, juice, coffee and tea in the Workshop kitchen. You are of course welcome to explore town on your own time and buy yourself some elote. Also, this ain’t spring break in Puerto Vallarta people! HOWEVER, beer and wine is paired with dinner and is included in the cost. Mixed cocktails and drinks outside of mealtimes are not. But pulque is. Have you had pulque? You gotta try the pulque. And if you don't drink alcohol, there's specialty N/A cocktails made just for you, just let us know when you fill out your application.
  • I have a question but I don't see it answered anywhere!
    Send an email to with any questions or concerns and we'll get back to you as quickly as we can!


Past Workshops

Susan Meiselas & Carolyn Drake

Second workshop

Alec Soth!


Gregory Halpern


Live & in-person

special guest




Curran Hatleberg!!!

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Irina Rozovsky & Mark Steinmetz

Alessandra Sanguinetti & Jim Goldberg

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