Jen Tough Gallery

smamx layers.jpg

You’re invited to join us in Mexico…

We’re starting our first on-location workshops…. and we’re so excited! And what a place to do it… in gorgeous San Miguel de Allende in the highlands of Central Mexico! If you haven’t been yet, now is your chance to do it with friends and learn something, too. Long known as an international art destination and art community, San Miguel boasts one of the largest expat populations in all of Mexico. The art scene is thriving here, with galleries all over town, and a huge number of artists and collectors, along with one of the world’s first art schools and a converted fabric factory that houses dozens of galleries. The colorful atmosphere, with it’s cobblestone streets, brightly painted buildings and secret courtyards with bubbling fountains and flowers add to the creative charm.

Michael Shemchuk: A 5 Day Workshop

One of the many cobblestone streets in San Miguel de Allende

One of the many cobblestone streets in San Miguel de Allende

Shem, known for his multi-layered mixed media works on panel, is a Bay Area artist with decades of experimental art making. A career dating from the 1980’s includes photography, installation, painting, mixed media and a commitment to art mentoring and instruction.

One of the country’s most sought after instructors, Shem is full of enthusiasm, support and boundless creative energy. Shem is known for signature bold abstracted mixed media works with paint and paper on panels that involve a process of layering and revealing, creating both intricate and graphic compositions. He is fearless in his approach, and generous in sharing his skills and knowledge with student lucky enough to study with him. Act fast because his workshops often sell out quickly!

Shem is represented by Jen Tough Gallery. His solo show, “Surface Tension” opens January, 2019, concurrently with a show he curated of his student’s work called “Learning Curve”.

Shem’s work

Shem’s work

Your fee includes

  1. Six nights of hotel accommodations

  2. Whole boutique hotel to ourselves!

  3. Hotel centrally located, walk to The Jardin

  4. Transport to/from airport and San Miguel (Leon/BJX only)

  5. Paper treasure hunt with Shem around San Miguel

  6. Art gallery and studio tour with Jen Tough

  7. Breakfast each day

  8. Hotel Art studio accessible day or night

  9. Most art supplies (list of what to bring coming)

  10. Five full days, 6 hours a day, of instruction by Shem

  11. Limited to 14 students

  12. Farewell Fiesta Dinner on Friday, June 28

  13. New work to bring home (that fits in your suitcase!)

  14. New friends, new knowledge


$3500 DELUXE ARTIST ROOM larger private room, king bed, private bath, some rooms have small sitting area or balcony

$3250 STANDARD ARTIST ROOM private room, queen bed, private bath

$3000 SHARED ARTIST SUITE double occupancy suite for two artists, 2 twin beds, kitchenette, sitting area, 1 private bath, some suites have a balcony or terrace

Deposit: $1000 non-refundable / Balance due in full March 15, 2019

Note on rooms and deposits: Rooms will be sold on a first come, first served basis, so if you have your heart set on a certain type of room, you may want to pay in full as soon as possible. If you decide to pay the deposit first, and then the balance later, we will give you a password to deduct your $1000 deposit from the total in your shopping cart. Sorry, but you cannot pick which exact room, only the type of room. You can choose the type of room when paying in full or paying your balance due. If you’re wanting to share a Shared Artist Suite with a friend, each artist should purchase their room, then email us your roommate preference.

Refunds: We will work with you to fill your spot if an emergency occurs and you must cancel. We will refund any balance paid toward your workshop if we can fill your spot. If we cannot fill it, we cannot refund your money. The $1000 deposit is non-refundable. We recommend trip insurance to cover yourself.

Balance: Due in full March 15.

Airfare is not included.

Note on airports: We recommend flying to Leon International Airport (BJX) as it is much closer to San Miguel than Mexico City, and the hotel provides transport to San Miguel as part of your fee. There are plenty of resources online for travel from Mexico City to San Miguel via bus (they are gorgeous double-decker affairs with wifi) and the trip is 4 hours. Consider a trip to Mexico City before or after, it is incredible!


A Love Note to San Miguel

About San Miguel: Travel and Leisure Magazine

Live webcam of San Miguel

Our hotel: Casa de La Noche

36 Hours in San Miguel / NYT

San Miguel de Allende

JUNE 23 - 29, 2019

Join us in San Miguel de Allende June 23-29 for a once in a lifetime class with Micheal Shemchuk (“Shem”), where you’ll dive deep into mixed media, paper and paint while in one of the most inspirational and artistic cities in the world.

Shem in his studio

Shem in his studio


Sunday, June 23: Travel and arrival day. Artists arrive in San Miguel from either Leon International Airport (recommended) or Mexico City. Time to explore San Miguel and settle in.

Monday, June 24: After a delicious breakfast at the hotel, guests will gather in the studio at 9:00 to meet and greet with Shem. Break for lunch from 12:00-2:00 to explore. Afternoon: join Shem for a “paper hunt” around San Miguel, searching for interesting papers and ephemera to use in the week’s work. Class/hunt ends at 6:00 in time for dinner, or a visit to the studio again.

Tuesday, June 25: Following breakfast, artists will gather in the hotel art studio for class at 9:00 for more studio time and instruction from Shem. At noon, we’ll make a journey to Fabrica La Aurora, an art gallery and artist studio complex where you can grab lunch at one of 4 restaurants, followed by a gallery and studio tour with Jen Tough. We’ll head back to the hotel studio around 4:00, where Shem will be teaching until 7:00.

Wednesday, June 26: After another beautiful breakfast, class begins at 9:00 with Shem. Lunch is on your own from 12:00-2:00 where you can explore San Miguel, or grab something to go and stay in the studio. Class resumes from 2:00-5:00.

Thursday, June 27: Following breakfast, class begins at 9:00 for more studio time and instruction from Shem. Lunch is on your own from 12:00-2:00, and class resumes from 2:00-5:00. You are free to keep working, or explore all of the incredible dining and shopping options in San Miguel.

Friday, June 28: Last day of class after breakfast. Review and discussion of work accomplished. Grab a quick bite at noon as class resumes at 1:00, and ends at 4:00, in time for a festive Farewell Dinner at 6:00 as a group.

Saturday, June 29: Travel day. Breakfast is served and artists travel back home with their new work, new friends and new knowledge.

(Itinerary subject to change due to weather, artist suggestions or interests of group, or any other unforeseen circumstance)

The art studio at our hotel

The art studio at our hotel

Shem’s studio in California

Shem’s studio in California

What You’ll Be Working On…

You’ll be working on multiple, smaller wood panels (around 12” x 12”), with a variety of papers (some found from the “paper hunt” around town, and some brought by Shem) glue and paint. Artists will come home with a completed project using Shem’s techniques taught in class.

Finished student projects are designed to fit in a standard suitcase to bring home.

We will be providing the bulk of the art supplies, with a few things for artists to bring. We will provide a list to you upon completed reservation.


Our Hotel & Studio

Formerly a bordello, the quaint boutique hotel called Casa de la Noche is now owned by former Bay Area resident and gallery owner, Barbara Poole. It has a great, close-in location, easy walk to Main Plaza, the Jardin when you’re ready to explore. Other amenities include: water purification throughout, wireless Internet/cable, A/C in common rooms, phone for US calls and 24 hour desk coverage.