On Location

CubaSeen Artist in Residency in Havana

with Jennifer Spelman and Andrew Child

Online registration for this program has closed. To check availability, find about about future dates, or if you would like further information, please call 505-983-1400 ext. 111. Also, get the SFW E-Newsletter for updates!

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Course Description

If you ever dreamed of spending an extended period of time in Cuba simply making art surrounded by a group of like-minded creative individuals, then the CubaSeen Artist Residency in Havana is ripe for your consideration. A joint venture between Santa Fe Workshops and CubaSeen, this nine-day residency offers an immersive program that provides time and space to focus on your creative process inspired by the culture of the city’s thriving arts scene with structured direction and feedback from Cuba’s fine-art professionals.

All visual artists are welcome including photographers, painters, sculptors, illustrators, and mixed media artists. The residency culminates with an exhibition at a gallery space in Old Havana. This is a unique opportunity to travel to Cuba legally while enjoying constructive artistic feedback mixed with unstructured time to think, feel, and create art—and then to bring a project to fruition.

Led by CubaSeen’s founders Jennifer Spelman and Andrew Child, this residency allows you the time to explore, reflect, and engage your natural curiosity as an artist with support and feedback from influencers in Havana’s sophisticated art community. Homebase is CALIS HAVANA, a boutique hostel in the leafy suburb of Vedado. This renovated 20th Century mansion includes eight comfortable guest rooms with shared common areas to meet, review work, and share meals.

In addition to accommodations and workspace, the residency offers structured critiques with Cuban artists and curators including Nelson Ramírez de Arellano, Director of the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center and Havana Art Biennial. Visits to galleries and artist’s studios further enrich the program’s outreach. In preparation for the final exhibition, a master printer joins the group for a session on editing and sequencing your images as well as a discussion on fine-art printmaking techniques.

Join Jennifer, Andrew, Nelson and their Cuban artist friends for an engaging community experience as well as a self-directed and contemplative creative time for you and your artistic expression.

True to the requirements of a People-to-People General License with U.S. Treasury Department, CubaSeen Artist in Residency in Havana, focuses on educational exchanges with the Cuban people and recording their amazing lives through our art.

Additional Information

COVID-19 Update: For all in-person workshops and trips in 2023, Santa Fe Workshops highly recommends that all participants, staff, and instructors attending be up to date with Covid vaccinations (per definition of the CDC). For international trips, local laws will apply, so it is important that you confirm you will be fully vaccinated according to the countries on your trip.


This SFW Cuba program is open to emerging and established photographers, painters, sculptors, illustrators, mixed media, and other visual artists. Enrollment is limited to ten residents.

What You Should Know:

Participants should be technically self-sufficient and need to bring their own equipment and supplies. Participants should be in very good health with good stamina and mobility, as long days will include walking, occasionally up steep stairs, steep hills, and along uneven terrain.

Portfolio Required:

A project application must be submitted within 10 days of registration before final approval is granted to attend the residency. Details to come after registration is received.


View Payment, Refund, Withdrawal, and Transfer Policies for this International Program.

One-of-a-Kind, Storytelling, Travel Photography
© Nerissa Escanlar
Jennifer Spelman

Jennifer Spelman is a documentary photographer. She is co-publisher of CubaSeen, a quarterly magazine showcasing photography and writing about Cuba.

Jennifer received her photographic training as an assistant with Santa Fe Workshops, working with some of today’s most preeminent photographers: Jay Maisel, Norman Mauskopf, and Joe McNally.

A sensitive photographer of people, Jennifer strives to create portraits with energy and insight. She is most at home on the streets of Havana and has worked with Santa Fe Workshops across Cuba since 2011. Jennifer is a patient educator who has co-instructed with National Geographic Expeditions and taught workshops in Morocco, India, Turkey, Romania, Mexico, Japan, in addition to Cuba.

A popular workshop instructor, Jennifer is also part of our Mentorship Program »

Instagram: @jennifer_spelman

Andrew Child

Andrew Child is an author, photographer, and co-publisher of CubaSeen, a fine art magazine showcasing visual arts and writing about Cuba. He considers Cuba to be the land of his creative nexus and has been photographing on the island since 2013.

Andrew’s first photo book, Havana: Light Beyond Vision, explores the Caribbean metropolis through his unique niche of color, infrared panoramic photography. In his second book, Cape Cod and the Islands: Light Beyond Vision, he turns his lens closer to his Massachusetts home. 

His passion for good coffee and wanderlust is best satisfied when he is in Cuba, among creative friends.