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Peep the utopian school for the arts being built in the jungles of Mexico

Imagine if there was a place where an artist can explore their inner self away from the commotion and congestion of the concrete jungles that promise a successful career through old institutions and counterfeit networking.

What would that place look like if you could visualize it? Perhaps the art center you envision would be some kind of utopia far off and located in a dense jungle. Maybe this imaginary creative environment would have a sustainable architecture that allows its habitat to grow with, in, and around it.

Every day would be like the first breath you inhale when you wake up, fresh and invigorating. Your teachers and colleagues wouldn’t only be those who could afford an expensive tuition but they would be the people that crafted the land around you and molded the culture you search to inherit.

Well, there is such a place that’s inclusive of everyone and it’s called Azulik Uh May.

Located at the core of the Yucatan peninsula in the dense Quintana Roo jungle stands this beautiful and new art facility. It’s more than just space — it’s a beating heart.

Artistic director Claudia Paetzold who recently had the opportunity to curate an exhibit for the utopia’s opening ceremony on Nov. 30 in the new IK Lab space felt the same energy. She told Artsy,

“You’re really invited to connect to your own creative inspiration when you’re in a space like this, it’s very much alive… For the artists, it’s quite rewarding to see their work here — to see how their creative process relates to the creative process of nature.”


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Curated by IK LAB Artistic Director Claudia Paetzold, “Conjunctions” opened on December 1 at IK LAB Uh May. The exhibition features works by Brazilian artists Oskar Metsavaht, Paulo Nazareth and Ernesto Neto, highlighting the crossroads of the human journey. Oskar Metsavaht’s immersive video projection Interfaces II – Man//Cosmos//Forest retraces his inner journey during a ceremony with the Ashaninka tribe. Paulo Nazareth’s oeuvre unfolds into an intricate network of manifold connections. In Conjunctions, he explores the link between humans and the elements – earth, water and sky. Ernesto Neto’s oeuvre explores the elemental structures of the natural and social realms, creating an immersive experience prone to redefining the boundaries between the viewer and the work, the individual and the community, as well as the material and immaterial spheres. Curada por Claudia Paetzold, Directora Artística de IK LAB, la exposición “Conjunctions” se inauguró el 1 de diciembre en IK LAB Uh May. La exposición presenta obras de los artistas brasileños Oskar Metsavaht, Paulo Nazareth y Ernesto Neto, resaltando la encrucijada del viaje humano. La instalacion de video inmersiva de Oskar Metsavaht Interfaces II – Man // Cosmos // Forest recorre su viaje interior durante una ceremonia con la tribu Ashaninka. La obra de Paulo Nazareth se desarrolla en una intrincada red de múltiples conexiones. En Conjunctions, explora el vínculo entre los humanos y los elementos: la tierra, el agua y el cielo. La obra de Ernesto Neto explora las estructuras elementales de los reinos naturales y sociales, creando una experiencia inmersiva propensa a redefinir los límites entre el espectador y el trabajo, el individuo y la comunidad, así como las esferas materiales e inmateriales. #iklab #iklabuhmay #conjunctions #iklabconjunctions #mexico #tulum #art #travel #cancun #contemporaryart #azulikuhmay #sustainability #artinmexico #claudiapaetzold #artinnature #organicart #artnews #artoftravel #alchemy #nature #environment #architecture #sculpture #ernestoneto #paulonazareth #oskarmetsavaht #anikena #roth #enchantingtransformation #uhmay #azulikuhmay

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Self-taught architect Jorge Eduardo Neira Sterkel aka Roth is the CEO and Founder of all of AZULIK’s initiatives. His creative process goes unmatched and to build the school that will be deemed the Enchanting Transformation, he tapped into the expertise of indigenous Mayan artisans and builders.

The native Mayan population is what inspired Roth to build the arts-and-crafts school that will promote the culture and values of native communities and the integral development of their possibilities.

The school will be free for locals and the initiative also intends to hold master classes and workshops for visiting students. The workshops held will cater to different divisions of the arts including ceramics, wood and stone-carving, 3D-printing, fashion, jewelry design, and carpet-weaving.

Also, the artsy complex looks to add health and wellness programs so that people may get more in touch with the “healing power of art.”

Truthfully, Azulik Uh May could propel human evolution and hopefully become the blueprint for future art institutions. Roth said in a statement,

“We aim to create a community of world leaders, influential minds, celebrities, visionaries, scientists and philanthropists… This unique integration of ancestral knowledge, technological innovation, applied sustainability, practiced spirituality and collective experiences will culminate in new ways of learning, creating and healing, thus propelling human evolution.”