The Belize Collection’s Artist In Residence Program Is a Magical Experience for Everyone

by Khaila Gentle

From artists to art lovers and everyone in between, the Belize Collection’s Artist in Residence Program is sure to enchant just about anyone. In May 2023, four talented artists found themselves immersed in the beauty of Belize at the Rainforest Lodge at Sleeping Giant. It’s one of several Belize Collection properties that dot the country. Over the course of two months, with nature as their muse, those artists set out to create stunning works that are sure to capture the attention and admiration of curious travelers from near and far for years to come. 

Here’s what you need to know about The Belize Collection’s Artist in Residence Program, including the mesmerizing artwork that came out of it this year and how interested artists can be a part of the 2024 installment.  

These Sculptures at The Rainforest Lodge at Sleeping Giant Are Sure to Amaze 

Photo by the Rainforest Lodge at Sleeping Giant

It’s no secret that there’s a giant sleeping in Belize’s mountains. The peculiarly shaped range of peaks is how the Lodge got its name. Now, however, beneath the forest canopies of the Rainforest Lodge at Sleeping Giant, there sits another giant. It’s one that’s much smaller, albeit just as majestic. 

Qawa Ki’che by Marcelo Patiño & Gabriella Giusti

Qawa Ki’che’, or The God of the Jungle is one of three sculptures that came out of this year’s Artist in Residence Program. Artists Marcelo Patiño and Gabriella Giusti crafted it using chicken wire, cement, and other locally sourced materials. And though much smaller than the mountain range that inspired its creation, the sculpture is grand in its own right. The god, visibly – and understandably – inspired by Belize’s Maya culture, lies hidden away at the base of a mountain. He rests with an arm under his head, his neck and wrist adorned with wooden jewelry. 

Photo by The Belize Collection

Just a short hike away, Las Tres Marias lay waiting to be discovered (and interpreted) by the curious passerby. Made up of three sculptures, the installment by Lucia Meyers – which is also known as Pajaritos Que Vuelan  is an ode to the stages of womanhood.  Meyers sculpted the three figures using purple heart wood and had to go through several chainsaw chains to do so. 

Artwork by Lucia Meyer. Photo courtesy of The Belize Collection

The final installment can perhaps be described in the same manner as many of Belize’s natural wonders. It is magnificent, and massive in every sense of the word. Diego Haretche’s Ah Puka’an Garrobo (Iguana Below the Ground) is a grand work of art that took 60 days to create – twice as much as the other two pieces. 

Similar: Experience Art Through Nature With The Belize Collection’s Artist in Residence Program

The 40 beams of wood embedded in the earth represent the spines of an iguana. And, on a perfect day, rays of sunlight will cast shadows on the spines to create a spectacular scenery. 

Are You An Artist? Take Part in the 2024 Artist in Residence Program 

The three installations currently on the grounds at Sleeping Giant are just the beginning of an expected annual program.  Caribbean Culture + Lifestyle is pleased to share that the 2024 Artist in Residence Program is open to local and international artists. 

Photo by The Belize Collection

Through this new initiative by the Belize Collection, artists will have the invaluable opportunity to do the thing that they are most inclined to do – createParticipants will get to enjoy spending time crafting works of art, inspired by the captivating settings of The Belize Collection properties. 

Interested artists can sign up here. Or, learn more about the program on The Belize Collection website. 

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