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Experiment. Dialogue. Collaborate.

2019 Residents


Cynthia Roberts

Self-Directed Hidden Turtle Residency

Cynthia Roberts is a visual artist living and working north of Boston and in Upstate NY. Her work is grounded in a studio practice of painting and drawing, creating lush abstract works that often include layers of botanical line drawing, as well as words that speak to the intersection of science and human impact. The vibrant work is inspired by the colors of tropical plant forms, ocean layers, and light, celebrating the energy of place while questioning how we understand it and record it. Roberts also works with choreographers, creating site-specific works as well as full productions, using immersive sound-activated video projection and other elements that are worn by performers and installed in the space.


Roberts received a sabbatical grant in the fall of 2019 from Endicott College, where she is a Full Professor of Studio Art. Her work was most recently presented in a two-person painting exhibition: Oceans Connect Us at the Jeannie Tengelsen Gallery at the Art League of Long Island.

Marina Aguilera

Community Engagement Sponsored Artist

Participant Akumal Arts Festival Residency

Marina has been a professional artist for over 30 years, and has been drawing ever since she could hold a pencil in her hand. She studied Fine Arts at Long Beach State University and Orange Coast College and has had a long standing relationship with the arts community in Southern California. Marina’s most recent public artwork was the installation of a tiled artwork for the City of Santa Ana. She has had many art exhibits throughout the Southern California region and has been involved with many murals in Santa Ana. She has accepted numerous awards for the Arts & Community. Marina is the co-director of the California Art Exhibition Gallery, located in the historic & prestigious Santora Arts Building and is the owner of Cali Caliente Designs.


Neetika Sharma

Akumal Arts Festival Residency

Born in Libya, to Indian parents, Neetika started her performance journey at the age of 10. Today, She is a passionate Kathak performer, choreographer, instructor, arts manager and Culture and Diversity advocate. She is the founding member of Millennial Arts collective and recently was awarded the Youth Conversation Starter grant By Laidlaw Foundation to work on a support group for young women dance artists of color that practice traditional dance forms in Toronto. She has received rigorous and highly disciplined training in Indian classical dance form called - Kathak by Gurus Hemant & Vaishali Panwar in Toronto. Neetika has keen interest in exploring various layers of traditional Kathak repertoire and presenting them with new and relevant interpretations through research, creation and performance.   


Amanda Leigh Evans

Community Engagement Sponsored Artist

Hidden Turtle Resident Artist

My work is motivated by a desire to reconcile a meaningful creative practices with equity, ecological justice, and cross-cultural relationships. I work as a ceramic and video artist on projects that speak to  modern culture’s relationship with the environment, and as an educator I coordinate long-term, community-based, public art projects that align with my values as a craftsperson.

Evans is the founder and director of The Living School of Art, an artist collective and alternative art school centering around ancestral and domestic creative practices, which she and her neighbors co-facilitate in their apartment complex in East Portland, OR. She also manages programs at the King School Museum of Contemporary Art (KSMoCA), a contemporary art museum run by kids in a Pre K - 5th public school. She also teaches social practice, foundations, and professional practices courses at Portland State University (PSU).

2018 Residents

Kelly Heaton

Recipient Tortuga Escondida Fellowship Award

Participant Akumal Arts Festival Residency

Hacking Nature’s Musicians 




Video: Kelly Heaton


Abby Pressburg

Tortuga Escondida Emerging Artist

Participant Akumal Arts Festival Residency

Photo: Kim Zanti

workshop 14 dino.jpg

Kim Zanti, Guest Writer Akumal Arts Festival Residency

Photo: Kim Zanti

Dino Perez

Community Engagement Sponsored Artist

Participant Akumal Arts Festival Residency

Photo: Dino Perez

Akumal International Artist Residents

Calvin Babich/ USA

Patricia Fornos/Spain-Mexico

Ruby Rae/USA

Tony de la Riva/Mexico

Emma White/ Australia

​January Wyatt/USA

Allison Kunath/USA

Antoine Poulain/France

Marina Taleb/France


Akumal International Artist Residents Guest Artists


Kerra Bolton/USA

Jake Klone/UK-Mexico

Dan Moreno/Mexico

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