Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Osman Özturgut


Norman St. Clair


Absael Antelo


Viviana Rojas


The purpose of this interpretive qualitative study was to explore the transnational lives of contemporary U.S. expatriate artists living in San Miguel de Allende, a colonial town in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, and the effect that location and the acculturation process have in their artistic production. The focus of this study was on U.S. expatriate artists living in San Miguel de Allende and how their transnational lifestyle influenced their artistic production, their integration into the local community, and their relationship with other Mexican and international artists living in San Miguel de Allende. Two research questions structured this qualitative study: (a) How do the contemporary U.S. expatriate artists living in Mexico make sense of their transnational lives and experiences? (b) How does the intercultural contact influence their artistic expressions and body of work? Nine participants were selected utilizing the snowball sampling technique and were interviewed through open-ended questions. The analysis of the data revealed five themes that are presented and related to the research questions and professional literature. The study found that the U.S. expatriate artists were able to live comfortably in both cultures and identified the social network factor as the most common connecting thread that wove through all of the participants’ comments. The constant influx of international artists mixed with the local art community provided the unique setting for the intercultural exchange of ideas and experiences that influenced the artistic perspectives of the U.S. expatriate artists. This study specifically helps to fill in a void regarding knowledge and available scholarly research and literature on the perspective of contemporary U.S. expatriate artists in San Miguel de Allende. The findings of this study not only confirmed earlier studies but also contributes to the expanding field of transnationalism and acculturation. This study provides multilayered perspectives of the expatriate artists in keeping their familial and cultural links to their homeland through social networking and digital media ICT technology. The digital media ICT network allowed the artists to produce and distribute their work in a transnational global context unlike the traditional productions that occur in the context of the same time and space.