Tag Archives: france

Jean Pierre Soalhat

Inside the Provence, France mosaic artist studio of Jean Pierre Soulhat

There is an incredible history to the village of Lacoste – with buildings dating as far back as the 12th century, tales of medieval battles and debauchery, a reputation as being the former home of the infamous Marquis de Sade  – so it makes sense that it would need an incredible historian.

Enter Jean Pierre Soalhat: historic preservationist at SCAD Lacoste, professional mosaicist, and a genuine Provençal man. One of the many amazing qualities about SCAD is the amazing people, staff, students, and professors it attracts. In Jean Pierre’s case, a man whose family has – for generations – been a part of this community, he has become a pillar of support for SCAD Lacoste through his historic knowledge of the area, his all-around ancient-building handyman skills, preservation teachings and even artistic workshops with the students. I had the opportunity to visit Jean Pierre at his studio in Caseneuve where I could see his artwork. I was impressed by his mosaics – some pieces containing shards of ancient Roman pottery he finds in riverbeds and fields – but also amazed by the fact that Jean Pierre doesn’t own a cell phone (jealous).

All around the SCAD Lacoste campus you’ll find Jean Pierre’s artwork, from La Residence to outside shopSCAD, at Maison Basse and even in the President of SCAD’s home, Paula Wallace. AND…if you’re ever hanging out with Russell Crowe or Sandra Bullock you might notice it in their personal collections, too….

When we visited, Jean Pierre said he was “dreaming of fish”, which reflected in his work…but I know I shall sleep dreaming of archaic fragments coming together to create beautiful everlasting works of art.

Inside the Provence, France mosaic artist studio of Jean Pierre Soulhat Inside the Provence, France mosaic artist studio of Jean Pierre Soulhat Inside the Provence, France mosaic artist studio of Jean Pierre Soulhat Continue reading…

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Beyond Lacoste…

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Lacoste is a treasure all its own, but Provence is full of little villages, each with their own magic and mood to explore. We would set out each time, seeking to come upon charming moments; to have enchanted evenings. I closed my eyes at the beginning of each trip and upon opening them, felt as though I was in a completely different world, one with unknown riches for me to discover. Every corner I turned was a new adventure, whether it led me to a restaurant nestled in the middle of a vineyard, a little shop filled with gorgeous vintage finds, or simply a cobblestone street set aglow by the light of fading day.

Provence, you have absolutely bewitched me…I cannot wait to return and uncover even more of your beauty…

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Above, standing in front of the Dora Maar house in Ménerbes, gifted to the artist and photographer by her lover Pablo Picasso as a separation gift.

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Kyle Ford

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Every so often, you meet someone in a way that could only be described as serendipitous. Such was the case when we traveled to SCAD Lacoste and met photography professor Kyle Ford, a fine-art photographer who normally is based at the SCAD Hong Kong campus, but just so happened to be teaching the summer session photography classes at SCAD Lacoste.

As we know well, I love talking to other photographers…it’s always such a pleasure and honor to engage with people about their passions, especially when it’s in a field that I know and love myself.  So it wasn’t long before Kyle and I were planning a photo adventure in a Provençal vineyard and closing the night at a spectacular restaurant with our conversation about his path to photography, why he chooses film, and the research and thought behind the work he creates now…

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What was your first photograph?

I was seven years old, and there was a competition I think my mother encouraged me to participate in. She was a painter, an artist, and perhaps she was hoping I would draw something or paint something, but I ended up photographing something. It was a tree. I photographed what I thought was a ghost, and I thought that was great as a seven-year-old…it was really my breath in front of the camera.

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shopSCAD Lacoste

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In the midst of this tranquil medieval village exists a little shop bursting with color and excitement, filled to the brim with artists’ supplies and the works created with them…welcome to shopSCAD Lacoste.

At first SCAD Lacoste used the building, called La Galerie Pfriem, as a gallery for visiting artists as well as a small shop for students to buy art supplies. However, President Paula Wallace began to dream of a full-fledged shopSCAD in Lacoste. And this July, after months of shopping for furniture and decor from nearby markets and after taking a week to hang up and style everything in the store, that dream became a reality.

Amy Zurcher, the co-founder of the original shopSCAD eleven years ago, said that she chose pieces that represented a variety of mediums and price points. As we walked through the store, we found a stuffed and decorated monkey by alumni Marcus Kenney, gorgeous mixed-media pieces by Katie Runnels, paintings, jewelry, home goods, all of it beautiful and all of it created by students and alumni from SCAD.

It’s exciting to walk through and see so many different, beautiful pieces, and then to wander into the back room filled with artists’ supplies and blank canvases…perhaps the inspiration I take from here will move me to make art of my own…

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