All content created by & © Jamie Beck & Kevin Burg
It was perfect. A picnic in Provence where it is so simple, so easy, it’s practically laid out for you! Bouncing around visiting the little ancient villages perched on hilltops you are bound to bump into one of the farmer’s markets that migrates daily from town to town. Stalls of cheeses, cured meats, fresh eggs, provencal olives, rustic breads, almond based sweets and the most delicious seasonal produce all lined up for discovery. There is no flashy marketing, just the country staples.
It brought me such joy.
We’d pick up a bottle of local wine which, in this region, is treated much more like a casual daily ritual than a precious commodity. More like an expression of joy from the earth and the community, and the simple pleasures of life. I bought an old monogrammed linen sheet from a yard sale which provided ample space for all our accompaniments to rest in afternoons under cherry trees, or hilltop vistas, lying down for a nap or to read a book, or even just listening quietly to my Renoir playlist as I watched the clouds roll by in all their funny shapes up there in that big blue sky.
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…
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.
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…