With the program approaching the halfway point, we traveled to Aix-en-Provence for our second major excursion. Upon arrival, the students were greeted by warm weather and the elegant architecture of the Cours Mirabeau and buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. Once gathered, we first visited the Musée Granet, which featured an exhibition of a collection of works from the Jeanne Bucher Jaeger gallery along with the permanent collection.
After visiting the Granet, we moved onto the sister exhibit up the road, The Jean Planque Collection. This private artist collection includes pieces produced by Monet, Cézanne, Picasso, and many other well-known artists from the 19th and 20th century, some of whom were friends of Planque. Through these two exhibitions, the students were able to visually position themselves within the development and history of modern art whilst amalgamating individual pieces with their own ideas.
We then had a break for lunch and time to shop at the various outlet stores in Aix along with its premiere art store, Michel. Afterwards, the group then made its way through town and up the hill to Paul Cézanne’s studio. Built during the latter end of Cézanne's career, the studio allowed the students to take a glimpse into the artist's process and take an intimate look at his various still-life subjects and objects that feature throughout his work.
Briefly enjoying the shade of the trees outside the studio, we then quickly loaded back up into the vans and made our way to the Pont du Gard. Formerly part of a 52 kilometre long aqueduct, the Pont du Gard is one of the ancient wonders of the world and is a testament to Roman architecture and ingenuity. In the new museum, the group was able to learn about the history of the aqueduct and gain insight how it was constructed. After, the students had time to sketch or photograph the structure and swim in the river below the arches or enjoy some ice cream before driving back to the hamlet.
Our visit to Aix and the Pont du Gard has provided a wealth of inspiration for the students as we now enter into the latter end of the program. With upcoming trips to Arles and Mazan, combined with preparation for the final presentations and charrettes, we are gearing up for an exciting final week before our closing banquet. We're all looking forward to seeing the work being produced by both the major and minors. Stay tuned for more!