Introductions and Gallery Opening

The students have finally arrived and we have jumped head-first into the Les Tapies routine. On Tuesday, our first full day, we all journeyed down into the village of Saint-Pierreville to walk off the jet lag and enjoy some much-needed ice cream and freshly baked pastries.

The day's main event was the opening of the faculty gallery. The space was covered with pieces of all artistic mediums created by the Les Tapies instructors including oil and acrylic paintings, collatype prints, film and digital photographs, letterpress prints, and mixed media pieces (using mainly paper, pastel, and paint). We were so excited to share this work with the students because Les Tapies is truly an artists' community, not simply an art camp, where the instructors and the students create art together, learn from each other's work, and grow closer as a group by sharing their artistic inspirations and passions.

This presentation also featured the story of how Les Tapies came to be—both the program and the hamlet itself. Fernando Gonzalez, the founder of Les Tapies and co-director of the program, detailed the renovation process of the buildings that make up the hamlet and the importance that Les Tapies holds for him. 

The next day, after a Morning Meeting full of exciting news of our upcoming excursion to the city of Avignon, everyone went off to their majors for the first official day of classes. Our instructors are apparently promoters of digging right in because Drawing and Painting students experienced their first life drawing session with our resident model, Camila. At the same time, the Photography majors explored the hamlet and shot their first roll of film, and Architecture students travelled over to the site of which they will be designing the interior for their first charette. Wednesday was also the first day of minors—students chose from Drawing and Painting, Design and Build, Photography, or Art History.

And the real treat was the unveiling of Portuguese sponge cake made by one of our students, Maria. After that delicious success, we are all hoping that our diverse group will share more of their national dishes and introduce us all to new cultures and traditions.

It was a day full of new experiences and hopes are running high for what is afoot in the coming weeks, especially our trip to Avignon. Look out for photos from that excursion in our next blog post!