The Final Days

And that’s a wrap! Our first program of the summer is officially over. The students left yesterday and just the memories remain. The final two days of the session seemed to pass in the blink of an eye with all of the last-minute chaos and excitement, so here is a (quite long, but thorough) summary:

Following a full day of working in the studios on Friday, the Architects had their final Charette on Saturday. They presented their designs for a new house or community center somewhere in the hamlet, not only to a select group of student and faculty jurors, but also the rest of the hamlet as an audience. Their creativity impressed all of us, from towers and rounded-walled rooms to stained-glass windows and storage drawers under the stairs.

Saturday also brought our final banquet—everyone put away their paint- and dirt-streaked clothes in favor of something a bit more fancy. All twenty-six of us piled into the vans to drive into our nearby town for a delicious, traditional Ardéchoise meal. It was a lovely evening of food, toasts, awards, and friendship. The award for the drawing marathon, a three-day drawing competition during which students have to draw a ten-minute sketch during every waking hour of the day, went to Amy! Though she was an Architect rather than a Drawing & Painting major, Amy decided to accept the invitation for all to participate in the marathon; both the quantity and quality of her sketches aided in her win of the coveted prize—a sketchbook and pen from the art store Michel in Aix-en-Provence. After such an action-packed day, everybody needed rest in preparation for presentations the next day. 

On Sunday, the Drawing and Painting majors and the Photographers presented their massive collected works, along with oral discussions of their art and their experiences here at Les Tapies. The variety of works and level of curiosity and experimentation the students exhibited blew us away, as did their eloquence in talking about the work. 

The portraits, landscapes, and experimental works of the photographers exhibited their dedication in the darkroom and in their lessons all over the hamlet and the nearby towns and cities.

Drawing & Painting majors proved their development through the projects they all experienced, but also the works they were inspired to create and designed individually. 

After all of the stress of charettes and presentations, our last group event of the program allowed everybody to relax and connect through their creative energy once again. The giant game of Pictionary was something everyone needed, and it was the students’ last chance to earn points for the amiable house vs house competition—the Les Tapies Cup. After three weeks of various events like Art History Trivia, Les Tapies’ Got Talent (our talent show), an Uno battle, a Ping Pong Tournament, etc., Fouine rose supreme. Amy and Maria, two of our teachers and the founders of the Les Tapies Cup were beyond happy to present their house cup creation—a real bird nest painted purple and gold with golden eggs (aka rocks) inside to represent each of the five houses—to students Amy, India, and Nathalie, along with their house mom, Alyssa. They wrote their names on the trophy to be memorialized for all of history on the mantel of our main house. Congratulations Fouine, and thank you to everyone for showing such excitement for these fun events!

It is so difficult to say goodbye to this incredible group of students, but it only makes us even more hopeful for the next group arriving in just a couple of days on Thursday the 18th! Stay tuned for the second session and keep an eye out for Instagram (@lestapiesarts) and Facebook (Les Tapies Summer Arts Programs) posts.