Charrette #1, Portraits, Printmaking, and Gallery Opening

Things are still in full swing here at Les Tapies - some might say that our lives here are ordered chaos, and we definitely agree, but in the best way possible! We never sit still here and that is why our students produce such incredible work, both in quality and quantity, and why they encounter so many life-changing experiences.

Just a few days ago, our Architecture students reached a major milestone - their first Charrette (what we call their Architectural presentations, meaning “cart” in French, or a public meeting to discuss the plans for something). In front of a low-stakes panel of judges, the students presented their plans for a treehouse here at Les Tapies, taking into account optimal location on the grounds, thoughtful choice of the base tree, and the design of the structure itself. The students learned the importance of precision in their measurements and their ideas as the panel questioned their visual plans and the clarity of their presentation.

Both the Photography majors and the minors are in the process of exploring portrait photography. They are learning how to set up useful lighting, and how to use natural lighting to their advantage with placement and reflectors. The manual settings of the camera used for portraiture are also quite different than those used for other styles of photography, so they can add this to their repertoire. The majors even had the opportunity to photograph Paul Chalencon, a close friend of Les Tapies and a goat farmer that lives just down the road. A trip to the internationally acclaimed Arles Photography Festival renewed the majors’ and minors’ excitement and energy going into our final week.

Drawing and Painting students tackled the Les Tapies road in acrylics and oils, leaving some feeling frustrated, some satisfied, but all aware of the beauty surrounding this place. They have also received an introduced to printmaking, beginning with linocuts, and many students have discovered the all-consuming power of carving where two hours can pass unnoticed with the project unfolding in front of them.

And finally, we opened our faculty gallery exhibition for the students to see what we do as artists, and told them about our artistic inspirations and processes. It was a wonderful opportunity for the students to look at pieces by working artists and be able to ask them questions about the work itself. They also read each faculty member’s artist statement, preparing them for writing their own for their final presentation as the culmination of their time here. Much is in store in this final week! Check out the Instagram (@lestapiesarts) and Facebook pages (Les Tapies Summer Art Programs) for more updates, including highlights from our talent show - Les Tapies’ Got Talent!