From February 22 until March 1, 2006 at M+B Fine Art in West Hollywood, CA., the "Young Talents, Jeunes Talents" - a group of nine art students from three reputable Southern California art schools - returned from their whirlwind tour of three French regions over the summer. These trips were sponsored by Maison de la France/The French Government Tourist Office and the Cultural Service of the Consulate General of France in Los Angeles as a means of nurturing Franco-American amity and the production of future masterpieces inspired by modern-day France.
“This invitation to France is an opportunity to promote emerging young American talents and to strengthen our partnership with universities,” says Alain Belais, Cultural Attaché at the Consulate General of France in Los Angeles. “Thanks to the participation of Maison de la France it also gives these young people a chance to discover and experience France in a very unique and in-depth way.”
The artists were sent in three groups to three different regions of France – Alsace, Brittany and Provence. Once there, they were instructed to produce at least two paintings each, representing their feelings about France during their trip. The paintings, most of which are now ready, will be exhibited beginning on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 and through March 1, 2006 at M+B Fine Art in West Hollywood. During an exhibition preview on February 22, one work of each artist will be sold during a silent auction and the proceeds will go to a charity especially chosen for this very special evening.
All nine students were chosen from leading art schools in the Southern California area – Art Center College of Design in Pasadena; California Institute for the Arts in Valencia and the Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles. Each school was chosen for its fine reputation and for the quality of its student body. The nine participating artists are:
Charles Andrew Bengs from Carlsbad, CA (California Institute of the Arts)
Rebecca Cho from Los Angeles, CA (California Institute of the Arts)
Sarah Cromarty from Winterhaven, FL (Art Center College of Design)
Lauren King from Belleville, IL (Art Center College of Design)
Aida Klein from Toronto, CA (Otis College of Art & Design)
Jennifer Lanski, from Los Angeles, CA (Otis College of Art & Design)
Maryanne Matson, from Seattle, WA (Otis College of Art & Design)
Mae Suzuki from Torrance, CA (California Institute of the Arts)
Shiba Ward, from Seattle, WA (Art Center College of Design)
The three participating regions of France have each left their mark on the modern art world.
Alsace – With its time-honored traditions and distinctive way of life, Alsace is often mentioned in conjunction with French culture, heritage and art. Architecturally, this region was profoundly enriched by the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods. Artistic native sons include sculptor and painter Hans Arp; Frédéric Bartholdi, creator of the Statue of Liberty; and painter and illustrator Gustave Doré. Alsace is also the birthplace of f amous illustrators, such as Tomi Ungerer, who produced naïve, but also satirical drawings for many Amerian publications in the 1950s and 1960s, before going back to his homeland where he now lives.
Brittany – It is difficult for visitors to resist the mystical charms of Brittany. The Romans even gave it a mystical name - Finistere – which means “end of the earth”. This is a unique region with its own traditions and landscape – there is even a Breton language. Many artists have been inspired by its coastline of steep cliffs that lead to fine sandy beaches, its tiny fishing villages and lovely seaside resorts, and its heaths and rolling hills. The most famous artist to call Brittany home was Paul Gauguin who made history with his still life paintings from Pont Aven and Pouldu.
Designers from Brittany like Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have produced very original creations, now shown in top museums all around the world. Inspired by Philippe Starck, they worked with prestigious creators such as Issey Miyake or Cappellini, all seduced by their refined, geometrical design.
Provence – There are many images that immediately come to mind when one thinks of Provence. The picturesque Mediterranean coast; beautiful pastoral countryside, fragrant lavender fields; historic towns and cities that have inspired artistic expression – these are just some of the elements of this warm and friendly region. Provence was at the forefront of Impressionism, Fauvism and Cubism – three movements that served to define contemporary art as we know it. The three young artists who travelled to Provence were able to see what Vincent Van Gogh and Henri Matisse saw when they painted some of their most famous works. Next year is also the Year of Cézanne in Provence, who was a native of Aix-en-Provence. Avant-garde painters in Nice featured Yves Klein, who founded with Arman l’Ecole de Nice in the 1960s.
The Young Talents Program is made possible thanks to the generous patronage of the Marc and Eva Stern Foundation and Mr. Lionel Sauvage. Sponsorship is provided by the Alsace, Brittany, and Provence Regional Tourist Boards; Air Tahiti Nui; the Marseille Chamber of Commerce, Rail Europe.
Full profiles of each student artist and school, and photos of each participating region are available upon request. Interviews with the participating students are also available.
Fashioned a Castel of June
Watercolor on paper
22 x 22 in.