I am grateful to be one of the first artists to live and study in Maison Basse, and I was invited to join the Board of Visitors in the dedication of Maison Basse last Friday, October 5.
My first encounter with Maison Basse will definitely be an experience to remember. When I entered into Maison Basse for the first time, it was like walking into art history, but with a contemporary feel. Everything that I could ever imagine in a historic building was evident in its overall construction. When I arrived in Lacoste, I did not know what to expect with Maison Basse. But now that I am here, Maison Basse has definitely exceeded my expectations to the fullest degree.
The skill of contractors with expertise in electrical systems, blacksmithing, masonry, plumbing, landscaping, tile work, and many other specialities, were necessary to bring forth the Maison Basse vision. Their craftsmanship is consistently superb. For instance, Kate Firebaugh, campus liaison for SCAD Lacoste, said, “The contractors of Maison Basse really paid attention to details in the masonry work.” She calls particular attention to the kitchen-bar area on the first floor. Here, the ceiling beams (and the paint that remains on them) are original, and the fireplace dates back to the 16th century. The contractors carefully plastered around the ceiling beams and fireplace, taking into consideration the preciousness of these elements. This type of precision required time, skill, and dedication. Ms. Firebaugh also pointed out how the contractors plastered neatly around the original stones that surround each window, light switch, and door.
I’d like to thank the men and women who made the Maison Basse vision possible. Their support will always be remembered in years to come. Maison Basse would not be possible without Teamwork! And, according to 2 Thessalonians Chapter 3:10, “If any would not work, neither should he eat.” In my opinion, it is clear that Kate Firebaugh, along with Jean Pierre Soalhat, Bryan Topczynski, Robert Dickensheets, the contractors, and all patrons and supporters, certainly deserved the feast that was presented during the dedication events last weekend.
By Charles “Chuck” Parham, M.F.A. Painting student
All Photo Credits: Charles “Chuck” Parham