Mission Complete: Operation Vernissage

By Charles “Chuck” Parham, M.F.A painting student, SCAD Atlanta

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

November, has been busy for students, faculty and especially staff members at SCAD Lacoste. This week’s mission was our student Exposition/Vernissage. The exposition, is our end of the quarter exhibition, where students are given the opportunity to showcase their artworks done throughout the quarter. The exhibition would not have been possible without the hard and dedicated service from our staff members. To make you aware of one of their tedious tasks, student’s artists statements and titles for their works were translated into the French. This effort was a joint project, credited primarily to Cedric Maros, coordinator of exhibitions and special events, and Hélène Soalhat, our administrative manager.

From today’s turnout, the hours of work from our staff members really paid off. Despite the chilly and grey afternoon, natives of Lacoste as well as visitors from across the globe and Provence came out to support the rich history of the Student Exposition/Vernissage. 

The Exposition/Vernissage was a treat for the students. It was a time of relaxation and fun from all of the hard and tedious work throughout the fall quarter. As a graduate student, Lacoste has been a grand time. Farewell Lacoste!

Photos credited by Charles “Chuck” Parham

The Magnificent Versailles

By Charles “Chuck” Parham, M.F.A Painting Student, SCAD Atlanta

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On Saturday, November 3, 2012, I visited the palace of Versailles along with my fellow graduate student, Kimberly Bates. Versailles is a mega palace located in the suburbs of Paris. When we approached the palace for the first time, it was explosive!!! From all of my years of studying about the Versailles palace in art history, being in front of it was an experience. When I entered through the gates in the front of the palace, I became a sponge, absorbing what I could. On the exterior, the size of the palace is an astounding 520,000 to 550,000 square feet and with the garden included it is 87,728,720 square feet!!! The garden is a small city in itself. Continue reading

The Ochre Machine

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My experience in the region of Provence has been one that I will never forget. On Wednesday, October 17, 2012, I was one of the painting students that participated in a field trip to the ochre factory in Roussillon, a small town not far from Lacoste that has one of the most unique ochre factories in the world. Experiencing the town was like walking into a historical diary. All of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionist artists from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries used ochre pigments from here. The view of the city has a transcendental feel. The houses and buildings within it are reddish and golden in color, which gives off a glowing presence. The effect comes from the master masons of that era, who used bricks with ochre embedded inside.

The highlight of the tour was seeing and learning about the machinery used to produce the ochre pigments. There was one machine, a specially designed oven that caught my attention instantly. To create the reddish ochre hue, a process of burning must be used to change the ochre’s original golden yellow color. Ochre has the element of iron oxide inside of it and when heated to a high temperature its color changes to a red hue.

Our tour guide, Cecelia, excellently explained how the ochre factory functioned in its prime. When we see the ochre pigments in art stores, most people take for granted the work it took to make it. Manual labor was the primary key to the ochre making process. Over time, men have put their lives on the line everyday. The working conditions were harsh and many of them inhaled the fine pigment particles. Over time, this caused lung complications called silicosis. However, because of their courage we can now see their hard work and dedication throughout the town.

Overall, my experience in Roussillon reminded me of the daily made sacrifices by the men who provided the beautiful pigments used in the town’s construction. It has made me more appreciative of the materials I use to create my artworks.

By: Charles “Chuck” Parham, M.F.A. Painting Student, SCAD Atlanta

All photos credited: Charles “Chuck” Parham

Maison Basse Work Crew

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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. Continue reading