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Pont-Aven

It is hard for me to believe that my semester in France has ended. It seems like only a few weeks ago when we were all sitting on the bus at CDG airport, waiting to depart for Pont-Aven, from Paris. I met a lot of great people during my semester abroad. People from all over the United States and even and a guy I grew up skateboarding with but had never officially been introduced too. It truly is a small world. I would consider the semester a success. Although the program had its shortcomings I still made a lot of artwork that I am proud of. There was never much to do in Pont-Aven except go to the studio and make art/hang out and talk about art. I found it to be a great environment for me to be in at this stage in my education. I learned a lot from my peers and even managed to build my resume much more than anticipated. About a week before departing for our last school trip to Berlin, followed by spring break which I spent in the studio, we were told of an opportunity to put together a sort of installation in one of the galleries in town for Easter weekend. I, having no plans for spring break except working in the studio, said I was interested. After talking to Mac, another interested student/friend, we decided to pursue an actual exhibition in a gallery instead of the faculties proposal of a “window space installation”, something we felt would be a waste of time and effort. Mac and I share common interests, aesthetics and influences within our work so the decision to put an exhibition together was an easy one. We discussed what we were attempting within our own work and how some of the other students’ work could fit in. After a few meetings and the addition of our friend Allison to the curatorial/organizational/exhibiting team we finally had a statement for, “Simplicité”, a works on paper exhibition. Our friends Nathan and Danielle also had put together a proposal for a painting exhibition and with these in hand we all went to meet with Izabela, the director of the Izart Gallery. Our original proposal of exhibiting two shows during Easter weekend was shot down. This is a very popular weekend for Pont-Aven and Izabela has to make a living after all. Eventually we agreed that we would have our exhibitions in two identical adjacent rooms on the second floor of the gallery, the following week, hanging for one week’s time. The school pushed us to make this an event for the town and soon two other students had arranged an exhibition in another gallery for the same week. The event became “La Derive”, and the school hopes it can become an annual event. “Simplicité” and “Image/Imago”, the two shows in the Izart Gallery were a great success. On top of that I also showed a painting in the other exhibition titled “Bleu Ouvert” (a sort of play on words). On top of installing our own group exhibitions in the town, all of the students had the school exhibition and open studios the following weekend in the school affiliated CIAC Gallery. The CIAC show, titled “Alias”, after the so called “curriculum theme” of the semester was our last hoorah. Classes had finished and all we had left were two days of final reviews and clean up/packing (or so I thought). On the last day of the CIAC exhibition I was approached by a woman who had opened a new gallery in town called UNA. She said she was very interested in the series of paintings I showed in the CIAC exhibition and would like to show them in her gallery. Before I knew it I was installing these 6 small paintings on wooden boards, plus 2 very large paintings on chip-board (that were much too heavy to consider shipping home), in her gallery. I typed up a consignment contract lasting for a year and two days later left Pont-Aven, bound for Paris and elsewhere. Every time I finish a semester I feel as though I have never been more busy in my life. But the end of this semester; three group exhibitions followed by my first, and unplanned solo exhibition, thennnnnnn followed by two months of travelling, two days of rest and the beginning of two summer classes…must certainly be my busiest. The past 5 months have been a once in a lifetime experience and the next two months of travelling will be too.

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