Gallery: SCAD Students Attend Class in a Spectacular Restored Medieval ...

While some students opt for a semester abroad spent in Paris or Rome, 79 enterprising young creatives from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) have decided to take a break from the city, spending their school days strolling and studying in the streets of a historic medieval village in Provence, France. Basking in the beautiful light that once inspired the likes of Picasso and Van Gogh, these privileged few are experiencing an inimitable immersion in French art, architecture, culture and history. Ten years ago the board of the Lacoste School of the Arts donated their campus buildings to SCAD, and since then the school has meticulously overseen the site's preservation process. With the help of experts and students, the village has gone from a crumbling relic to a spectacular learning environment for the world's next generation of artists and designers. In celebration of SCAD's 10 years in Lacoste, we were invited to explore the campus and its most recent completed restoration, Maison Basse. Hit jump to see more images, and to learn the fascinating history behind this historic village that was once even home to the infamous Marquis de Sade.

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  1. bethcarruthers May 2, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    The Lacoste School of the Arts was founded by Bernard Phriem (or Pfriem) in 1970. It was a stunning school, focused on engaging with and immersing students in the best of French arts and culture. I attended the school in 1990, and was fortunate to study with a master stone carver from Italy, a well-know art historian from the famed Courtauld Institute in London (steeped in local French/Provencal history), photography with accomplished photographer Denis Brihat (along with a visit from his colleague, Henri Cartier Bresson), workshopped writing with Provencal author Gustaf Sobin, and French culture with Solange Brihat (where I improved my existent French), in addition to printmaking. In addition to this wealth of local knowledge and professional expertise, there was also the great beauty of the place (and I myself come from one of the most beautiful places on earth), and its deep history. The opportunity to live and work and work in medieval buildings, which were being slowly and lovingly restored by traditional local crafts and tradesmen, and to immerse myself in the deep, quiet countryside life of Provence (la France profonde) prior to soon-to-come changes, was one of the most memorable times of my life. I return there from time to time, and while I cannot say all the changes I see in that world are welcome, ultimately they can only stir the surface of this ancient place. The light, the winds, the vines, the stone – all remain, along with an inviolable heart. The school was so very special because of Bernard’s deep love of the place and culture, and his desire to both share its magic, and to preserve its integrity. It is interesting to see how the school evolves through time, and how the spirit of place remains.

  2. Aya Newton-Turner September 3, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    SCAD was purchased in 2002 from The Cleveland Institute of Art and Bard College, not 1996. My daughter is an alum of SCAD and did spend 2 quarters there in its first year.

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