SVA has teamed up with the Valetudo Association to present “Life’s Work,” an exhibition of paintings and drawings by 13 alumni of the MPS Art Therapy Department and by clients at the Maison de Santé Saint-Paul, today a women’s psychiatric clinic in Saint-Rémy de Provence, France, which was once home to Vincent Van Gogh. The exhibition is on view at the historic cloister at Saint-Paul through October 18, 2011.
The exhibition opened on September 16, the eve of the Journées de Patrimoine, an annual festival celebrating France’s cultural heritage, with a reception that drew hundreds of visitors to Saint-Paul. In a brief ceremony led by Dr. Jean-Marc Boulon, chief psychiatrist at Saint-Paul, SVA Executive Vice President Anthony Rhodes spoke, in French, of the importance of chance meetings and face-to-face interaction in building relationships.
Van Gogh spent perhaps his most productive year in Saint-Rémy de Provence from 1889-90. After voluntarily committing himself to Saint-Paul de Mausole, the artist was given special permission to set up his easel on the grounds of the hospital and produced over 150 paintings, including Irises and The Starry Night. Today, the Maison de Santé Saint-Paul operates adjacent to the legendary site of Saint-Paul de Mausole and is supported by the Valetudo Association.
“Life’s Work” features some 40 works by clients at Saint-Paul, as well as 26 works on paper by SVA alumni, which were created in the spring of 2011 in a workshop led by BFA Fine Arts and BFA Visual and Critical Studies Department faculty member Peter Hristoff. Participating alumni in the exhibition are Sarah Amiel, Jess Benston, Amelia Morgan Camion, Julie Combal, Naomi Cohen, Suzanne Dell’Orto, Yaara Kastiel, Lauren McCarthy, Rachel Mosler, Ryan Norton, Ayde Rayas-Gribben, Susan Walton, and Amanda Zucker.
For more information about the exhibition and a slideshow of the work, visit SVA.edu. To read about “Valetudo: Art and Healing in Provence,” an exhibit held in New York in 2010 at SVA’s Westside Gallery, which was the first phase of this exchange project between SVA and Valetudo, click here.
Photos by Francis Di Tommaso.