SVA’s latest exhibition at the hospital in France where Van Gogh made many of his best-known paintings celebrates the restorative power of art. On view through October 21, “Springtime and Rebirth” at the Maison de Santé Saint-Paul—today, a women’s psychiatric clinic that occupies a historic site in Saint-Rémy—brings together paintings by patients at the facility alongside photographs by current students and alumni of SVA’s MPS Digital Photography; MFA Photography, Video and Related Media; and BFA Photography departments. The patients of the clinic and Dr. Jean-Marc Boulon, chief psychiatrist and medical director, set the theme for the exhibition.
Curated by SVA Galleries Director Francis Di Tommaso, the exhibition opened on September 19 and was timed, as always, to coincide with the first day of the Journées du Patrimoine, an annual festival celebrating France’s cultural heritage. The inauguration kicked off with a musical performance on an old-time bandstand, newly constructed for the park behind the clinic. Afterward, several hundred guests viewed the paintings and photographs over refreshments at the site’s nearby cloister.
“Springtime and Rebirth” is expected to be viewed by several thousand visitors during its run. It is the fifth exhibition organized by SVA in partnership with the Valetudo Association at the Maison de Santé Saint-Paul with the aim of increasing the awareness of art making as a therapeutic activity, following successful outings in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
A theme has already been determined for next year, the 125th anniversary of the death of Vincent van Gogh. The theme is “van Gogh: des racines aux étoiles” (from the roots to the stars.) SVA will also participate in the 2015 exhibition. Visiting information in English is online at avignon-et-provence.com.
Images: Top photo by Sarah Jun (MPS 2014 Digital Photography); other photos by Francis Di Tommaso.