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The mayor of the arts

He might be a former attorney, but Delhomez holds a special place for the arts in his heart.Former attorney Gérard Delhomez has been the mayor of Peymeinade, a few kilometres to the west of Grasse, since 2014. Despite his academic background, Delhomez is an avid supporter of the arts and of culture, particularly within his 8,000 population community. In an interview with Riviera Insider, he explains why...

For nearly four decades, there has been a world-famous artist living in Peymeinade. What does this mean for your town?

It is an honour and a privilege to have an artist of international repute in our commune. The town is proud of all of its talents, but Giacomo de Pass is a genius. He says he wants to pay tribute to Peymeinade, but it is the town that must honour him!

How important are art and culture today for a town such as yours?

Culture is as vital to the mind and soul as water is to the body. Culture is fundamental for personal and social balance. Each of the arts contributes towards making life more harmonious. Artistic education should be a compulsory part of the national curriculum from primary age. A commune can and should be a vehicle for promoting the arts and sharing artistic works, but also to allow artists a special place in society. Art is for beauty, but it is also for reflection.

What roles do art and culture as well as sport and community projects play in daily Peymeinade life?

Peymeinade has a rich community spirit across all areas and the town hall helps and supports local associations. We are committed to putting culture at the forefront of our priorities. It is important to involve the general public and, of course, the younger generation in various art forms and cultural endeavours.

What can we expect from the town of Peymeinade in 2017?

Last year was a very good year – a grand cru – for everyone in terms of cultural events. Highlights included the Giacomo de Pass retrospective exhibition and an outstanding level of musical and theatrical performances as noted by the press (with tenor Gilles San Juan, the choir and soloists of Art Canto, pianist Mariko Chauvineau Izumi, Quator Alma and the famous whistling of Fred Radix). 2017 will continue in the same vein and we are also preparing the town for the construction of a new theatre in which to better welcome artists and the public.