Since the beginning of 2019, American ceramicist, Lauren Kearns, has been running an international artists residency in Saint Raphaël. A place that welcomes artists from all around the world to come and create in principles such as exploration, discovery, exchange and process, and always with kindness and respect as her core values. The International Artists Residency aims at nurturing the artist’s cultural exchange within this unique location in the region. Riviera Insider met up with Lauren again on 19 July on the occasion of her first vernissage. People gathered on this hot Friday evening to discover Lauren’s new creative space, around her latest creations, including functional and sculptural porcelain that combines forms, colors and patterns to create a fluidity of movement and texture.
The studio offers a bright and large space as well as all the equipment required for ceramics. The new space in the heart of Saint Raphaël also has room for painting, exhibiting and lectures. Lauren welcomes anyone wishing to have an experience in the South of France, regardless of their artistic level, and offers professional artists a chance to network with other artists or to just get away for a bit. She tells Riviera Insider that several artists have confirmed for September. She is also pleased with the chance of welcoming a renowned Iranian artist in October.
Lauren believes in the potential of this international artists residency and in the future of her program. She stumbled on this little port town and chose Saint Raphaël to create this new home for the arts. Located near several other exciting places, such as the historical port town of Fréjus with its Roman ruins, the French Riviera in its entirety and the Estérel mountains, artists will be able to access the outdoors very easily, whether they like hiking, biking or nature on its own. Beach lovers will also be in sandy heaven as the studio is located in a quiet residential area, within 25 minutes to the city centre and the beach.
Overall, Lauren’s program has been designed such as the artists have the weekends free to explore the area during their free time. The program is flexible and lets the artists choose from a one week to a three months stay, with options and price-breaks. The Residency Exchange also welcomes groups, as the studio is fully equipped with two kilns, a slab roller, wheels, tables and tools. The large space with great lighting provides for a wide range of artists to work in the studio for painting, drawing and sculpture. Now that the International Artists Residency Exchange is up and running, Lauren Kearns’ primary goal is to get the word out there to attract new and talented artists in the heart of the French Riviera.
- Alexa Bouhelier-Ruelle