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Announcement
April 13, 2022

SCAD Lacoste 20th anniversary

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

Courtesy of Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Lacoste, France. 

The Savannah College of Art and Design has cultivated creativity and innovation in resplendent Provence for 20 years, immersing students in world history and culture as they hone their talents toward international professions. Exquisitely conserved by SCAD for contemporary exploration, the university’s Lacoste location is the premier global destination for art and design education. SCAD celebrates this milestone 20th anniversary with year-round festivities that include enthralling signature events, acclaimed exhibitions, and illuminating cultural experiences for students, visitors, and the Lacoste community.

A medieval village once home to the revolutionary Marquis de Sade, Lacoste’s majestic setting and purity of light have long inspired creative visionaries such as Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and Pablo Picasso. A globally recognized leader in preservation and adaptive reuse, SCAD has been heralded for infusing the ancient village with new life and purpose, preserving more than 30 centuries-old structures. The university’s expert team of preservationists, led by SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace, restored the treasured village and historically significant archaeological site, transforming former dwellings and medieval caves into cutting-edge contemporary instructional spaces with high- end resources, including a digitally connected library, studios and lecture classrooms, galleries, theaters, and residences.

Noteworthy restored SCAD properties on the site include the Residence du SCAD, the university’s guest housing, dating to the 16th-century; the Boulangerie, a former bakery and now the social center of SCAD Lacoste; shopSCAD, the former studio of American painter Bernard Pfriem, founder of the first art conservatory in Lacoste, and now a curated gallery boutique offering unique artwork and curiosities by SCAD’s vast network of creatives; Acorn Cottage, a rustic lodge and home to the SCAD Alumni Atelier artist residency; and La Maison Basse, a 16th-century farmhouse with an illustrious history as the once gambling den of the Marquis de Sade. In recognition of this extraordinary transformation, President Wallace was appointed a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques, one of the oldest civilian honors for distinguished academics and service bestowed by the French Republic.

"Set high on a plateau overlooking the Luberon Valley, France’s best-kept secret, SCAD Lacoste, is soon to turn 20," says Wallace. "For the past two decades, SCAD Bees, artists, and creatives have basked in the idyllic beauty of SCAD Lacoste—our medieval oasis tucked amidst rolling hills of lavender and golden rays of sunshine. These past 20 years have been magic, and SCAD has attracted internationally renowned luminaries to Provence as speakers, performers, and exhibiting artists. To celebrate, 2022 will be a year in which we continue to enhance this site and build upon SCAD’s legacy as the foremost university for creative professions."

Over the past 20 years, SCAD Lacoste has served as the university’s flagship European residential study abroad program, offering a premier educational experience with state-of- the-art resources to SCAD students from an array of top-ranked degree programs including architecture, art history, interior design, painting, film, illustration, dramatic writing, animation, fashion, advertising, fibers, sound design, luxury and brand management, and more. SCAD Lacoste is also home to two of the university’s immersion programs: Pre-Bee, a weeklong excursion through the region for newly enrolled students, and Après SCAD, the exclusive five-day professional networking retreat featuring immersive cultural experiences for SCAD alumni and special guests.

Additionally, SCAD Lacoste hosts the prestigious SCAD Alumni Atelier, an elite artist residency program that offers visionary graduates the time, space, and resources to thrive creatively and professionally—a testament to the university’s lifelong commitment to the SCAD community. For two decades, SCAD Lacoste has welcomed world-renowned artists, designers, and other creatives such as Pierre Cardin, Carrie Mae Weems, Alfredo Jaar, Bill Viola, Ghada Amer, Ju-Yeon Kim, Bibhu Mohapatra, John Malkovich, Hervé Half, Patrick Blanc, Maja Godlewska, Ilse Crawford, Hugo Dalton, Sandy Skoglund, Benny Andrews, Nene Humphrey, and Geoffrey Fletcher to inspire students through talks, master classes, and mentorships, and to rejuvenate their own craft.

The year-round festivities and programming to celebrate SCAD Lacoste’s monumental 20th year include:
Isabel Toledo: A Love Letter, the inaugural exhibition of the newly established SCAD FASH Lacoste Museum of Fashion + Film. Curated in close collaboration with the legendary designer’s husband, Ruben, A Love Letter is Toledo’s first posthumous exhibition and an homage to the emotional power inherent in her designs. Complemented by Ruben’s installations, A Love Letter is a heartfelt tribute to the enduring influence of the designer’s passion, elegance, and ingenuity. Opened April 9.

SCADFILM’s AmimationFest Lacoste, a four-week celebration of the art of animation in French cinema with exclusive screenings, special presentations, and industry luminaries. April 11–May 7.

The return of SCAD Alumni Atelier ambassadors and associates, who refresh, reset, and create new, innovative work during their residency at SCAD Lacoste. Artists work and exhibit in SCAD Lacoste’s medieval caves, and showcase their creative practice for the enlightenment and enrichment of students, fellow alumni, and visitors. June 25–September 5.

A mesmerizing light show along the cobblestone Rue Saint-Trophime, illuminating the streets of Lacoste on Friday and Saturday evenings from 10 p.m. to midnight. June 25–September 24.

The SCAD Luberon Film Festival, presented by SCADFILM, a four-day festival in the picturesque setting of SCAD Lacoste, featuring exclusive film screenings, panel discussions, honored guests, and a special tribute to filmmaker Agnès Varda (1928–2019), who hailed from the Luberon Valley. July 1–4.

Pre-Bee: Tour de Lacoste, the exclusive weeklong immersion program for newly enrolled SCAD students featuring cultural excursions and workshops introducing them to university life. August 25–31.

Après SCAD, the five-day professional networking retreat for SCAD alumni, friends, and distinguished guests where participants live and learn among the fabled Provençal landscape of SCAD Lacoste. The exclusive experience allows guests to rekindle their creative practice while exploring the cultural attractions of the region. September 1–5.

The dedication of the new Le Verger sculpture garden on the occasion of SCAD Lacoste’s 20th anniversary, featuring 10 permanent outdoor installations and works by a curated selection of alumni, students, faculty, and staff from SCAD’s vast network of creatives. September.

A live theatrical performance in the SCAD Lacoste theater by students from the university’s top-ranked performing arts degree program, to delight and entertain theater enthusiasts in the Luberon Valley. October.

In 2022, SCAD is also thrilled to welcome back students from an array of degree programs in the university’s immersive study abroad experience, reinvigorating the beloved village with a resurgence of energy and creativity. The university’s gallery boutique shopSCAD, located along the Rue Saint-Trophime, will also welcome visitors to peruse an expertly curated selection of artwork, textiles, collectibles, and other artisanal goods and gifts for sale by SCAD students, alumni, and faculty.

SCAD is honored to celebrate the rich majesty of the region and welcome visitors from around the world to experience the magic of SCAD Lacoste in 2022. Find out how you can join the celebration here.

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