JOURNAL

Greetings from France!

  The Lily of the Valley grows wild all around here

The Lily of the Valley grows wild all around here

In France . . .

. . . May 1st is a holiday corresponding to Labor Day in the United States. La Fête du Travail is often celebrated with an offering of the sweet little Lily of the Valley flower known as Muquet, giving the holiday another name, La Fête du Muquet.

Yes, I am back in France! The transition from the U.S. to France went well. The house welcomed us, the neighbors welcomed us, the countryside and the open sky welcomed us. 

This time we brought our dog Dexter with us. Dexter went through a period of transition; he had some jet lag, and I’m afraid the plane ride was somewhat stressful. His level of freedom is less here than what he was used to in Georgia – we don’t want any run-ins with the cows. But we are thoroughly enjoying each other’s company and he is a great companion and conversation starter!

. . .

While we were in Athens, I had a good, productive six months during the winter of 2017-18. It was a whirlwind of activity, and I’d like to say a big thank you to my supporters and friends:

  Dexter and René arrive in France

Dexter and René arrive in France

Merci Beaucoup!

Here is a review of my time in Athens, and a sneak peek at what is coming next:

1) My exhibit at Ciné, La Rentrée, was well received. Two of the paintings on exhibit there were published in the Flagpole Magazine on two consecutive weeks, and on the third week, editor Pete McCommons folded in a report of my exhibit with his memories of the Art Deco Athens Greyhound Bus Station downtown. He highlighted a painting of mine he had purchased that now hangs in the Flagpole office and wrote, “René Shoemaker is one of Athens’ local treasures,” which made my year! Thank you, Pete, from the bottom of my heart. I know Pete is a faithful reader of this blog, because he often lifts information from it. How cool is that?!?

The Ciné exhibit was extended twice, and had a lengthy run of 8 weeks. I sold one painting, the signature piece from my exhibit in France. I was sad to see it go, but so happy it found a loving home. The lucky new collector was Sarah Gordon, who purchased the “L’église du Moutier, Felletin, France,” and now she has a part of France hanging in her Athens home.

2) The Works on Paper exhibit at Jittery Joe’s 5 Points was on display from January through March 2018. I am proud of my works on paper and love sharing that aspect of my art.

3) My entry to the 43rd Juried Lyndon House show was accepted -- a large red silk painting called We Are Here that was originally exhibited at The Columbus Museum. This exhibit of Athens regional artists will be available for viewing until May 5th, 2018, so, if you are in Athens, go see it soon!

4) My exhibit at Creature Comforts in November 2017 included a really nice “Meet the Artist” event where I demonstrated the craft of silk painting, and provided a working silk that participants could practice the technique on.

5) I participated in two auctions to support causes near and dear to my heart: BreastFest Athens in March 2018 and The Columbus Museum’s Art for Education in April 2018.

6) I taught a SiIk Painting class twice at the KA Artist shop. My next class is scheduled for Sunday, December 2nd--sign up now !

7) I traveled to NYC two times, visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, attending the Paul Taylor Dance Company at Lincoln Center, enjoying the street scene, obtaining a commission for two new silk paintings, and attending a class at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn to (re)discover Natural Dyeing, a truly enjoyable class taught by the talented Jennie Maydew .

8) I attended a private party and sold a number of scarves. I love the way the colors of my hand-dyed scarves make people happy and light up their faces!

9) I visited Laurel, MS (after a snowstorm delay in NYC) to research an upcoming 2019 exhibit there.

10) BMA at Home carries my original art, and I’m very proud of my relationship with the talented Breckyn Alexander. Go see!

11) My cards, postcards, and art are carried by several local shops: Avid Books, KA Artist Shop, and now the Lotta Mae Supply Company.

  Beth Sale and Jon Biron discussing life and art at the Lyndon House Arts Center, Athens, GA USA.  We Are Here  hangs behind them

Beth Sale and Jon Biron discussing life and art at the Lyndon House Arts Center, Athens, GA USA. We Are Here hangs behind them

  Becky Ford + Marty Thomas are so stylish in their new scarves. Athens, GA

Becky Ford + Marty Thomas are so stylish in their new scarves. Athens, GA

  Fields of wildflowers, La Creuse, France

Fields of wildflowers, La Creuse, France

Upcoming events happening in France and the U.S.:

1) June 1-July 27, 2018. Solo exhibit at the Marie de Felletin, France, Découvrir - Felletin et ses villages (Discover - Felletin & Her Villages), with a reception on Friday, June 1, 2018

2) August 17-31, 2018. Solo exhibit at the AM’Carta Gallery in Aubusson, France. Title TBD; the subject will be. . . the historic tapestry town of Aubusson!

3) November 6, 2018-January 12, 2019. Two-person exhibit with my dear friend Judy Bales at the Lyndon House Arts Center in Athens, GA. Opening reception November 8, 2018: Call & Response: Works by Judy Bales & René Shoemaker. I’m very excited about this exhibit, as Judy inspires me to stretch my vision of what I can create, how to display art, and how to interact with another artist in intriguing ways.

4) May 7-October 8, 2019. Solo exhibit at the Lauren Rogers Museum in Laurel, MS, responding to their Japanese woodblock print collection.

  New silk painting of a barn, with barn as background, La Creuse, France

New silk painting of a barn, with barn as background, La Creuse, France

As a parting note, this phrase came to me as I looked at my beautiful surroundings and realized I should never take the gift of life for granted:

"May the Wonder of This Life Never Recede."

With gratitude,

-Rene

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Save the Dates!

Felletin, France: Friday, June 1, 2018
Aubusson, France: August 17-31, 2018
Athens, GA, USA: Thursday, November 8, 2018
Laurel, MS, USA: May 7-October 8, 2019