Sunday, June 02, 2013

Artnotes: Americans in Paris

 Boats and Buoys  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/wood  8.5 x 16 inches
Sailboat School  Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/wood  7.5 x 16 inches
 Urn Luxembourg Gardens   Laurie Fox Pessmeier   Acrylic/canvas panel  12 x 12
Luxembourg Gardens -- Morning sketch   Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/linen 15 x 18 inches

Artnotes:   Americans in Paris

“de St Marie, Matsushita, Pessemier, Nahem, Claes--  are those cities where you have galleries?” someone asked the other day.  Two weeks after our opening we received the sign listing the names of the people who have paintings on our gallery walls (the vendor promised it on 9 May, but, alas, it’s France).

When I looked at the sign, I realized someone might think that these were cities, in different countries.  In fact, they are the names of five (six)  American artists with work on the walls of 14, rue Servandoni.  I love the diversity, acceptance and cooperation of the different cultures of America.  NEVER would that occur, without the help of an American, in Europe.

Over drinks the other night, a couple of American friends said we no longer knew America, that it wasn’t all friendship and cooperation there.  But there is no other country that comes as close.   We are ambassadors here, hosting painters from Australia, Brazil, Slovakia, England, Austria, Japan, Canada and the United States.

It was a week of Americans in Paris for us – Memorial Day perhaps brought the American theme closer to home.  On Sunday, we had four young Americans (18-20) over for a mock Memorial  Day picnic in our apartment.  I made a Venezualan-barbecue beef roast, potato salad, goat cheese stuffed peppers, cantelope and asparagus.   It warmed up enough to take in the view from the balcony, where we witnessed 200,000+ protesters on rue de Rennes.  

It was NOT a diverse crowd as we all observed – we could pick out two black people and an asian woman, but otherwise it was all white bread.   People waved fuchsia and turquoise flags, which made it difficult to identify they were an angry mob.   They were protesting the fact gay people could now adopt children, after the passing of the equality law in France.    With trepidation, I sent the four off to put their locks on the Pont des Arts.   Facebook postings later assured me they made it.

We rented a car on Monday, our first great sunny day this spring.  We drove with two friends to Trouville, where we spent the day on the beach.  I had half a mind to go to the DDay cemetery, but it was at least another hour in the car.   Bells rang out at the church for a long time, which I believe were in honor of the Americans in Normandy 69 years ago.   In any case, we had a sense of Memorial Day – I can take out my white clothes and wear them until Labor Day.

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