RANDY SMITH DTV General Manager
It’s the end of my first week in Lacoste and as I am writing this I am sitting on a terrace looking over this beautiful valley of southern France. This week was full of new and exciting events, special dinners and getting used to the idea that I will be taking classes here for the next 7 weeks.
The first weekend here we went to Apt, which is the location of one of the largest outside markets in the area. Market vendors line the downtown streets, which set up in front of stores and cafes. Towels, pottery, jewelry; nearly everything can be found here. We will have more trips to Apt later in the semester due to the fact that it is the only place we can get living necessities and legitimate art supplies.
Later that night, we had a dinner with all the faculty and students at one of two local restaurants in Lacoste. At the dinner, the famous French fashion designer Pierre Cardin, who resides in Lacoste, introduced himself to some of the students and faculty. Cardin owns many of the buildings in Lacoste and even purchased the château at the top of the mountain.
It’s at this chateau that he hosts his “Festival de Lacoste” that will be going on for the next few weeks. It consists of concerts, fashion shows and other art related events. That night he invited us all to the opening night of the festival, a performance by a Russian Children’s Music school which I attended in curiosity to see exactly what that was. They played classical music for the first half and towards the end some modern pop music with elaborate Russian dances and costumes. It turned out to be one impressive performance.
After the first weekend wrapped up and classes started, it hit me that we actually weren’t on vacation and had to get back into the swing of things.
The classes are very interesting in that many of them incorporate the surrounding area of Provence into them. The classes utilize the beautiful valleys and amazing historic sites to give us a more in-depth look at what this town and area has to offer.
For example, the art history classes go on weekly field trips to numerous sites of historic importance and we will keep a journal discussing and illustrating what we see.
Even in my film class there is a French influence. My history of film class is created around the history of French film and the historic context of the films. It is almost surreal to watch a French film and see similar towns and landscapes that I walk through every day here.
As the week continued, we all started to settle in. The dorms are old buildings filled with the necessary furniture for a college student but then you gaze out the window and see the same picturesque view you see throughout the town. It seems the rooms are just for rest because throughout the day I see the other students working on the terraces or balconies till sundown.
In the next coming week we have more trips and other events to keep us busy but our classes will start to pick up and homework with be on all our to do lists.
I plan to write more in later letters about the student life, such as the food, and what we do for fun. Since it’s the first week we are still figuring out these details but soon enough I will feel like a local of Lacoste and be able to let you know.
Randy Smith is the DTV News General Manager. He is a student at the SCAD-Lacoste Campus for the Summer and will be writing a weekly column about his experiences. For more info about the program visit the SCAD Web site