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Salon 2001

Paris, France

Hosted by Pascal Amblard

The Salon was held this year in Paris at the IPEDEC. The Institute Superiore de Peinture Decorative de Paris is the leading French educational establishment concerned with Decorative Arts. It was founded by a group of like-minded professionals with the assistance of some specialist manufacturers. The school runs many classes of instruction on the various decorative techniques both full-time and as short courses, and this year the whole of the school premises was dedicated to the four day event.


The Organization of 'Paris 2001' was announced in 1998 during the closing diner. The French proposition had been totally spontaneous and the approval of former and future Salon Organizers was quick and friendly. Consequently, we had three years to prepare this Salon and think of what we would it to be like.

Little by little, each Salon Organizer benefits more and more from the work of their predecessors.  As we had the great luck of having good and vast facilities at the IPEDEC plus moderate price hotels nearby,  we focused our attention on the welcoming of our hosts. The first concern was to keep the Salon “spirit”, made of friendship, exchanges, and of the pleasure of being together and sharing our love of the craft .

The first participants arrived on Wednesday and some of them even started painting during the afternoon!

Thursday was quite busy, as most participants installed their exhibitions pieces and discovered the different rooms and studios in which the demos would take place. A preview was organized at 18.00 and after the welcome speeches, all had their first sip of  French Champagne .

Visitors were admitted on Friday morning and very soon exhibition and demonstration spaces were full of admirers.

The technical level of the exhibition was extremely impressing. The exhibition was distributed in 10 different rooms, and for the visitor, each new room was a magnificent surprise. All day long the exhibition space was full of people marveling at the technical and artistic qualities of decorative painters coming from 13 different countries .

For the opening diner the participants were invited to Les Pavillons Ledoyen on the Champs Elysees. This place is a very old and famous restaurant and it really makes you feel like being in the very heart of Paris. After the diner most participants enjoyed Paris by night in May.

Saturday was no doubt the most busy of those three days as we welcomed more than 2000 visitors in 8hours. The place was totally crowded during the afternoon, but we were lucky enough not to overcome the limit beyond which the visit would have seemed uncomfortable .

In the evening, in the main studio, Paul de Gobert, French muralist, made a slide show of his work, and after a cup of Champagne, Karsten Bergfelt, from Gothenburg, showed us his video made on the theme of Decorative Painting in South Sweden.

Both were very appreciated and the mood, as usual ,was friendly and warm.

Sunday was an excellent day for everyone, Pierre Finkelstein made a slide show of his work. A hundred of us packed in a room where we usually do not have more than 45 students, but the interest of the show was worth a bit of discomfort. The exhibition closed down at 6.00 p.m., we had more than 5000 visitors, we all felt a little bit tired but the exhibitors packed up in a remarkably short time. Everyone was probably very much looking forward to the closing diner and wanted to have time to relax a and dress up.

The closing diner took place in a extraordinary setting which is actually a museum of “Fairground Arts“.

It’s a wonderful evocation of fun fairs of the past nicely set in a mix of baroque style and of the structure of the XIX° century building. The appetizers were served in one room and the participants had the surprise of having the meal served in an other, as beautiful and charming as the first .

So many things happened that it is impossible to tell it all .

Two lifetime awards were given to Ron Gordon and Bill Holgate for their talent as craftsmen and for the respect and admiration all Salon members have for their work .

A scroll, in which the introduction and preamble of the Salon Manifesto (by Jan Berghuis) were handwritten by Ron Gordon, was handed over by Paris Organizers to next year’s: Nicola and Leslie Vigini, Vigini Studios, San Antonio, Texas.

A puzzle, whose pieces had been painted by the participants over the days of the Salon was assembled on the scene, some presents were offered: superb boxes by Don Gray to the organizers, a beautiful 'column', also painted by the participants, by Suzanne Arnild and Eric Peitersen to the IPEDEC.

Of course, our Salon traditions were also honored: Don’s 'friendshipchain', and the famous Swedish “Skol “.

Last but not least, an outstanding Tequila was offered by our Texas Friends to all Salon Members, as a very  promising foretaste of Salon 2002.

We think that the spirit of the Salon has been kept alive, all newcomers were deeply impressed by it, and the closing diner was the climax all were looking forward to. Many left on Monday morning, back to business with beautiful memories.

50 people took part in the visit to Vaux le Vicomte on  Monday morning. 30 persons on Tuesday and Wednesday visited the Opera Comique, Museum Carnavalet, the Hotel de Ville, Sainte Chapelle and l’Ile de la Cité.

Many told us about the pleasure they had during these days. Even if organizing such an event means a lot of work and psychological pressure, we also had sheer pleasure when looking at the smiling faces of our hosts and friends during these days.

Good Luck to Nicola and Leslie.

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