This flexible residency is for artists who are seeking a program for numerous artistic and personal reasons. One can stay, take private lessons, a workshop, or have a pause in travels, and create. The goal is expansion in all ways. All arts are welcome.
The IaRex l'Atelier, located in France’s Var region, is nestled in the port town of beautiful Saint-Raphaël, and is near several other exciting places: the historic port town of Fréjus with its Roman ruins, the Côte d’Azur and a mountainous area called l’Esterel and the Gorge du Verdun, where hikers, bikers and nature lovers thrive. Beach lovers will also be in sandy heaven, gazing at the red rocks and the intense azure skies of the Mediterranean.
Artists are free to stretch out and explore as they create. It’s easy to forget the practicalities offered, like plenty of parking, nearby hardware store, organic market, two supermarkets, and bakeries within a 5-minute walk. The bus stop is on the corner, as the studio is in a quiet, industrial/artisanal area where artists feel safe. If you want more focused studies, private lessons as well as individually-designed programs are available.
People ask, how did you come to be here in France? I am an artist, and teacher, and I wanted to find a way to continue to contribute to the arts, particularly to ceramics, my first passion (I have a few more). As an artist, I find inspiration in many things, and above all, travel and exposure to other cultures, enriches my visual vocabulary expands my vision, view of the world, and challenges me to develop as an artist and human being.
I had the idea to create a space where people could come and freely work for an extended period of time, or artists could teach and explore and exchange with other artists. I felt that I could not be the only artist, who wanted the experience of living in another country for an extended period of time, and have a studio(home) base. Artists need to create.
One can navigate the area easily, and most people speak some English. Make an effort, and the world opens up. I am here to help each person have a wonderful experience, as I have had the pleasure of experiencing.
It is easy, with Nice being the closest, and second largest, airport in France. By car it is 1h15m to Nice, 1h to Antibes, 45 minutes to Cannes, 1h2 to St. Tropez with many charming villages in between. The train station is in the center of Saint-Raphaël, with a direct train (TGV) to and from Paris. The outdoors are easily accessible, by car and bicycle, as are the main cities, by train. One can fly anywhere to explore other countries, while having a base in France. The links section has a links for car, bicycle and motorcycles rentals. Easy Jet is the least expensive, and recommended, airlines to travel within France.
Artists have more control over their accommodation and comfort with the availability of recommended AirBnB’s located close to the studio. There is high availability from September to June, with the average monthly studio apartment rental of 700-900 euros. The policy for AirBnB is to not display precise addresses. But the list of accommodations are all close to the studio. Booking.com, le Bon Coin.fr, and Facebook Marketplace are other sources of accommodations. The extended amount of time will allow people to become comfortable in the town, explore the variety of activities, other villages, and create a body of work in a relaxed atmosphere. My goal is that people will exchange their creative process and enjoy working with other artists.
There are outdoor farmers markets as well as antique and art markets. Everytown has the market days listed on their website. Within a five minute walk from the studio, there are 3 super markets ( SuperU, Casino and Aldi), 1 organic market (Marcel et Fils) , 2 boulangeries, a hardware store (Weldom), pharmacy, and a special frozen food store(Picard).
I am so lucky to have Lauren so close to me. As a beginner, it was such a gift to learn from Lauren's 40+ years in the industry. Right away, I felt Lauren's skills as a teacher - super patient, knowledgeable, and kind. The environment nurtured my creativity and I progressed significantly in the month I was with her. The studio is lovely - lots of natural light, well laid out, and clean. I already look forward to doing another intensive or workshop with her. Highly, highly recommended.
Ivonne SanchezNice, France
Since my arrival here in Saint Raphael my eyes and heart have been alive with the color, architecture and life around me. Riding my bike and wandering on foot has provided me with the opportunity to explore the natural wonders of the red rocks, aqua water and calm culture through my camera lens. Each day I have brought the spirit of this beautiful place back to the studio and through drawing, sculpting and throwing on the wheel, clay has retold the story of my experience here. It is not often I am able to be quiet, but I have found that the IaRex l'Atelier, with its beautiful views and peaceful vibe is an ultimate haven for creating in nurtured solace. Best of all I am leaving with not only new work particular to this place, but a new friendship with Lauren, a valued contributor to the ceramics community. Her welcoming presence and knowledgeable command of the arts is a perfect balance to lead you through your stay here.
I spent five weeks taking ceramics classes at IaRex l'Atelier and had the most amazing time! Lauren is a natural teacher - she was quickly able to gauge my skill level coming in and tailor my classes to what would help me improve most. With her guidance over a few weeks I learned how to keep pieces centered; pull walls with uniform thickness; make pieces with a specific form in mind; throw large bowls, vases, rounded forms, and jars with lids; paint with underglazes; recycle clay; organize a studio; and so much more. Lauren was encouraging as I learned new skills, and helped me gain a more general appreciation for the art form. Outside of classes, she always made sure that I was doing okay with living abroad for the first time and offered her help wherever she could. Most importantly, it was wonderful to have her company during my time there and I learned many life lessons from her that extended beyond ceramics.
The studio is a beautiful place to create - it has lots of sunlight, is well supplied with tools, and is kept very organized and clean. Saint Raphael was also a nice place to stay with the beach just a few minutes away and boulangeries all around. It was really easy to take the train up and down the coast to Nice and Marseilles, and there were even direct lines to Paris and Lyon.
I loved my first month at the studio so much that I came back again for a second set of classes, and know that as soon as I find the time in my schedule I would like to go back again. I would highly recommend the program to anyone looking to either improve their ceramic skills or to create with dedicated time and space in a beautiful part of the world.
In the midst of a beautiful cross-breeze, we made things out of Spanish black clay on the wheel and by hand. It just a short time, Lauren’s studio and its surrounding town charmed its way into our hearts and for sure, we will be back for another stay.