LAF 2019

Every summer Larroque Art Festival (LAF) invites young and established artists from all over the world to the rural Commune of Larroque, Tarn, France, to meet local artists, exhibit, explore the region, share experience and make future plans. Artists are hosted for between one and three weeks in the former Mairie (Town Hall) and Old Post Office (now a Gallery) of the village where LAF offers full bed and board plus field trips by minibus to the local sites, village and museums. 
Each year the exhibition has a theme to which artists are invited to respond. The emphasis is on top-quality international contemporary art in all media: film, video, installation, photography, performance, net-art, painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, craft, sound, poetry and craft.  The Festival has hosted shown work by over 300 artists from c. 50 countries.  The idea is to introduce contemporary art to a rural environment and to introduce the artists to the ancient and beautiful region of SW France. The village is one of the oldest continuously inhabited parts of Europe, with neolithic caves in the imposing limestone cliffs above the village, and an adjacent ancient forest (the Grésigne) roughly the size of Paris, with its special flora/fauna. 
The Festival is timed to coincide with a full weekend of activities in the village including a bric-à-brac sale, apéro concert, and the `Sardinade' (Sardine Feast for c .400 diners, with live music and dancing).  The money is needed to help support the Festival (which has for the last 10 years been funded personally and with some local support):  to pay for publicity, posters, invites, mini-van rental and driver's fee; to assist with accommodation/board for up to 12 artists full board for c. 2-3 weeks: to assist with costs of framing, construction, lighting and installation; But importantly, to assist with transport costs for young artists (students or those coming from Eastern Europe or further afield).
The Festival is always held during the last week in July, so funds are needed by May- June.   As a former Head of Fine Art (Leeds University) the director of LAF is now retired, and funding has come from his personal pension. The impetus is philanthropical, to encourage young artists and offer them an exceptional, personalised mini-residency where they can meet established artists (heads of Schools, Directors of other International festivals and residency centres) and to engage with local artists and the community, as well as being a didactic project,  introducing contemporary, and sometimes challenging, art to a rural community without compromise or condescension.


Kenneth G. Hay

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