What past participants have to say
Dieter ~ New York City, New York
I never considered the visual arts to be my strong artistic calling, but, surprisingly, I was inspired by Alyssa and John to experiment (sketching, printmaking, pastels) and I found that I actually enjoyed spending hours at a time sitting quietly with my sketch pad and ultimately even found peace with it! I also discovered that ARCH Les Tapies had so much to offer aside from the art instruction. Between the road trips (Aix-en-Provence and wine-tasting at the famous Côtes du Rhône Chapoutier vineyard) and the local galleries, villages, classical concerts, cooking demonstrations and hiking, the program had something to offer for everyone -- even those of us not particularly artistically inclined. I highly recommend ARCH Les Tapies for those looking to improve their art skills, or for those simply looking for a peaceful and exploratory getaway.
Didi ~ Chicago, Illinois
I really enjoyed my time in Les Tapies – the ambiance and the company made for an unforgettable experience. I made significant progress with my art, but also learned so much more with my time with yoga wellness that focused my goals not just for the time in France, but much longer afterwards. That coupled with new good friends, delicious food and new found favorite wines made it a great experience. Making art is a personal and wonderful experience – sharing that experience in a special place such as Les Tapies in southern France is unforgettable. I would recommend this experience to anyone who wants to jump start their imagination and improve their techniques with teachers and peer mentors who can share the experiences from Cézanne and other greats – and make it relevant for you. Couple that with great food, wine and an amazing architectural village restored with loving hands…very special. Not to be missed.
Julie ~ Pittsboro, North Carolina
Why enroll in the Arches program at Les Tapies?
Simply put, it was life changing for me. Upon arrival, I was awestruck by the stunning natural beauty of the mountain ranges of the Ardèche region. In short order, my stressed heart was kneaded open and made comfortable by the encouraging, capable staff and like-minded fellow participants. The whole atmosphere allowed me to feel, speak and act in an entirely genuine manner, all the while keeping my eyes wide open. My true self then soared unencumbered. I enthusiastically began to draw, write, paint, explore, wonder, create, share, listen, hike, shop and feast.
My body, mind and spirit will be forever grateful for this experience.
Gretel ~ Carpinteria, California
Mornings at Les Tapies were christened with yoga, meditation, and the sun rising over the mountains. Goats ambled down the mountain with jingling bells and their minder, a young collie. Every meal was prepared by our hands or that of the local bakers. Eating was never on the run, but an event to be savored. Our choices for the day could include a printmaking workshop, and a lesson in plein-air painting, photography or mixed media collage. Afternoons might be filled with a visit to the city of Aix-en- Provence to see Cézanne’s studio, a trip to a neighboring town for a chocolate or wine tasting, or an opportunity to help in the garden in preparation for the evening meal. Our art and cooking teachers were gifted educators, and we furiously took notes on methodology as well as art techniques. It was really about the doing. Every day was a lesson of seeing the world through the artist’s eye. Nights were punctuated with lively conversation, art history presentations, and a wee bit of boxed rose wine- a local favorite! Eight days never went by so quickly. I produced more work then I ever imagined possible and transformed from “art teacher” to “teaching artist.”
Tray ~ Santa Barbara, California
My time at Les Tapies truly touched my soul. As a busy mom and elementary school art teacher, I rarely have time to dedicate to art making. Having ten days in this little piece of heaven to dive back into my work was just what I needed to reconnect to my creative self. The fantastic instructors, the inspiring setting, and the delicious home cooked meals made each day an exciting adventure. I am so happy I made this trip and highly recommend ARCH to all creatives. I am still a busy mom and teacher, but I am also an artist and now finding time every week to paint and draw. Thank you, ARCH!!
Anne ~ Boulder, Colorado
I arrived at Les Tapies, the most beautiful little hamlet in the South of France, thinking “What am I doing here? I’m no artist.” I left with a profound understanding that we are ALL artists crafting and creating in our own unique ways. Time stood still in this magical place, surrounded by nature’s exquisite beauty, vast studio resources, opportunities for excursions to fantastic places of inspiration, and all masterfully guided by an incredibly talented team of faculty -all of whom I now proudly call my friends. This for me became an exploration of the soul, a letting go of the incessant inner critic, and a rediscovery of my childhood joy - creating simply for joy’s sake!
Kathryn ~ Berlin, Germany
Les Tapies was a wonderful experience from the first moment. The landscape was breathtaking, the location remote and peaceful, and the hamlet was so beautifully restored and furnished, I had the feeling I was stepping back in time. The meals, prepared by two very good chefs and featuring regional cuisine, were unbelievably delicious. Everything was taught in a professional, caring way by very friendly, knowledgeable people. I felt a growing bond with everyone there, staff and participants alike, from the beginning. The only thing I regret is not having been able to stay longer. It was very hard to leave this retreat and the group who I was getting to know better, and go back to civilization. It was a special, uncommon treat to have this block of time for myself, in such a spiritual location. I hope to see you again next summer!
Michael ~ Vienna, Austria
Les Tapies is a very special place. The passion and love that was put into restoring this hamlet, perched on a breathtaking mountainside, is literally the cradle in which one's creative being is held. There is magic, a synergy that happens when people come together in that space to support each other and nurture the creative spirit. It was a gift to be there, and I look forward to the day I return!
Mark & Kelly ~ Santa Rosa, California
We can’t say enough about our retreat together at Les Tapies. It was truly a unique experience, where we were able to rediscover our artistic and spiritual selves. We felt an incredible support from the staff. Their expertise, experience and willingness to teach at our individual levels created a confidence to explore art again after 30+ years! The location of the hamlet couldn’t be more ideal - the beauty and serenity around every corner was breathtaking. We so enjoyed each day of reflection and artistic discovery. We formed relationships that we believe will last a lifetime and truly look forward to returning to this incredible program.
Robyn ~ Derby Line, Vermont
Les Tapies was truly a life-changing experience. The landscape and the energy of the 400-year old Hamlet provide the perfect backdrop for an artist to grapple and grow. John and Alyssa are incredibly strong teachers who provide guidance in technique while allowing for individual expression. Jen has a unique ability to harness the spirituality of both the area and the participants, providing daily mantras and mindfulness practices that bolster the artistic experience. Chris's culinary skills are unparalleled. All of the meals showcased local ingredients included in French cuisine. The program also provides ample opportunity to explore the area, a rugged, hauntingly beautiful and culturally rich place. My time at Les Tapies allowed me to become a better artist and I made connections with people which will last a lifetime. I am looking forward to my next experience at Les Tapies this summer!