American Artist in Brittany

The residency cottage in Dinan where I stayed is at the bottom of the hill across the road from the Rance River in the Port de Dinan. The French Artist Yvonne Jeanne Haffen, a disciple and friend of Mathurin Meheut (1882-1958) formerly owned the property and this 1830s structure was Haffen’s home until her death, at which time it became the property of the Dinan town council. Her home and studio are now a museum that shows both her work and that of Mathurin.

Each month an artist occupies the tiny cottage, which consists of two bedrooms, a bath, toilet, kitchen and atelier. It’s a funny old place with a bath (one that you sit up in with a European spray for rinsing), an under-the-counter refrigerator and old electric stove. The atelier has a large easel; the walls are lined with corkboard for display of one’s work and there are good track lights. There’s heat (which we used in August) but no air conditioning. What more could one want?

To apply for the residency: Residencies are offered 12 months of the year with decisions made in December. If you’re interested, send a letter in French expressing why you wish the residency and what month you want to stay, a curriculum vitae and photographs (not slides) of your work by November 25 to: Les Amis de la Grande Vigne, CREC B.P. 362, 22106 Dinan France.

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