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All our programs and travels seek to peel back the outer layers of a culture and its peoples. We turn to the artist as truth teller of his time and of times past.

Contemporary artists boldly put their brushes to canvas and depict images, which subtly bring together the collective consciousness. They make statements about their time, which transcend reality. Only by meeting the artist can participants really understand why a young poet of his time might look with repulsion or acceptance at his age. Visits to artisans carrying out age-old techniques are no different.

Luxury trades in France supported the court and workshops able to do complicated embroidery, woodwork, silver or marquetry have passed down the secrets of their trades from one generation to the next. Today their patrons come from all over the world. Only by touching and feeling the fabric of any creation can one appreciate its texture and truly enter the realm of the artist.

Whether it be the dreams that burn off the brush strokes of the painter, or the intricate meticulous time consuming techniques of the artisan, entering the artist's studio is today akin to a religious experience. In these spaces there is room only for truth and confession, and an ability to rise above reality.

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