William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Monday, August 15, 2016

# 69 - An Unexpected Honor for Me in France

     Fabienne Curet, the creator of Luc en peinture and my sponsor, awards the chevalier medallion.

Yours truly making a few comments to accept the award, under the eyes of (from the left) Fabienne Curet, Mayor and Grand Guard Philippe Chanu, and Grand Master Anne Legoux, and in front of the famous whale's skeleton.

Fellow Art Lovers:

I want to tell you about some very good luck here in Normandy, France. Just yesterday, I was honored by a local group for my contribution to the cultural endeavors - in particular painting - of a charming community that I've become very attached to. The recognition is important to me, and it also shows how I’ve been welcomed and treated over the years by these wonderful and giving people.

The honor came from the Confrerie des Chevaliers de la Baleine of the coastal city Luc sur Mer, and it mainly dealt with the city’s annual art competition, “Luc en peinture.”

I was named a Chevalier de la Baleine (a knight of the whale) by the Confrerie des Chevaliers de la Baleine (fraternity of the knights of the whale), that was created in 1966 to memorialize the death and landing on the beach of a large linguee whale in 1885 between Luc sur Mer and the neighboring community Langrune. 

In principle, the naming of a knight recognizes the recipient’s efforts to perpetuate the memory of the whale and to support Luc Sur Mer’s reputation.  I was recognized because I’ve participated in Luc en peinture for the last 13 years; and because I've promoted the contest and the region of Normandy in the United States – mainly through my landscapes and seascapes of the region, that have been exhibited in Philadelphia and on this Painter’s Blog. 

Just to give you a few facts, Luc en peinture has been held for the last 23 years usually during August but in July this year. The competition gives artists one day – a Saturday - to complete a work of art, usually an oil painting, watercolor or pastel.  An artists’ dinner is held in the evening. An exhibit of artists’ works, awarding of prizes, an auction and a cocktail are held on Sunday. Usually, between 30 and 40 artists participate in the competition.

During a ceremony, Anne Legoux, grand master of the Confrerie des Chevaliers de la Baleine, made a short statement about me, telling the members of the confrerie about my background and my contribution. As you can see from the photos above, the ceremony was held in front of the Museum of the Whale in the Park of the Whale. Anne said, “We’re honored to have an American, in the person of Bill Kosman, taking such an interest in the cultural life of Luc sur Mer,”

I also made a short statement. I thanked several people who’ve helped me with my art. Of course, my wife Catherine, who introduced to Luc sur Mer. Anne Legoux; Fabienne Curet, the creator of Luc en peinture and my sponsor; her husband Philippe; Natasha Clairet, the new head of Luc en peinture; and Denis Vaucelle, a friend here who has composed original music for my rap videos and coached me on my delivery.  

I talked briefly about how much fun the competition is, and the challenge in producing a viable work in only one day. I talked about the comradeship among the artists who participate, and I pledged to continue helping the competition attract even more artists. And, important, I added that,” I’ve always received more than I’ve given to Luc en peinture and city of Luc sur Mer.”

The Confrerie des Chevaliers de la Baleine was created by Mayor Jean Chabriac in 1966 to support the preservation of whales, and the mayor of the city – currently Philippe Chanu – retains the title of the organization’s “grand guardien” (grand guard). The Whale Museum opened in 1992. Luc en peinture was created by Fabienne Curet, then responsible for culture for the city, 23 years ago.

Thanks for listening, and thanks for your support.