Tracing the Origins of “Le Printemps des Artistes”
Fast-forward to the present, each year the exhibition is organised around a theme, a source of inspiration for the participating artists year on year. The themes are varied (the sea, women, diversity ...) all the while preserving a link to this beloved city.
Initially held in parallel with the weeklong festival of “Francophonie”, the PDA took inspiration from the colour codes and posters of the Francophonie campaign.
Since then the PDA has carved out its own unique identity, annually taking place during the months of Spring - April / May.
Tracing the Origins of Le Printemps des Artistes
"How can we showcase the painters and artisans of Istanbul Accueil (IA)? " asks Consuelo Lemire, an active member of the association back in 2004.
...By creating an exhibition!
And so the first exhibition "Creations and Creators", the ancestor to Le Printemps des Artistes, was organized in collaboration with Sabine Buchmann painter, gallery owner and multimedia librarian at Sainte Pulchérie Lisesi. The event took place over a week in the gallery of the Sainte Pulchérie theatre.
In 2006, Chris Baudry, member of Istanbul Accueil, aiming to present a more ambitious program to the French-speaking community, drew inspiration from the 2005 “Istanbouge” exhibition organized at the Lycée Saint Benoît. Fostering a meeting between expatriate French artists and local artists (painters and sculptors), this project was to be named “Le Printemps des Artistes” (or Le PDA)!
In partnership with Sainte Pulchérie Lisesi in Beyoglu, she enlisted Mme Sabine Buchmann to help organise the event, Madame Baudry managing the logistical part while Madame Buchmann made the selection of artists.
And so the story of the PDA begins… a socially sustainable Art event now running in its 14th year!
So where are we at today ?
At the end of 2008, following the departure of Ms. Baudry, a new IA team was formed to ensure the longevity of the project in partnership with Sainte Pulchérie Lisesi.. In 2009, the school transformed its basement into a 250m2 gallery. This new, bright and contemporary space called the "Od'A - Ouvroir D’Art " Gallery was to hold all future PDA exhibitions.
Over time, the exhibition opened up to the entire international community, evolving into what is today one of the most anticipated art events of the spring season.
In 2013 the PDA, wishing to develop the event through better media coverage, a grand Opening and workshops for children, the organising team went in search of their first sponsor.
Since then, each organising team has actively sought sponsorship to cover all costs related to a large-scale annual exhibition.
since 2006: funding of various projects
in 2021: financing of medical beds
2019: educational support for students experiencing difficulties in continuing their studies
Since its inception, the PDA has also had a humanitarian goal in mind with 30% of the profits donated to charitable works. Originally, the LAPE hospital was the sole beneficiary, linked to its historical relationship with the school. Since 2015 however, the PDA also supports other worthy humanitarian causes.
So where do we stand today? In 2020, due to the Covid sanitary crisis, unfortunately the PDA could not take place.
And this year, 2021, has also been proving more difficult than expected, but anyway...Not to be beaten, the PDA has decided to adapt to the situation and develop its own digital communications platform - ie. an Online Virtual Exhibition tour plus an artworks website listing all works on sale in the exhibit. Both will be launched on Friday the 2nd of April in correlation with the original In-House Live Exhibition dates: 2-11 April. So, watch This Space!
2015/2016: be able to recruit / pay a primary school teacher
2019: finance the cultural outings project for children from refugee families
2018: education aid for disadvantaged students who have lost (at least) one of their parents