Having hosted Salon in 2001 in Paris, I have been invited to write a short text for our website. I heard about Salon in 1997. One of my colleagues at Ipedec who was there by chance, heard of it locally, went there and we he came back to France he told some people, including me, about it. As I am selftaught I have a constant feeling of inferiority. My curiosity and thirst for learning are therefore unquenchable. An international gathering of decorative painters sounded to my ears like THE place to go, NOW! I called the next organizer (Pat Kirwin), sent some slides of my work and that was it. I was allowed to come, exhibit and demonstrate .
In Washington I met many people. The one thing I did not know is that I would become friends with most of these guys, that we would meet again and again, have fun, work and teach together. Pascale, my wife, and I had an incredible time. Love at first sight for this group of people. Some magic was going on. I remember, for example, everyone sitting on the floor of a classroom, like schoolboys, silent and focused listening and watching Don Gray demonstrating. I was impressed. I had goose bumps.
A few years have passed since then but the magick is still there. I can see in the eyes of our new members that they have, for our group, the same passion I felt in Washington. I remember Nicola Vigini (Host of Salon 2002) saying that Salon changed his life. It is a big statement but I can say it too. More friends, more jobs, more fun and each year I try my best to bring a nice canvas to the exhibition.
As a conclusion, I would just like to say that being a member is a luck and also a responsibility. Salon is just as good as we, individually, make it. It means being aware and protect the values we believe in, and at the same time open up and be confident in the energy of our group for the fututre.