“Salon du Peuple” – For the People

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Mike Randles, "Little Kid in Crisis” made from paper mache

Tracy Sydor, EDN

LaRiccia's two pieces “Wazniaks Connudrum” and "Tesla’s Trepidation" both done in steampunk fashion

The “Salon Du Peuple” (Salon of the People) exhibit is now open in beautiful downtown Eugene, at the New Zone art gallery (164th Broadway). The opening reception for this event was held on August 25th, however the event runs until October 7th ….so you still have time to check out some fabulous local art. New Zone is open Tuesday through Sunday from 12:00pm – 6:00pm and this exhibit is an absolute must see.

If you aren’t familiar with Salon Du Peuple, here is a little history. Many of you may remember the original exhibit, which was actually started in 1991 as “The Salon des Refuse” by gallery coordinator Steve LaRiccia. LaRiccia, an artist himself, who saw an opportunity to show more local art by approaching “refused” artists from the Mayor’s Art Show and offering a “second chance” at showing their work at the “Salon des Refusé”. This name was used through 2009 when an intake change at the Mayor’s Art Show brought a new name to the “Salon des Refuse” in 2010.  LaRiccia, noticing a more digital approach at the M.A.S., knew the days of standing outside waiting to mend the crushed hearts of the refused were over. Thus, the “Salon du Peuple” was born.

Iesha Williams’s piece “The forgotten” created in Wax and Bronze

The idea behind the Salon Du Pueple is simple, LaRiccia explains “this is an open exhibit, it’s non juried show meaning anyone can join no matter what the piece and age. You do not have to be refused by the Mayor’s Art show to be in the Salon. The New Zone Gallery who hosts the Salon has really made the show what it is today, with over 260 artists showing at this years salon. According to Laricca , “This has been one of our most sucessful shows, thousands of people have visited the New Zone, many during the Eugene celebration.” It’s beautiful thing to have the community come together in support of each other and “The Salon Du Peupel” reflects just that, people at their peak of creativity helping one another.

The roots of a “Salon des Refusé” run deeper then what you see here in Eugene, as early as 1830’s artists from around the world would congregate in Paris, France for the much sought after Salon exhibits. Being accepted into them was everything to aspiring artists, and it was a heart wrenching time to be refused by these Salons. Artist paid a pretty hefty price for being rejected as well as huge blow to the ego.

Norman Dubel, “Nautical Man” salt fired ceramic work of art.

It was Emperor Napoléon III that spoke out against the French Salons and declared the rejected artists could show their work in other smaller exhibits paralleling the infamous Salons of Paris. These events, sponsored by the French government, in 1863 sparked a protest over the rejection of more than 3,000 pieces by the “Juried Salon” (much more than the previous years). Such Artists refused  where Édouard Manet’s “Luncheon on the Grass” (Le déjeuner sur l’herbe) and James McNeill Whistler’s “Girl in White” where among the thousands who based their very existence on their art.

These are just a few of the 260 wonderful displays. Other entries including glass blowing, chainsaw art, quilting, found objects, recycled art, basket making, photography, as well as oil, acrylic and water color paintings.

Whatever type of art piece you may be looking for, The “ Salon Du Peupel” at New Zone gallery may just be the place to find it.

This years Salon is supported by Maize LoungeDonald R. Dexter DMD, Eugene Weekly, Cosmos, Brads Cottage Grove Chevy, RavenFrameworks, CD Game Exchange, Lane Arts Council, Lord Leebrick, Paul’s Bicycles, Big Green Events, Royal Refuse, Springfield Creamery, Ron’s Island Grill, Bread Stop, De casa Salsa, Euphoria Chocolate, SweetLife, Paps’s Soul food, Ninkasi Brewery, Trader Joes, Carmen’s Chips.

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