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Article: Looking Back on the Salon des Beaux Arts 2023

Chloe McCarrick Cyanotype Artist Salon des Beaux Arts

Looking Back on the Salon des Beaux Arts 2023

As I walked through the historic halls of the Réfectoire des Cordeliers in Paris, the air was thick with a sense of grandeur and artistic legacy. This year marked my third time exhibiting at the Salon des Beaux Arts, an experience that never ceases to amaze me.

Being selected to exhibit at such a prestigious event is a privilege that fills me with both pride and humility, reminding me of the journey I've undertaken in the world of art.

The Salon, established in 1862, has been a beacon of artistic excellence for over 160 years, hosting the likes of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Camille Claudel, and Auguste Rodin. This rich history was palpable as I mingled with artists and art enthusiasts alike, each of us part of a tradition that has shaped the art world.

The 2023 edition, held from September 14 to 24, was a vibrant celebration of diverse artistic expressions. The first few days were dedicated to showcasing Naturalists, Works on Paper, Photography, and Sculpture, followed by a focus on Painting, Sculpture-Ceramic, and Textile. It was an honour to be among the 174 artists from around the globe, presenting our work to the 12,000 visitors who attended, setting a new record for the Salon.

This year, I exhibited two circular cyanotypes that hold a special place in my heart. The first piece, Beatrix's Fantastical World, is a tribute to English author Beatrix Potter. Known for her children's books like "The Tale of Peter Rabbit," Potter was a passionate conservationist and mycologist. This artwork, a multi-layered, 3-dimensional collage, intertwining elements of nature, characters from her books, and female portraiture, all brought to life with the unique cyanotype process.

Beatrix's Fantastical World

The second piece, Poppies in October (Ode to Sylvia Plath), is an homage to the American poet Sylvia Plath. It draws inspiration from her poem 'Poppies in October' and reflects on the beauty and chaos of intense emotions. This artwork combines female portraiture, photograms of poppies, foliage, and preserved bees, creating a rich, multilayered paper cut artwork that resonates with Plath's powerful and introspective journey.

Poppies in October (Ode to Sylvia Plath)

Being part of the Salon des Beaux Arts is more than just an exhibition; it's an immersive experience that connects artists across time and space. The conversations, the shared inspirations, and the sheer talent on display are what make this event truly unforgettable. And for those who couldn't attend, a video of the event captures the essence of this artistic congregation, showcasing the myriad of styles and expressions that make the Salon des Beaux Arts a cornerstone of the art world.

As I reflect on my third participation, I'm filled with gratitude for being part of this historic event and am already looking forward to the next edition in 2024. The Salon des Beaux Arts is not just an exhibition; it's a celebration of art's enduring power to connect, inspire, and transform.

Lead Photo Credit: Salon Des Beaux Arts

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