Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Lacoste – the University for creative careers launches SCAD Alumni Atelier associateships. SCAD Lacoste is a creative center for the study of art and design sited in the beautifully preserved medieval village of Lacoste in the Provence region of France. In 2002 SCAD acquired the site and meticulously revitalized more than 30 historic structures. This summer, SCAD hosts dynamic activations throughout SCAD Lacoste, inspiring students, alumni, and visitors to the region.
This summer SCAD opened an exhibition of Pierre Cardin, the university’s latest ode and homage to the indomitable designer. The exhibition features exceptional garments and two films produced by the university — including I Am Thinking of Pierre Cardin, awarded Best Fashion Documentary at the London Film Festival — celebrating Cardin’s remarkable life story. The exhibition is set in an installation reminiscent of Cardin’s famous Palais Bulles, his dream residence near Cannes and a future-forward architectural marvel that rivaled his greatest fashion creations.
The exposition highlights the designer’s long and treasured friendship with the university that began with the establishment of SCAD Lacoste in the historic village, which Cardin, a longtime resident, knew would serve as an endless source of inspiration for young artists. For nearly two decades, Cardin embraced the role of mentor, engaging hundreds of SCAD students across the university’s top-ranked degree programs — from fashion to architecture and beyond. In 2008, the university honored Cardin with the SCAD Étoile for his contributions to the fields of fashion and design as well as his role in the historic restoration and cultural life of Lacoste.
In 2018, the university’s SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film in Atlanta originated the exhibition Pierre Cardin: Pursuit of the Future, a major retrospective presented in partnership with the Pierre Cardin Museum in Paris that included iconic looks from the 1950s held in the SCAD Permanent Collection. The exhibition is curated by Rafael Gomes, head of fashion exhibitions at SCAD, in collaboration with Pierre Cardin Paris and new CEO of Pierre Cardin fashion house Rodrigo Basilicati.
Visitors to Lacoste can also experience the creative process firsthand as they observe working artists selected for the prestigious SCAD Alumni Atelier, an elite artist residency conceptualized and endowed by SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace. Originated in 2015, the SCAD Alumni Atelier offers visionary graduates the time, space, resources, and business education to thrive creatively and professionally. As ambassadors or associates, alumni advance their careers, strengthen their connection to the university, and join a select cohort of emerging and established entrepreneurs, artists, designers, and scholars. Now in its sixth year, the SCAD Alumni Atelier has disbursed more than $1 million in support of new or expanded alumni ventures including fashion brands, jewelry collections, screenplays, feature films, exhibitions, and more — a testament to the university’s lifelong commitment to the SCAD community.
A new opportunity launched in 2021, the SCAD Alumni Atelier associateship encourages graduates to pursue their creative practice with a focus on engagement with the SCAD community. While creating, ideating, or brand building, associates reconnect with faculty, serve as student mentors, and engage with staff in admission, communications, and career and alumni success. SCAD Alumni Atelier associates Melinda Borysevicz (B.F.A., painting, 2011), Masako Maupu Masukawa (M.F.A., illustration, 1995; B.F.A., illustration, 1992), Liz Robb (M.F.A., fibers, 2014), Serge Ruffato (B.F.A., sculpture, 2012), and William M. Ruller (M.F.A., painting, 2013) will create new work in personal studios within the university’s enchanting medieval caves and share their artistic practice with students and the public throughout the summer.
In her artistic practice, Liz Robb focuses on soft sculpture. Based in Los Angeles, she creates textured surfaces and forms with natural materials such as wool, cotton, jute, and indigo. Robb has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally, and recently completed a residency at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. For the SCAD Alumni Atelier, Robb is creating La Vie en Rose (et Autre Couleurs), a space devoted to small designed works — including silk scarves, tassels, and assorted home wares — complemented by large-scale weavings created on-site.
Based near Paris, Masako Maupu Masukawa has been a practicing artist for more than 20 years. Inspired by her mother’s sumi-e paintings, a traditional Japanese watercolor technique, Masukawa’s works are poetic, filled with fantasy yet at the same time tangibly nostalgic. For the SCAD Alumni Atelier, she engages modes of visual storytelling, creating new watercolor works that invite viewers to free their imagination and experience joy.
Serge Ruffato is a Franco-American artist born and raised in Aix en Provence. In 2020, he was selected to exhibit work in the National Salon of Beaux Arts at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris and at the Biennale of the National Union for Sculptors in Lyon. He also completed his first public art commission in Marseille. For the SCAD Alumni Atelier, Ruffato hones his metalworking skills, creating cast-bronze jewelry inspired by medieval French architecture and preparing a new exhibition.
Born in Gloversville, New York, William M. Ruller has exhibited across the U.S. and Europe. He has been featured in Whitewall and New American Paintings, and his work is held in numerous private collections. For the SCAD Alumni Atelier, Ruller is preparing an exhibition of recent abstract works on canvas and ceramic sculptures that connect the industrial landscapes of rural mill towns in the American Rust Belt with the Provence region of southern France renowned for silk production.
The university will also reopen shop SCAD in Lacoste. Nested on the Rue Saint-Trophime, the boutique retail space and gallery features an ever-changing melange of original jewelry, accessories, apparel, stationery, home décor, and unique gifts by SCAD students, alumni, and faculty.
SCAD Lacoste is a residential study-abroad location in France, offering immersion in the history and culture of Provence. Course offerings each quarter are varied to apply to all SCAD areas of study and are taught by SCAD professors. Lacoste is a beautifully preserved medieval village and historic destination for artists, known for its extraordinary light and exquisite pastoral setting. SCAD Lacoste structures dating from the ninth to the XIXth centuries feature cutting-edge contemporary amenities. SCAD Lacoste resources include a library, a gallery, a dining hall, and housing, as well as teaching studios dedicated to painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and digital imaging. Students interact with visiting artists, take field trips to museums and historic sites in the area, and have the opportunity to exhibit their work at a local vernissage.
Celebrated artists and designers visit with SCAD Lacoste students throughout the year. Notable guests have included actor and designer John Malkovich; designer Bibhu Mohapatra; photographer, and inventor of the cinemagraph Jamie Beck of Ann Street Studio; interior designer and television host Genevieve Gorder; installation artist Hugo Dalton; design legend Ilse Crawford; chief creative officer of Shimoda Design Group Joey Shimoda; and CFDA Fashion Award-winning designers Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters of Creatures of the Wind.
The Savannah College of Art and Design is a private, nonprofit, accredited university, offering more than 100 academic degree programs across its locations in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and online via SCAD eLearning.
SCAD enrolls approximately 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 100 countries. The innovative SCAD curriculum engages professional-level technology and other advanced learning resources, and affords students opportunities for internships, professional certifications, and real-world assignments with corporate partners through SCADpro, the university’s renowned research lab and prototype generator. In 2020, the prestigious Red Dot Design Rankings placed SCAD as the No. 1 university in the U.S. and in the top two universities in the Americas and Europe for the fourth consecutive year. Career preparation is woven into every fiber of the university, resulting in a superior alumni employment rate. In a recent study, 99% of SCAD graduates were employed, pursuing further education, or both within 10 months of graduation. SCAD provides students and alumni with ongoing career support through personal coaching, alumni programs, a professional presentation studio, and more.