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Travel Journal Forum, Clermont-Ferrand, France: An Artist’s Experience

“The opportunity to represent Anderson, South Carolina, as an International Michelin City and show my paintings at the prestigious Travel Journal Forum in Clermont-Ferrand, France, was a singular honor; however, there are no adjectives to describe the actual participation in this event,” explained Diann Simms, Anderson watercolor artist and a long-time member of the Anderson Artists Guild. Among the many cultural events held each year in Clermont-Ferrand, travelling artists come together to exhibit journals and to hold meetings, round table discussions, screenings, and workshops with other journal makers.

“I was encouraged to apply to represent Anderson because I have painted quite a collection of ‘Anderson historic landmarks’ over the years and was in the process of producing a sketchbook and journal of my own,” explained Simms.


The event was held at the Polydome—a cultural event venue representing over a hundred participating artists and vendors from all over the globe. Included on the floor of the center were artists’ booths where their journals and paintings were displayed. These artists travel to every corner of the world documenting their experiences: the culture, people, and animals. Sales from the published journals to the self-published ones were in two locations—the library and the boutique. “What an array of work! It was almost too much to take it all in,” said Simms. The event lasted for three days from 9:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. with thousands of visitors each day. “The actual participation and interest of the public was just incredible,” said Simms.

The first day the visitors were students from seven years old to graduate students from the university. All were prepared with questions and were eager to learn about the artists and to practice English. The second day was more of a general population from all areas around the city who were very welcoming. The third day included many Michelin employees, television interviews, and special touring groups.


“My daughter, who accompanied me on this adventure, used translation software on our phones to help explain about my paintings, the city of Anderson and the International Michelin Cities meeting to be held in Anderson in April,” said Simms. “I highly recommend this for all travelers!”


She added, “I was excited that many Michelin employees identified themselves as having lived in Anderson, Greenville, Pendleton, and Sandy Springs. One couple told me they got their ‘American’ baby while living in Greenville and a young girl recalled her brother learning to walk during the time her father worked in South Carolina. Several people even recognized some of the landmarks in the paintings displayed.”


Copies of Simms’ “Anderson Sketchbook and Journal” is available at Bay3 Artisan Gallery located in the Anderson Arts Center, just off the Atrium Gallery.


To learn more about this event, visit (Go to Il Faut Aller Voir and then to Le Répertoire to see the participants. You can copy the text and then translate it into English through Google or another translation software.)


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