Tourist Information, Vendee History, Accommodation, Photos, Reviews, Maps,
Arts and Crafts in the Vendée
with its various landscapes, its historic heritage and men who have
shaped the land in a multitude of ways, has been home to painters,
sculptures, weavers, potters, musicians, carpenters, cabinet makers and
photographers for generations. There has always been a wealth of people
with skills in all manner of arts and crafts here in the Vendée, and
they have been joined by others who rejoice in the making or creating of
works of art.
The ancient natural crafts of the Vendée are kept alive at the world famous Puy-du-Fou
where dozens of craftsmen demonstrate their skills on a daily basis
throughout the summer. There are also various fêtes during the summer
months where other craftsmen come to show off their creations. These are
held at places like the Foire de l'Ancien
at l'Hermenault on the 1st weekend in September, the Nocturnal Market
on Tuesdays in the summer at Notre-Dame-de-Monts in the Avenue de la Mer
and at Vouille-les-Marais on Friday evenings in July and August.
Artists come to the Vendée to capture the many moods of this vibrant
landscape which, with the many hours of sunshine, makes this an artists
paradise. There are villages like Vouvant, Coulon (not strictly in the Vendee), Mallievier, Sallertine and towns like St.Gilles Croix-de-Vie
and even whole islands where artists can be found in perfusion. It fact
in Vouvant there are probably more artist studios than all the other
shops put together.
Art Galleries. There are many art galleries right across the Vendée and
they fall into two groups. Those that show art works relating to
historical events and past artists and those that are either devoted to
the works of a single artist or have exhibitions of various artists or
In the first group you have the pictures held by such places as the Historial de la Vendée , Musée Vendéen at Fontenay le Comte, Musée Mileendeau-Jean Yoles at Soullan and the contemporary art gallery at l'Abbay- de la Croix.
Rue des Loges, Fontenay-le-Comte has exhibitions (usually 10) from
March to December on Wednesdays to Fridays 15h to 18h and on Saturdays
10h to 12h & 15h to 18h each exhibition features a single artist.
Beaulieu-sous-le-Roche: Régis Delène Bartholdi
Galleries des Ormeaux, 17,rue des Sables. Challans.
Talents Vendeens. La Gallerie, 17 Rue Bonne Fontaine, Challans.
Atelier Samanos Pierre. 359,rue Pepiere, Longville-sur-Mer.
Perce-Oreilles productions. 2,rue Gaston Guillemet, Fontenay le Comte.
Galerie Maree Haute. 17 Quai de la Mairie. Artist: Marie
Houset, Daniel le Saux, Fabricia Lepoutre.
Galerie de la Marine. 15,Quai de la Chapelle Artist, Anne
Galerie Insula, 5 rue de l'Abbesse. Art contemporary and
Karibou. 14 rue de l'Abbesse.
Henri Rouberol. 21,rue du Pu
Bourreau Ravier, 12 Grande Rue.
" 7, rue Cure
Seiller 8,Place Republique.
Port Bourgenay; Maurice Savy, 144, rue du Bouc-Etou,
La Roche-sur-Yon. Promenarts, 14, rue Paul Doumer.
Les Sables d'Olonne.
Galerie d'Art, 70 Promenade Georges Clemenceau
Galerie B.Vincent. 42 Promenade Georges
Espace Henry Simon. Les Rimajures, 75,Boulivard
Galerie d'Art revzin Christian, Place Gare.
Galerie Mulot. 19,quai Port Fidele
Galerie Nuances. 7, rue general de Gauille
Simon-Feuillatre. 75, rue General de Gauille.
Un Bruit Qui Court. 21 Quai Port Fidele.
Bellon jean-claude. 11,rue plage.
Etat D'Ame 4,place Jean Yole.
Soullans: Mulot. 37 Chein Paradis.
classified as the "Village de Peintres" there are some 11 galleries in
this small village plus exhibitions of paintings and events from April
St.John Chapel, Les Epesses. Temporary exhibitions during the summer months on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Eglise St.Christophe, Mesnard le Barotiere, Medieval wall paintings open: 1/5 to 30/9 everyday 9-19h
year, Saturdays & Sundays 9-17h
Eglise St Hilaire de Loulay, The worlds only replica of "St.Gregory" the original is in the Vatican.
Potteries: The following potteries are to be found in the Vendée.
Tournesol poterie, Maud Hardy, 64 route Grande ote, La Barre de Monts.
Marie-Christine Grangiens, la Cantardiere, Beaulieu sous la Roche.
M.C.Poterie. 12 place Marche, Beaulieu sous la Roche.
Christian Bourcereau. La Corde, Brem-sur-Mer.
La Barbotine, 11 rue Grenouille, les Clouzeaux.
Pierre Schaal. La Roussiere, Commequiers.
Potterie du Marais. 2, Chemin Cooperation, Damvix.
Poterie de Nesmy, 23,rue Geoges Clemenceau. Nesmy.
Poterie l'Alandier, 133 rue Pierre Brossolette, La-Roche-sur-Yon.
J.J.o.B. Decorations, 44 ave Orouet, St.Jean-de-Monts.
Alain Chaigneau, 2, la Grande Bougreliere, St.Martin-Lars.
Bertrand Larde. 25 rue Du Perrier, Sallertinee.
Miscellaneous Arts & Crafts:
Painting on wood & glass, Jacqueline Diot, 4 rue du Moulin a Tan, Mervent. Tel. 02 51 00 24 86
Tournage d'Art sur Bois. (wood turning) Sebastian Panis. 6 impasse du Coq Hardi, Fontenay-le-Comte.
Tel. 02 51 69
47 30 www.sabtourelebois.com
Vannerie (Basket weavers) Daniel Breillat, 7,rue Alienor d'Aquitaine, Neuil-sur-l'autise.
Tannerie. Tannerie Bocquier, Route de St. Gilles, Commequiers. Workshop and Boutique
Open every day except Sundays 8h-12h & 14h - 19h one of the last tanneries to be worked by hand in France.
Fonderie d'Art. Founderie.23,Terrace, Rue Kleber, Fontenay-le-Comte. Tel.02 51 52 55 72
Open all year round Tuesday to Sunday, 10.30 to 18.30h 15th June to 15th September everyday 10.30 to 19h
Demonstrations of casting; April,May, June,Oct, Nov & Dec 2nd Sunday of the Month 16h
10 July to 11 Sept
every Tuesday at 16h
Tarif; Adult 4.5€ Child under 12 years old 2.50€
Antiques and Brochante.
If you want to buy or just look at old arts and craft objects then you
have 3 choices, there are antique shops and occasionally antique fairs
and there are dozens of these all over the Vendée. You then have Brochants
or what the English call Bric a Brac, again these are quite numerous
although they rarely have the more expensive items, but you may well
find a bargain especially in things that are not Vendéen or even French. Then there are the Vide Greniers,
literally empty attic or to the rest of the world Car Boot sales, these
are normally held on Sunday mornings and at these it is possible to
find some great bargains especially if you arrive early. These Vide
Greniers often occur without much notice, so you need to look out for
local announcements, which are often just a series of small notices
posted on the verge as you enter a village or town. There are exceptions
like the one at St. Martin-des-Fontaines which holds possibly the
largest Vide Grenier in the South Vendée on the second Sunday in September.
Music: Music has been an important part of life here in the Vendée
and today the music traditions carry on from traditional music often
played at village fêtes, to Jazz festivals and night-time musical
spectaculars (at many of the major attractions) at places such as the
Abbaye at Maillezais and Neuil-sur-l'Autise. There are regular musical
evenings at the Puy-du-Fou with their Organs de Feu and the Vendée has its own L'Orchestra-de Vendée which holds regular concerts throughout the Department.
Photography: there are two photographers of the Vendée who stand out from the crowd. If you browse the many publications on the Vendée
their work is evident by its quality. One is Francis Leroy of l'Ile
d'Olonne who specialises in aerial shots, his work can be viewed on imag-in-air.com, The other is Valery Joncheray who though not living in the Vendée has taken some incredible photos of the region.
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