John Howe Exposition and a Fantastic Event - Saint-Ursanne La Fantastique (last updated 04.07.07 by Pieter Collier) - Comments

John Howe's Art Comes to Life at Saint-Ursanne La Fantastique

It is my great pleasure to announce “Saint-Ursanne La Fantastique”, an exclusive exhibition of John Howe paintings. Actually, it is much more then just an exhibition; it is a two month fantasy art and music festival around John's exhibition, which takes place in the cloisters and cellar galleries, and even in the streets and all around the small town Saint-Ursanne in Swiss Jura. There will be classical and Celtic concerts, medieval festivities, lectures on J. R. R. Tolkien and his works, documentaries and evening cinema in the reconverted factory “Fours à Chaux”. The event has already started and will run from June 23 up to September 02. Hope to see you all there!

Saint Ursanne Dragon under the bridge
Saint Ursanne La Fantastique enter a different world
Tolkien books

Be prepared to meet myths, legends, elves, dragons, sorcerers and magicians will take you on a tour of the world of “The Lord of the Rings”.

Nearly 10.000 people are being expected to visit Saint-Ursanne in nearly two months, and half to visit the festival. Next to all the temporary expositions and animations, the public will be able to appreciate the presence of some fantastic creatures which where created by a small team of four people, that is to say three regional artists and John Howe himself. I heard rumors that there was a gigantic dragon hiding under a bridge!

John Howe in front of Saint-Ursanne
John Howe exhibition at Swiss Jura

Who is John Howe?

John Howe was born on August 21st 1957 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Now he works as a book illustrator and lives in Neuchatel in Switzerland.

Recently, John Howe was one of the lead artists of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy (the other one was Alan Lee).
He is best known for his Tolkien illustrations, but his art is however not limited to Tolkien alone. It includes wonderful mythological images such as illustrations for the Anglo Saxon legend of Beowulf. He also illustrated many other books, amongst which many belong to the fantasy genre.

Howe also contributed to the film adaptation of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis.

What to expect at “Saint-Ursanne la Fantastique”?


Dragons, magicians, knights and other fantasy creatures will invade Saint-Ursanne  ...

John Howe, in collaboration with a team of local artists, have taken over the old Center of Saint-Ursanne. With about fifteen installations, the visitors will rediscover some of the art of the illustrator, but this time for real. The medieval city has already a very charming look and now with the mythical and fantastical installations it will make the visitors step into another world. 

There are also two art expositions, one in the Vault and one in the Cloister of Saint-Ursanne.

The schedules of opening are:
Monday at Thursday: 10.00 - 12.00/14.00 - 18.00
Friday: 10.00 - 12.00/14.00 - 22.00
Saturday and Sunday: 10.00 - 18.00

The Cloister
A mythical place for an exclusive exposition...

In the Cloister will be an exposition of reproductions in large size of known John Howe paintings. Here you can meet John Howe during the event on three occasions, of which one in the company of Alan Lee.

In the museum next to the Cloister they will project a documentary about John Howe.

The Vault

The permanent Gallery of Saint-Ursanne, placed in an old cellar of the City, will hold an exhibition of the original paintings by John Howe, of which the half will be inspired by "the Lord of the Rings". The others works are new or were seldom exposed, in particular a new series inspired by the architectural heritage of St-Ursanne, such as the Castle or the St-Jean Bridge.

John Howe is also a music lover, thus during the event a series of concerts will be held of medieval, Celtic and traditional music.
Saint-Ursanne in the news

Middle Ages meets Middle-earth: Howe's beasts are guarding the village this summer ...
Swissinfo, Switzerland - 2 Jul 2007

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