A place where artists leave a trace

A place for meeting and inspiration. Source of development of artistic and creative activities of great quality, with communication back and forth from various art diciplines: visual arts, music, dance and theatre.

Centre for Art and Culture Droiteval

A creative adventure in a magical environment

The Artscentre, located in the French Vosges in the Hamlet Droiteval, (municipality Claudon) offers many opportunities for an artistic stay residence in an eminently inspiring area. The Centre d'Art et Culture Droiteval is housed in an old listed building. formerly part of the Cistercienze Abbey Droiteval, dating from the 12th century and later turned into a monastery complex.



The Abbey of Our Lady of Droiteval is an ancient abbey of the twelfth century located in the French town of Claudon , in the southwestern department of the Vosges , in the heart of the forest of Darney .

• 1130: Foundation of the Abbey Cistercian of Droiteval by Lord Aubert Darney. First abbess: Elizabeth until 1144.
• 1426: Last abbess Sister Jeanne, surnamed Bourgeoise of Besançon and temporary abandonment of the abbey.
• 1450 Droiteval became a priory with John as first prior to the March.
• 1709: Appointment of a new prior Dom Antoine Girard who almost entirely rebuilt the priory and installed in the abbey a glass factory.
• 1767: Appointment of the last prior Dom Etienne de Fontenoy (deceased in 1792) and to assist the Dom Louis Francis of Hennezel, son of master glass-blower of La Rochère.
• 1790 Nationalization of Church property during the Revolution .
• 1792: Sale of domain Droiteval for 28,000 pounds to a farmer Joseph Drouot Darney .
• 1796: Acquisition by Louis Alexis Irroy of Fontenoy-le-Château who will create an iron forge in the old mill of the monks. The churchserves as a warehouse, the priory and outbuildings are used as accommodation for the workers.
• 1816: Acquisition by Jean Baptiste Jacquinot. Transformation into a factory producing scythes and gradually becomes a true industrial empire.
• 1850: Complete restoration of the church.
• 1905: Sale of the domain to Louis Tinchant and new restoration of the priory and church.
• 1935: Installation of a minor seminary .
• 1939-1945: Requisition of buildings to serve as a hospice .
• 1946: Boardingschool of the Committee of social work of the French Resistance  Organizations.
• 1987: Droiteval becomes completely family owned.
• 2000: Inauguration in the church of a Haerpfer organ consisting 3800 pipes, formerly installed in the Poirel room in Nancy .
• 2004: Transfer of a part of the assets where several painters and sculptors are settled.
Foundation of the Center for Art and Culture Droiteval (association) Subject: maintain, enhance and support a part of the site through artistic creation. The Studio l´Oiseau Libre: Home with accommodation for painting courses, sculpture, engraving, mosaic, etc.


The art center organizes during the summer exhibitions and installations of modern and contemporary art, in the exhibition halls, crypt and in the sculpture garden.

Courses: painting, graphics, mosaic, sculpture, land art, etc., for adults, locally, nationally and internationally, with or without overnight stays in the guestrooms on the spot.
The art centre welcomes artists in Residence to acquire a personal task, individually or in groups.

Over the whole year, the art centre organizes weekly painting courses and in the crypt: concerts, music bar, open stage and art fairs.
The crypt is a vaulted hall, suitable for 50 people, with a small stage with lighting and a modest sound system.

This hall and the activity halls are for rent. For more information, please contact us!

Exhibitions 2018

From April 29th to September 16th

Theme: l´Arbre (tree)

Call for artists to be inspired by this theme and to sign up by mailing photos and a CV to: artculturedroiteval@free.fr

Registrations before March 31

Courses 2018

Mai 6 to 12 June 3 to 9 – July 8 to 14 –

painting, sculpture and mosaics, given by Mirjam Bijvank

more info: www.mirjambijvank.com


Mai 20 to 26


given by Ben Kruijsen and Walter Blazer

more info: www.natuuradvies.nl


June 24 to 30

writing-painting week

given by Mirjam Bijvank and Arianne Collee

more info: www.mirjambijvank.com and www.draadvanarianne.nl


July 1 to 7

ceramics, given by Maxime Defer (French spoken)

more info: www.max-defer-ceramique.fr


August 26 to September 1

Theater, given by Ebba de Niet

more info: www.actofbeing.nl  (Sorry, but my site is only in Dutch)


Would you like to be in a wonderful environment (Droiteval in the North of France), staying in a former monastery in a wood and explore the area? I don’t mean that you start determining what kind of trees there are, I mean that you go inside yourself and notice what the trees evoke in you and the group…TREES.….What do they do? What do they mean to you? What do they mean for the environment, the world? What have they seen? Do they have a personality? Which tree right here appeals to you most? How would you verbalise that? And how would you show that to others?

5 mornings from 9-13 hours (the rest of the day is free) we will explore the trees in the nearby forest by means of group/theatre exercises. On Friday we will give a performance about the experience we had with TREES and the group in the past week.

For whom? For anyone who likes to be in a beautiful wooded area in a creative, active way. There is no need at all to have any acting experience. Just bring yourself and be ready to be open about what the exercises bring about in you. Be willing to try things out..even if they are a bit outside your comfort zone. (with complete respect to your borders of course.)


Practical info:

Place: 2 Chemin des Pins – Droiteval, 88410 Claudon, Frankrijk (Voges)

Arrival: Sunday August 26 from 16.00 hours leaving September 1st, in the morning

Course dates: August 27- 31, 2018

Course times: 9.00 – 13.00 hours

Languages: Dutch, English, French.

Cost: € 210,-

Group: 6-12 people

Accommodation: several possibilities varying from € 135 p/p for a shared room (double room) to € 305 p/p for a single’s studio. More info on this: www.mirjambijvank.com/cursussen/prijzen (in French or Dutch)

or: if you can’t read French or Dutch, mail me: aob@actofbeing.nl

Catering: DIY. (There is a communal kitchen you can use with a diningroom and terrace outside and there are two studio’s with their own cookingfacilities.

Come to this adventure between and with the TREES!

I’d love to see you.





Do you also want to experience this beautiful place? Please contact us.

Previous activities



Mirjam Bijvank
Atelier L'Oiseau Libre
2 Chemin des Pins, 88410 Claudon,

E-mail: artculturedroiteval@free.fr