Art plays an important role at the Provence -- both in and out of the kitchen. Recognized for the skillfully prepared regional French and Mediterranean cuisine of executive chef Baptist Knaven, an owner of the iconic Carrboro, North Carolina, restaurant, Provence additionally serves as a tribute to vintage art, and a revolving showplace for the works of local artists.
"The artistic anchor for the main dining room is a 42-by-42-inch oil-on-canvas copy of post-impressionist Gaston La Touche's 'Pardon in Brittany,'" Knaven says. "The original, painted in Paris around 1896, hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago."
Presently sharing the creative spotlight at Provence are original oil paintings by award-winning artist Karen Meredith, whose nature-inspired works have been featured since 2005 throughout the local region and as far west as California.
"I feel honored to display my art at Provence," Meredith says. "They have been very supportive of me as an artist. In fact, I recently was invited to speak about my creative journey during one of their monthly wine-paired dinners. The setting is charming and the staff is friendly and supportive in every way."
Primarily self-taught, Ms. Meredith has participated in workshops with such highly recognized artists as Charles Reid, Mel Stabin, Frank Webb, Scott Christensen, Deborah Paris and Susan Sarback, to name just a few.
"Karen's paintings perfectly complement the sophistication and warmth of Provence," Knaven says. "It's almost magical, much in the way the right choice of wines pair well with fine cuisine.”