In every era, without the intervention of patrons in one form or another, few artists would have seen their work passed down to us over the centuries. François Schneider intends to play his part in this tradition by means of a project in tune with his own era, with the aim of helping contemporary artists who require support today, so that they can perhaps achieve recognition tomorrow.

“Contemporary art sometimes seems to be guided, even shaped, by the media buzz it generates. Far away from the “showbiz” world which often gravitates around contemporary art, we will devote our energy and our resources to enabling new talents to make a name for themselves.

Our first ambition consists of introducing the talents of unknown creative artists to a wider audience. We are able to bring legitimacy to the artists we select by giving them an important endorsement, through the recognition of our panel of judges composed of experts of worldwide renown. The rigour and independence of their deliberations gives their endorsement its value. Furthermore, the attention that we devote to showcasing the works, to the presentation of our exhibitions and to our communication in all its forms should ensure that we play a useful role in the art world.

Our second objective is to bring the public closer to contemporary art. Choosing a single theme for our art centre simplifies the task of conveying new emotions and perceptions to our contemporaries, particularly to the youngest visitors. Water, the subject common to all the works exhibited, will provide the thread that guides our visitors, helping them to understand the diversity of perspectives on the world around us, the rich palette of sensibilities that make up that world, and the infinite register of imagination brought to bear by artists of every origin and culture. If, in addition, our work also gains a measure of renown, then we will consider that our objectives have been attained, far beyond our expectations.”

François Schneider

At the instigation of its founder, the Foundation works autonomously to foster the emergence of new talents through two distinct programmes: At the instigation of its founder, the Foundation works autonomously to foster the emergence of new talents through two distinct programmes:

Scholarships for higher education

Supporting young people from modest backgrounds from Yonne and Haut-Rhin – two departments of France to which François Schneider is linked by his own background – with scholarships to enable them to access higher education.

The individual scholarships awarded range between €500 and €5,000, whilst an average of 200,000 euros is distributed by the François Schneider Foundation each year.

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Fondation François Schneider Concours Talents Contemporains

The “Contemporary Talents” competition

Each year, the Contemporary Talents competition invites artists of all nationalities working in any disciple to submit completed works or projects on the theme of water. The selected artists’ works are then exhibited at the Art Centre.

As a result, a unique collection of art based around the theme of water has been built up over the years. It currently comprises more than forty pieces, including drawings, paintings, sculptures, videos, photographs and installations. The artists explore the theme of water through numerous aspects (scientific, political, environmental, philosophical) and the original contributions from each artist illustrate the diversity of 21st century artistic practices.

This initiative to support creative activity is also supplemented by artist residencies.

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Creation of the François Schneider Foundation, under the aegis of the Fondation de France.


First initiatives to support disadvantaged young people in Yonne and Haut-Rhin. In the first year, 62 scholarships are awarded.

10 August

Decree signed by the Prime Minister and the Minister of the Interior recognising the François Schneider Foundation as a body acting in the public interest.


Design work for the Art Centre begins

1 June

Launch of the first edition of the “Contemporary Talents” competition

11 October

Announcement of the winners of the first edition of the “Contemporary Talents”

15 June

Launch of the second edition of the “Contemporary Talents”

16 May

Inauguration of the Art Centre and announcement of the winners of the second edition of the “Contemporary Talents”

2 September

Launch of the third edition of the “Contemporary Talents”

11 September

The Art Centre opens to the public


Narcissus, the Image in the Wave (curated by Philippe Régnier)


The 4 Elements of Nils Udo (curated by Auguste Vonville)


Troubled Waters, Calm Waters (curated by François Hébel)


Melting – Anna Katharina Scheidegger (in partnership with La Filature theatre)

1 July

Launch of the seventh edition of the “Contemporary Talents”


1001 Drops – (in partnership with the Académie de Strasbourg)


The Cloud Atlas (curated by Marie Terrieux)


Testing the waters (in co-production with Quatre 4.0 / L’Ososphère)


Revelations ( in partnership with the Rouffach Hospital Center)


Céleste Boursier-Mougenot : liquid, liquid (curated by Marie Terrieux)


Drawing water (curated by Jean-Philippe Martin, with the International City of Comics and Images (Cité Internationale de la Bande Dessinée et de l’Image) in Angoulême, in partnership with the illustration department of the HEAR and the 35th Bédéciné Festival)

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Entrée Bâtiment Fondation François Schneider


Set in an exceptional natural landscape at the foot of the Vosges mountains in the village of Wattwiller, the François Schneider Foundation’s Contemporary Art Centre presents exhibitions and a programme of cultural events linked to the theme of water throughout the year.

The space was inaugurated in 2013 on the site of a former bottling plant, which has been extended and transformed. With its architecture based around light and transparency, the building provides over 2000 m2 of floor space, in addition to the adjoining sculpture garden.

Résidences d'artistes - Fondation François Schneider


The residencies held in Hirtzenstein in the forest of Wattwiller will be open to artists via a call for projects in 2018 or by invitation.The residencies held in Hirtzenstein in the forest of Wattwiller will be open to artists via a call for projects in 2018 or by invitation.


Marie Terrieux


Elodie Graff

Head of operations

Sarah Guilain

Artistic projects and collections manager

Raoul Ermel

Collections manager

Gwenaël D’Anna

Receptionist and collections management assistant

Solène Gwinner

Cultural mediation and communication manager

Halima El Hamdi

Receptionist and administrative assistant

Composition of the Board of Directors:

Aurélia Schneider – Aim


Jean Olivier Schneider

Vice Chairman

Roland Plumail


François Schneider

Assistant treasurer

Other directors:

Jean-François Chanet | Stéphane Guyot-Sionnest | Élise Jasmin | Hélène Mugot | Nicole Vulser | Eric Bezard | Régis Pichonneau

Art contemporain oeuvre jardin Fondation François Schneider