Paris has always been a capital for artists, with districts like Montmartre, Montparnasse, and Belleville being natural incubators for nurturing artistic activity. And still today, artists’ residencies are blossoming: on the banks of the Canal Saint-Martin at the Point Ephémère, the Centre Les Récollets, or the Frigos, housed in a former warehouse in the Grande Bibliothèque neighbourhood.
In the 19th arrondissement, on the former site of a municipal funeral home, the Centquatre covers an area of nearly 39,000 sq.m. Every year it welcomes some forty artists and intellectuals from around the world as part of its residence scheme.
Among the other centres that welcome artists and provide them with support to produce their artworks, are La Maison des Arts in Malakoff, La Maison Populaire in Montreuil, the Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, and the 6B in Saint-Denis. In Arcueil, Le Lieu de l’Autre - Anis Gras has transformed a former anisette distillery into a space for the creation, dissemination and display of art that also provides a venue for artists’ workshops. This multidisciplinary space organises exhibitions, shows, creative events and the Bruits Blancs music festival - a laboratory for sound, visual and literary works.
Gare au Théâtre, in Vitry-sur-Seine, has an artist-in-residence and provides a space for artistic creation of all kinds. It was also the founder of the Nous n’irons pas à Avignon festival. La Fonderie artists’ collective in Fontenay-sous-Bois is well worth the detour too.
Every year in September, the artists’ workshops in Ivry-sur-Seine open their doors to the public as part of the Plein Feux festival. Definitely one for your diary!