Meet the artists of Greater Paris

How do artists create their works? The best way to find out what goes into creating an artwork is to meet the artists who create them.

The artists’ studios of Père Lachaise, Paris © DR

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. The site where the former Récollets convent was located is also home to the Maison de l'Architecture en Île-de-France, where numerous events on architecture, urban planning and landscaping are organised.

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.

Numerous artists' studios and cités have been set up in Paris to the delight of contemporary art lovers: the artists' studios of Belleville, the Bateau-Lavoir, the Villa des Arts and Montmartre aux Artistes - these three places being located in Montmartre - the Cité fleurie in the 13th arrondissement, the Ateliers de Ménilmontant, the famous Ruche on the Montparnasse side, the Cité internationale des Arts in the Marais, the Ateliers du Père Lachaise, the Ateliers de Paris in the 12th arrondissement, the Fondation des artistes located in the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild and which manages, among other things, the Maison d'art Bernard Anthonioz in Nogent-sur-Marne.

These places are above all places of work. The public is invited to visit them only on the occasion of one-off events or open days: the open days of the Belleville artists' studios, the open days of the Ateliers d'Artistes du Pré Saint-Gervais, the open days of the Père Lachaise artists' studios, the open days of the Ménilmontant studios, the open days of the Artists of the 16th arrondissement, the open days of Anvers aux Abbesses...

Performance de Romana Schmalisch aux Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers © DR

Among the other centres that welcome artists and provide them with support to produce their artworks, are La Maison des Arts in Malakoff, Maison Pop 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. Nouveau Gare au Théâtre, in Vitry-sur-Seine, has an artist-in-residence and provides a space for artistic creation of all kinds. 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, les ateliers d’artistes. Definitely one for your diary!

Find out about free visits to artists' studios in Paris and the Ile-de-France region.