Orleans and urban art
When exploring the city centre on foot, you will be amazed by the sheer number as well as the diversity of the urban artworks you will spot.
In Orleans, artworks are just as likely to be splashed on a wall as hanging on one, so get out and explore the city’s urban art.
STREET ART SITES
DESSAUX VINEGAR FACTORY
The now unused land that is the site of the former Dessaux vinegar factory, well known by street artists in Orleans and further afield, has long been covered in graffiti, which you can either spot from Rue de la Tour Neuve or on the walls of the abandoned warehouses on Rue Saint-Flou.
There are even examples by Jef Aérosol, a well-known street artist and indeed pioneer of the movement.
Le Mur OrlEans
An entire wall just for street artists from anywhere in France! This is the idea behind the ‘Mur Orleans’ (Orleans wall) inspired by the M.U.R Paris—providing a space for urban artists to give free rein to their expression.
Every month, a different street artist is picked to cover the wall. The mural stays up for the whole month before it is replaced by future artists.
During your visit to Orleans, swing by the Mur Orleans on the front of Les Carmes Cinema on Rue Henri Roy to see a modern work of art in continual renewal.
STREET ART AS YOU STROLL
Look up! You’ll almost certainly spot a yellow cat with a big smile somewhere above the rooftops of Orleans.
Painted here and there at several strategic spots around Orleans, they are the creation of Thoma Vuille, aka Monsieur Chat, an artist who has found international fame for his cats which bring a sense of humanity and optimism to urban landscapes.
Orleans was his original canvas, from the late 1990s to the early 2000s.
As you set off in search of them around the city, keep your eyes peeled, on Place de la République, Rue des Carmes, a chimney above Place Sainte-Croix and many other sites. How many Monsieur Chat cats you can spy during your weekend in Orleans?
Have you noticed little multi-coloured mosaics on certain street corners around Orleans?
They are the creations of street artist MifaMosa who takes a street name and gives it a visual, often comical spin, placing the mosaic above or below the street sign for all the world to see.
This ‘street illustrator’ produced 100 such mosaics around the city and has since exported this fun, colourful concept to other cities in France.
Go on a treasure hunt to find all one hundred of them during your visit to Orleans!
Fish are hiding all over Orleans. The artist known as Rire is an Orleans native who likes to display his collages outdoors! Blue, pink, whatever their colour, their bulging eyes certainly catch one’s eye!
You’ll spot most of them on the streets around the old town.
Levalet’s black and white art installations interact with the urban furniture. See an example of the artist’s work on the corner of Rue des Minimes.
STREET ART EVENTS IN ORLEANS
Roads features an open day introducing the general public to street art and urban culture in the broadest sense. The festival features exhibitions, events and performances.
The Loire Art Show, meanwhile, lets urban art take over Orleans with exhibitions occupying out-of-the-ordinary venues on the brink of renovation. Popular artists from France and overseas are booked for exhibitions, live painting and concerts/DJ sets.
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