When I heard that AP’art, a new regional art festival, was coming our way this week, I asked my artsy friend Angela Billows to give us all the details. Here’s her report.
This year sees the launch of Ap’art, an international contemporary art festival set amongst the beauty of the Alpilles Mountains. It runs from July 8 to 13, to coincide with the summer festivals in Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Avignon and Marseille.
Based in St Rémy and extending within a 10 mile radius (from Orgon to Tarascon, including Noves, Eygalieres, Les Baux, Mausanne and St-Etienne-du Grès), the festival will take place in 30 or so venues with roughly 60 artists participating over a six-day period.
But don’t expect galleries with white walls; the Festival is being staged in sites as diverse as the art itself: town halls, museums, chapels, vineyards, hotels, quarries, parks and gardens--as well as the artists’ own studios.
One of the aims of the Festival is to make contemporary art accessible to everyone and many of the artists will be on hand to discuss their work. Besides exhibits and installations, the schedule includes lectures, debates, film screenings, picnics and dinners.
Each year, the Festival will select a well-known artist to show his or her work in a medium different from the one for which he is known. This year Jessica Lange, actor and two-time Oscar winner, will be exhibiting her black and white photographs at Hotel L’Ateliers de L’Image in St Rémy.
Auctions benefiting the non-profit group A3-art, organizers of the festival, will take place on Place Jules Pellisier in St. Remy on Saturday July 10 at 11:45 a.m. and Sunday 11th July at 11:30 a.m. Among the items to be auctioned are original artworks created specifically for the festival
Wherever you go in this part of Provence during the next six days, you’ll see something happening. So get out there and see, feel and smell the art of the Alpilles!
Here are a few of the exhibits likely to be festival highlights:
In Les Baux, Jean Verame and Marke Newton will be projecting their art onto the rocks.
In the quarry of Mas de la Pyramide in St Rémy, you can experience Flower Fractal, a garden of virtual flowers by Miguel Chevalier.
In Tarascon at the foothills of the Alpilles, you can visit the beautiful Chapel St Gabriel, which dates to the 12th century, and daydream for a moment in a bamboo bubble cocoon created by Myriam Goubey.
In the town of Tarascon itself, you can visit the exhibition of Pierre-Marie Brisson in Les Cordeliers, a 14th-century monastery. Whilst there, be sure to visit Souleiado, the home and museum of the Provencal fabric maker, where you’ll see the work of Michael de Feo. Further down the road, Wolfgang Votz will be showing his landscape photos at La Chapelle de Persévérance.
As you’re out and about, look for Ultra Violet (of Andy Warhol fame), who will be filming artists and festival-goers around St Rémy.
AP’art kicks off with two opening ceremonies, one in St. Remy and one in Les Baux. The first is 7:30 p.m. on July 8 in front of the Mairie (Place Jules-Pellissier) in St. Remy. Mayor Herve Cherubini, tourism and local officials and artists will be in attendance.
In Les Baux, the inauguration ceremony will be Friday July 9 at noon, at the cistern.
For more information: www.festival-apart.org
Angela Billows, a costume designer for film and tv, and her husband, the painter Jake Paltenghi, live in Tarascon. (Angela blogs about life in Provence here. Jake's website is here.) As part of the Ap’art festival, Jake will be showing paintings and sculptures inspired by walks in the Alpilles. His studio (opposite Souleiado, at 38 rue Charles Demery) will be open daily 3-6 p.m. To reach Jake or Angela: 04-90-52-28-41.