Here, we present you with a short guide designed especially for street art lovers who want to explore Angers in a new way...
Striking works in the heart of the city
As visitors wander Angers, they discover the extremely diverse works of the “Échappées d’art” urban art route on the city’s walls. This contemporary arts project, created by the city council, stimulates the minds of passers-by as they spot original creations down a street or across a square. One of these eye-catching works is the artist Okuda’s enormous three-headed dog with its bright coloured, solid forms, on the corner of Rue Saint-Aubin and Boulevard Foch. Nearer to the Maine river, on Rue Parcheminerie, the gaze is drawn up to the work Abstract Thing, a drawing composed of geometric forms and soft yet bright colours. This delicate, abstract work is by Nuria Mora, one of the few women involved in this street art scene. Then on Rue du Mail, you have the mural Dix sections produced by the Spanish artist Daniel Munoz, in 2018. His abstract representation of city landmarks, houses and monuments was inspired by a work in the Angers Museum collections. These are just three examples are some of the many works that have blossomed on the walls of the city and left their unique mark on the urban landscape, since 2016.
A running theme throughout the city
Street art is everywhere you go, from the city centre – in Place du Pilori, Rue des Cordeliers and Rue du Mail – to further-afield neighbourhoods like Belle-Beille, Monplaisir or La Roseraie… The mural entitled La Douceur, in the latter, was produced by a collective of the same name founded by two Angers based artists Lemilo and Silas, in 2017. This colourful and delicate work on the wall of a block of flats on Rue André Maurois symbolises the transfer of knowledge from mother to daughter. Each year, the Échappées d’art arts route is enriched with new contributions by street artists from different horizons and invites visitors to discover paintings, paste-ups and installations on the city walls or urban furniture. In summer, guided tours on foot or by bike are provided for those wanting to learn more about the works on the route and about the history of street art.
A game of hide and seek everywhere you go
Trying to spot and track down the works hiding within the urban landscape is fun in itself, whether they be those of anonymous or more well-known artists. In Angers, there are four hidden lighthouses to find by the street artists Dupin & Duclos, who have promised to reward the first ten people to find all four with a linocut print! The artist duo Jordane Dupin and Corentin Duclos have been working in both Nantes and Angers since 2011. Through their street art or exhibitions at the contemporary arts gallery LTK, they question the impact of cities and over-urbanisation on society. They also produced a mural for Échappées d’Art on the windows of Le RU (Repaire Urbain), a cultural venue in the garden of the fine arts museum. Many other such small works – including painted, stencilled, pasted or even cemented creations – are dotted all over the city, allowing you to challenge your observation skills during your visit. The mosaics cemented onto walls by the artist Waldo are a good example. Two of them, a charming red fox and a blue bird on a branch, are well hidden in Rue de la Roë. Can you find them?
Poetic and ephemeral
Street art is an ephemeral art form by definition and is not always intended to be visible for long. Which is why you have to stay on the look-out for these pop-up creations. Two Angevin artists are behind an initiative involving the installation of PAL or “Panneaux Artistique Libres” (free artistic panels) in public or private places. These temporary panels aim to give artists a space to express themselves freely while inviting graphic arts into the everyday lives of local people and visitors.
The pleasure of discovery
At Campus Saint-Serge, a long wall below the university library building acts as a vast playground where street artists from Angers or elsewhere are free to come and paint. Each graffiti artist covers over the previous artist’s work with spray paint or paint, which means the surprise of discovering something new is constant. Over the years and as opportunities have arisen, collectives of artists have regularly made use of places before their demolition or redevelopment. People in Angers will remember being impressed or stunned by the many works produced for a few weeks within an enormous former convent, or those in an abandoned city-centre house taken over by Urb’expo, a street art exhibition by the Art Project Partner association, in 2020. Have fun trying to spot the latest of these secret works on your visit of the city.