The a-part festival in Provence : When Street Art & Contemporary Art become one!

The a-part festival in Provence : When Street Art & Contemporary Art become one!

16 August 2022 0 By Séverine

Street Art has always been an integral part of Contemporary Art. Only a small category of people, who practice the “entre soit”, tries to partition the arts through the centuries. People who often protect a dusty contemporary world afraid of the impetus brought to the art world by urban artists. So when I came across a work by the Berlin underground collective, Die Dixons, while walking in the bucolic French Alpilles, my blood ran cold. And when I realized that a little further on this grain silo still in activity there was also a work of Aurèle Ricard alias Aurele Lost Dog, a French contemporary artist; I remained speechless while wondering how these two worlds had finally been able to meet in this small village of the Alpilles that is Saint-Étienne-du-Grès?


Festival-à-part-oeuvres Street Art de Die Dixons et KEF

Oeuvres de Die Dixons & KEF au silo Alpilles Céréales – Photo ©Altinnov


After an excitement not dissimulated by this discovery; I started to look for the person in charge of this magnificent idea to mix contemporary and urban artists in a very urbex place in the middle of an enchanted nature! I easily found it and thought that a nugget like this one could not stay in the shadow, and that all of you, lovers and enthusiasts of urban art would certainly want to discover it 😉


Aurele Lost Dog - Aurele Ricard - art contemporain - Alpilles - photo ©Altinnov

Aurèle Ricard alias Aurele Lost Dog au Silo Alpilles Céréales – Photo ©Altinnov


The a-part festival: a contemporary UFO that feels good!


If I tell you about this Festival, even though I never write about urban art festivals/fairs, it’s simply because its editorial line goes in the same direction as the one of the blog 😉 The a-part Festival, which wears its name wonderfully well, is free, yes you read correctly! Created in 2010 by Leila Voight, it brings together visual artists, sculptors, painters, photographers, urban artists, cultural essayists,… Every year more and more visitors come to discover this atypical festival in the Alpilles. It embodies wonderfully what I call culture for all and offers a wind of freedom necessary to any form of creation.


Oeuvre du street artiste Kraken sur un silo dans les Alpilles

Oeuvre de Kraken sur le Silo Alpilles Céréales – Photo ©Altinnov


I can’t talk about the atmosphere of the Festival since I couldn’t attend, and even if I met its creator very quickly who made me want to go there next year, I usually talk about the places I walk on. So I’m going to focus on the Silo of the Alpilles Céréales cooperative; a silo that is still in activity and that now looks like an open-air museum.


The Alpilles Céréales Silo: a global work of art!


It was on a cavernous Sunday in October 2021 that I discovered this incredible Silo! I thought for a moment that it was no longer in use and that urban artists had taken over. The gloomy weather of this day made this colorful discovery even more improbable! After a moment of excitement, I pulled myself together and began to take in the works one by one. The whole was already breathtaking, the detail was striking! How was it possible that a Silo nestled in the heart of the Alpilles could bring together the works of French & international contemporary artists as well as urban art figures without me having been informed!


Festival-à-part - Jean-Pierre Formica - Guillermo S. Quintana - Felix Rodewaldt

Oeuvre de Jean-Pierre Formica, Guillermo S. Quintana, Felix Rodewaldt – Photo ©Altinnov


I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this sensation when you discover a treasure… but it’s exactly the feeling I had at that precise moment. A work of Die Dixons in France is already rare, but then there in the Alpilles it appeared to me as completely anachronistic! And to find Michael De Feo alias The Flower Guy whose flowers I saw in New-York City or in Vitry-sur-Seine in France, we talk about it 😉


Michael De Feo alias The Flower Guy - Street art - art urbain - saint-etienne du grès

Michael De Feo alias The Flower Guy – Photo ©Altinnov


Once the discovery was digested, I promised myself to come back this summer to take pictures in good conditions in order to sublimate these works as they deserve. And I must tell you that I do not regret having braved the heat wave to admire the variable geometries of Guillermo S. Quintana and Felix Rodewaldt; they masterfully illuminate this industrial building. As for Jean-Pierre Formica‘s giant octopus, it projects us into a universe like 20,000 leagues under the sea, which answers Ciyo‘s magnificent diving suit and joins Amanda Arrou-tea‘s one, all in finesse and poetry.


Jean-Pierre Formica - artiste contemporain

oeuvre de jean-Pierre Formica – Photo ©Altinnov


festival-à-part- oeuvre Street Art de Ciyo représentant un scaphandre ancien

Oeuvre de Ciyo – Photo ©Altinnov


oeuvre Street Art d'Amanda Arrou-tea pour le Festival-à-part dans les Alpilles

Oeuvre d’Amanda Arrou-tea sur le Silo Alpilles Céréales – Photo ©Altinnov


On this silo, Jacques Villeglé, a French pioneer of urban art and his socio-cultural alphabet, dialogues fluidly with young contemporary artists such as Simon & Claire Chapuis. Internationally recognized contemporary artists have tried their hand at muralism alongside emerging urban artists. The whole creates a pleasant and generous alchemy. The a-part Festival succeeded in making the Alpilles Céréales silo a a-part silo for the pleasure of our eyes.


Festival-à-part Jacques Villeglé et son alphabet socio-culturel

Jacques Villeglé et son alphabet socio-culturel – Photo ©Altinnov


Festival-à-part oeuvre de Claire & Simon Chapuis au Silo Alpilles Céréales

Oeuvre de Claire & Simon Chapuis – Photo ©Altinnov


Should you go to the a-part festival 2023 edition?


It’s difficult for me to answer this question since I’ve only seen the Silo. But one thing is certain, I will do my best to attend next summer! In any case, if you are walking around Provence and the Alpilles, I strongly advise you to stop there! Whether you go to Nîmes for its vibrant street art scene, to Avignon for its theater festival or to Arles for the photography festival, you should know that the Silo Alpilles Céréales is only 20 minutes away from all these cities 😉

It’s time for me to leave you with the little live made on the spot ! I’m off to new Street Art adventures that should lead me to the waterfront 😉

See you very soon and enjoy your vacations until the end!