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STREET ART IN THE LOIRE VALLEY

Street art developed to give artists the opportunity to express themselves freely in the street. The number of urban frescoes breathing new life into ageing buildings or brightening up city landscapes has exploded in recent years. We wanted to share with you our selection of the top places to see the best murals in the Loire Valley.     

Saint-Nazaire  

It was in 2015 that the Les Escales festival in Saint-Nazaire first introduced this art into the city by asking a few artists to come and paint works on an extra-large scale. Since then, the city’s astonishing collection has been enriched with works by associations, collectives and anonymous artists.   
  • The fresco “Unravel” by Australian graffiti artist Matt Adnate can be admired on Boulevard Pereire.  
  • The frescoes in Le Petit Maroc are a well-known feature of the eponymous district situated near the Les Escales festival.   
  • On Boulevard des Apprentis, you will find some rather unusual road signs painted in red and white in reference to the gantry in the neighbouring Chantiers de l'Atlantique dockyard: road markings worth noticing!  
  • You can also view the fresco by the Toqué Frères, two brothers who often spread positive messages through their works and who made a mural depicting the boat the Queen Mary II at 73 Avenue de Lesseps in Saint-Nazaire.  
  • On Rue Henri Gautier, Ellen Rutt has left her artistic mark. Invited by Les Escales, the young American artist from Detroit made her fresco on the "Panama" building. Her vast work covering 108m², called “Serendipity”, is inspired by geometrical codes and plays with bright and cheerful colours.  

 

Angers  

In Angers, the Échappées d’Art collective has been gradually taking over the city since 2016 to create an urban art route available to everyone. Discover their contemporary creations in the streets of Anjou.  
  • The latest addition, in 2019, is called “Abstract Thing”, by Nuira Mora. The artist is one of the few women to become known in street art, and she has created a true visual adventure on the corner of Rue de la Croix and Rue Parcheminerie.  
  • The most surprising of all is the work by Okuda, one of the earliest works in the city, in the small square on Rue Saint-Aubin. The artist reinterpreted the Tapestry of the Apocalypse in a whole new way.  
  • On Place du Pilori, another fresco has been created that is also inspired by the Tapestry of the Apocalypse. This one has been treated completely differently, positioning itself somewhere between imagination and reality. To paint the work, Italian artist Hitness took inspiration from the Nantes naturalist Jean-Jacques Audubon.    
  • The next Anjou fresco is on a primary school on Rue des Cordeliers, made by French artist Jean Moderne and called “Les Écouteurs”.   
  • The pop fresco by the Italian street artist Tellas, titled “Sunset”, combines plant and mineral motifs. You can view the painting on Rue de l'Espine.  

 

Nantes 

Nantes, which is listed as a City of Art and History, is home to originality and surprises at every turn, including unusually decorated shop fronts, exceptional sculptures and, of course, street art. Discover five places to take a street-art stroll.  
  • In the city centre, the vast bright and colourful Katorza fresco is a graphic work with illustrations inspired by science fiction cinema. It was made by two artists: Dino Voodoo and L’outsider, and you can see it at 3 Rue de Corneille in Nantes. 
  • On the Ile de Nantes, near the Hangar à Bananes, a fresco was made in 2015 by graffiti artist Ador, who worked with a dozen high school students to design a work now titled “The Ile de Nantes fresco” which evokes the city’s past and future.   
  • If you go in the direction of the Island Machines and the Trempolino concert hall, you will come across the magnificent painting of The masked cat by Kazy Usclef.   
  • On the corner of Quai Hoche and Rue de la Grande-Biesse, a large yellow fresco will catch your eye. At 10m tall, it brings new energy to the Biesse district and gives it a new identity.  
  • On Rue d’Ancin, discover a recent work made as part of an educational project. It retraces the history of massage parlours and joyous sailors.  

The little extra   

To discover more urban frescoes while walking round town, download the Street Art Cities app which allows you to find out more about a work and the artist. It currently includes the cities of Nantes and Angers.