Les Jeudis Arty
On June 5, some 40 galleries in the Marais will stay open till 10pm as part of a new cultural initiative
Mon May 5 2014
It started with London's First Thursdays, a concept that sees 150 galleries in the city's eastern neighbourhoods stay open till late on the first Thursday of each month. Now Paris has got in on the act with its Jeudis Arty, whose inaugural event is planned for June 5.
If the basic idea is the same, Jeudis Arty differs from its British cousin on a few counts. Lacking the backing of an institution like the Whitechapel Gallery, it will necessarily take place on a smaller scale: expect 40-odd participating galleries and only one event per three months. And where First Thursdays is centred on the trendy, grungy East End, in Paris the action will take place in the fancier-than-thou Marais.
Yet while the 3rd arrondissement lacks the hipster credentials of, say, Belleville, the sheer concentration of art galleries in the area makes it a logical choice of venue. Amid the heavyweights nestle smaller, more progressive galleries: keep an eye on the likes of Derouillon and Lazarew, known for their leftfield exhibitions and dynamic event programmes. As well as opening up their permanent collections, many venues will be putting on one-off talks, seminars, Q&A sessions and suchlike.
While the Parisian cultural calendar is chock-full of private views and elite 'special events', the tradition of inclusive, popular events spread over multiple venues has – with notable exceptions – failed to take root in the city so far. With any luck, Jeudis Arty will change that. The free entry policy is a good start, though the organisers are also offering €30 passes (€25 on pre-order) that grant access to special events and afterparties. See you there.
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