Grenoble, France is a city located in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France and sits at the foot of the Alps between the Drac and Isère rivers. It’s about 60 miles away from the major city of Lyon but can easily be reached by train. The city is completely surrounded by mountain chains which gives it an Alpine atmosphere. From the city, you can catch glimpses of the Vercors, Chartreuse, and Belladonne mountain chains. Famous for natural beauty and skiing, the city also serves as a hub for education, research and industry. It’s also a great place to connect to other cities in the Provence and South of France regions as well as Switzerland and Italy. But what I think is seriously understated about Grenoble is the sheer quantity of public art found across the city. Grenoble street art is varied, eclectic and around every corner.
If you’re a street art aficionado then you definitely need to visit Grenoble.
** You’re going to get hungry while you explore the Grenoble street art scene so here are 5 small restaurants to try in Grenoble.
Grenoble Street Art Festival
Street Art is so popular in Grenoble that the city, in conjunction with Genoble Alps University, has put on a street art festival for the last few years. At first the festival only occurred in Grenoble but now extends to the surrounding areas including Le-Pont-de-Claix, Saint-Martin-d’Hères, Echirolles, and Fontaine. The Grenoble Street Art Festival focuses on local, national, and international street artists and encourages these artists to apply to create both small and monumental works of art to be enjoyed by anyone who wishes to see them. Additionally, the festival includes various events, exhibits, a fun run, and even free film screenings. It’s quite the event not to be missed if you love street art.
Dates for the Grenoble Street Art Festival change yearly but it usually takes place in May to June. Check it out here for more information about the Grenoble Street Art Festival.
Grenoble Street Art: Some Photos
There are so many different styles and types of street art in Grenoble to see across the city. if you love public art then you will definitely enjoy discovering all Grenoble has to offer. This map will help guide you around the city as you explore Grenoble street art.
Of course, street art has existed for thousands of years with graffiti being found at ancient ruin sights such as Pompeii. Street art began with seedy backstreet grafiti and is often relegated to the illegal activities of bored youths. However there is a difference between this type of graffiti and street art.
In Grenoble, street art is viewed as something to be proud of and it brings colorful life to the city’s neighborhoods. Where once there stood a boring, blank wall, now there is an incredible work of art. These multistory works of art clearly differentiate from common graffiti and definitely calls attention.
During the Grenoble Street Art Festival, the city invites artists from across France to paint monumental works of art. For instance, this mural is located in Fountaine and incorporates the cables from the street train into the mural serving as the “string” connecting the two can the children are using as a telephone. It’s one of my favorites!
International street artists are also invited to participate in the Grenoble Street Art Festival and come from all corners of the globe. For instance, this mural was created by street artists Nevercrew and is called Ordering Machine. It depicts humankind’s relation to nature touching on the subjects of belonging, consumption, and appropriation. Read more about the mural here.
You’ll find street art around every corner and on just about any surface that’s possible. Grenoble street art is eclectic and highly creative.
Even this road was graced with a pretty cool design that just adds so much life to what would be otherwise mediocre looking area. It’s literally street art.
Much of Grenoble’s street art uses the shapes and designs of the structures they are on as a guide. Basically, the buildings and such influence the design of the art.
You’ll notice any surface can and will be used for street art in Grenoble. Look at this mural dedicated to the concept of peace called La Colombe which means the dove. It was painted in a very cramped space and turned out spectacular.
I truly enjoyed seeing these giant paintings of traditional French mimes painted by Anthony Lister, a world-renowned Australian artists. The mural is located on the walls of the Hoche car park and is difficult to see in its entirety due to the narrowness of the passage.
Many works of street art are often dedicated to social issues and causes. Grenoble street art is no exception to this norm as you will find plenty of works making statements about the world we live in today. For instance, this work called La Fille de Printemps by RNST is dedicated to the Arab Spring.
Seen here is another mural standing in as a commentary of society and is called the Virgin Mary In Prayer and was created by street artist EZK. The mural denounces the enslavement created by social networks.
And this incredible mural was so long I could not photograph the entire thing. It is dedicated to stopping the stigma surrounding HIV and Aids.
You can also find some Grenoble street art not necessarily dedicated to any clear message. Here is one I really enjoyed just because it looked so interesting. I have no idea what it is about.
You can also find these sheep painted across the city. If your walking along, you might just notice one in the most unconventional spots. These sheep are created by a street artist known as The Sheepest. I love them!
** If you’re hoping to explore and discover other aspects of the city, besides Grenoble’s street art scene, check out my Guide to Grenoble!
Here are a few more of some of my favorite pieces of Grenoble Street Art. Check them out! Click the photos to enlarge!
Do you love street art?
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