Parlons du Street Art de Grenoble
Date of this Version
Peterson, Claire. “Parlons Du Street Art.” PARLONS DU STREET ART, Weebly, 7 Apr. 2022. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. https://parlonsdustreetartgnb.weebly.com/.
This project is meant to showcase the history of street art and graffiti in Grenoble, France. I examined how, in just a few years, this southern mountain town was able to create one of the biggest street art festivals in the world, and how its roots in French graffiti trends have helped push the city into the forefront of the European art scene. Over the course of four months, I collected photos and videos of the current graffiti and street art works of Grenoble, and I interviewed a few of the art experts in the city.
Mostly, I worked alongside Jerome Catz, owner of Spacejunk art gallery in Grenoble and founder of The Street Art Fest Grenoble. Being raised in Grenoble, Catz was able to explain the history of this art form in his city. He explained his role in creating the festival and how it has changed the public perception of street art. I also talked with Michael Foley, professor of American culture at Université Grenoble Alpes. Foley has published multiple books on the political awareness of American musicians, such as Johnny Cash. He was also largely responsible for inviting Shepard Fairey to the 2018 street art festival. Fairey, who is best known for his Obama HOPE poster, is debatably the most well-known artist with work in Grenoble. Foley related the development of European street art to that of America, particularly New York and Philadelphia. Foley’s graduate student, Léa Fournier-Bouvet was also helpful in teaching me about the graffiti scene in Grenoble. Fournier-Bouvet, who grew up in a small town outside of Grenoble, was pursuing her doctorate in English studies and focused on the growth of street art and Hip-Hop culture in America.
With this project, I had the opportunity to use my journalistic research skills as well as my French speaking and writing skills to create an interesting and interactive online story. I edited all of the videos, wrote each piece and designed the website myself with the help of Professor Michelle Hassler in the journalism college and Dr. Jordan Stump from the French department. The majority of the work was done during my fall 2021 study abroad semester in Grenoble.