© Christian Robert
Saint-Nazaire

Art around town

Saint-Nazaire presents visitors with coats of many colours! Over the past few years, the town has given the green light to a selection of artists, allowing them to decorate a number of buildings with vibrant wall paintings. Here, street art is making walls dance!

 

Saint-Nazaire

Art around town

To enable you to locate easily the various artworks mentioned below and scattered around Saint-Nazaire, together with the town’s major monuments, sculptures and exhibition spaces, get hold of a copy of the brochure “Parcours à Saint-Nazaire – l’Art en Ville”, given out free at the Tourist Office, or to be consulted online, on this very website!

Les Escales – a Saint-Nazaire festival with a very colourful side!

Melbourne, Valparaiso, Detroit, Cape Town, Saint-Nazaire… No, it’s not a game of spot the odd one out! Saint-Nazaire has something in common with these major towns in Australia, Chile, the USA and South Africa – street art painted by leading artists. Since 2015, the festival Les Escales has invited specialists in street art from selected countries to decorate various buildings.

  • In the Petit Maroc Quarter, outsized, rather enigmatic figures painted by Chilean artists Inti and La Robot de Madera lead you along to the side of the Loire Estuary, passing via a lush jungle scene depicted by Charquipunk.
  • Not far from here, it’s easy to spot the impressive, six-storey-high abstract composition created by Ellen Rutt (USA) in 2017.
  • At the junction of Rue Henri Gautier and Rue des Frères Pereire, one apartment block particularly stands out. Flamboyant flowers native to South Africa have bloomed on one side since summer 2016, thanks to the artist Nardstar*; on another side, opposite the theatre, the fascinating face of an Aborigine boy, painted by Australian Matt Adnate, draws your gaze.
  • Finally, the most recent addition, on a wall along Rue d’Anjou, recreates the convivial, musical atmosphere of the wider Les Escales festival, this painting executed by Apolo Torres in 2019.

Street art in Saint-Nazaire

That’s not all, by any means! Around town, seek out: on Avenue de Lesseps, a large fresco by the artists Toqué Frères, celebrating Saint-Nazaire’s pride in its traditions linked to ocean liners; on Avenue de la République, a giant eagle, on whose back you feel you could fly away, the bird painted by DALEast; in the Petit Maroc Quarter, a mysterious work by Djuradje, facing the ocean; along Boulevard Paul Leferme, the highly colourful graffiti art decorating a very long fence; and, on Avenue de Penhoët, the graffiti art along a concrete wall. These last two places see further street art appear every year during the Bouge Festival.

Idea for an unusual visit

WITH THE FAMILY

As a family, seek out Saint-Nazaire’s “Oides” (from the French slang language, verlan, which reverses syllables in a word, here turning around the French word ‘‘doigts’’, or fingers)!

These fun blue figures hide out along Saint-Nazaire’s coastal path, but also, and more discreetly, in the town centre and the harbour area.

They’re a joy for young children and even older ones to discover and are fun to photograph too!

Keep your eyes peeled!