6 janvier 2012 5 06 /01 /janvier /2012 00:02

Chaque premier vendredi du mois, le centre ville de Phoenix se noircit de monde.

Phoenix est la capitale de l'Arizona aux Etats-Unis. C'est une ville aux dimensions exceptionelles: une densité de 1084 hab./km2 sur une superficie de 1334,1 km2 (Paris: 21196 hab./km2 pour 105,4 km2!). Elle est construite dans le désert Sonora ce qui lui a permit une extension sans limites. Ce fait offre une bonne qualité de vie, avec jardin privatif pour chacun, mais empêche les moments de rencontres qu'offre une ville aux dimensions de l'homme. A Phoenix, pas question de marcher ou d'emprunter les rares transports en commun, il faut prendre sa voiture pour le moindre déplacement.

C'est pour cela que l'évènement du premier vendredi du mois est un grand succès: dans le quartier des artistes du centre-ville, un marché d'artisanat prend place en soirée , permettant aux galeries d'art de rester ouvertes, aux camions de nourriture de se regrouper, aux musiciens de jouer dans la rue...

C'est dans ce contexte que j'ai proposé un atelier de confection de couronne. Chaque personnes était libre de s'arrêter et de fabriquer une couronne avec le matériel de récupération qui était disponible (papier, autocollants, images, stylos, ...)

You may have seen the earlier post on this blog about “Magic Fridays” at the Museum. They are the brainchild of visiting artist-in-residence Matteo Rubbi, from Bergamo, Italy, and his girlfriend, French artist Béatrice Bailet, both of whom have shared their fine cooking and their insights with the Museum staff and lucky visitors at several congenial potlucks served in the Museum lobby.

Earlier this month, “Magic Friday” coincided Epiphany (Jan. 6), and for the occasion, Béatrice made a galette des rois, or “king cake.” This delicious confection — thin layers of pastry with a frangipane center — contained two dried beans, and the finders of those beans each received a paper crown, and became king for the day.

That evening, which was also First Friday on downtown Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row, Matteo and Béatrice took the tradition to the streets, making paper crowns with passersby outside the house in which the two artists had been staying.

Béatrice wrote a blog post about the event, which is on her blog:


And here is our own rough translation of Beatrice’s post, which was originally in French. Merci, Béatrice!

Every First Friday of the month, the center of Phoenix is swarmed by people.

Phoenix is the capital of Arizona, in the United States. It’s a city of extraordinary dimensions, with a density of 1,084 inhabitants/km2, and an overall surface area of 1334,1 km2 (Paris: 21,196 inhabitants/km2 for 105,4 km2!) It’s built in the Sonoran Desert, which allows it to expand without limits. This fact means there’s a good quality of life, with a private garden for everyone, but prevents those moments of meeting that occur in a city built on a human scale. In Phoenix, you don’t walk or borrow the rare shared mode of transportation. You have to take your car, even for short trips.

That’s why First Fridays are such a big success: In the arts neighborhood in downtown Phoenix, a kind of art market takes place in the evening, allowing the art galleries to stay open, the food trucks to gather, and musicians to play in the street.

It’s within this context that I suggested a crown-making workshop. Everybody was free to stop and make a crown with the salvaged materials we had available (paper, stickers, images, pens…)


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