Les Frigos – A weekend for Art lovers
What’s the much-anticipated event happening this weekend, aside from Fêtes de Mères?
It’s the 2019 Portes Ouvertes at Les Frigos! Les Frigos is the historical and monumental artists’ workspace in the 13th arrondissement, and they will open their vaults for the annual open house on May 25-26.
If you’re keen to see local artwork, peer into the studios of working crafts-people, set in a large maze layered with graffiti – then add this to your ‘to-do’ list, right after the ‘breakfast in bed’ bullet item!
When my family and I strolled past the Les Frigos building in February, I was instantly curious and really wanted to get inside to see what it was. I was amazed, and thankful, that such a dilapidated building had been spared from the large urban redevelopment projects nearby, like its neighbours at the BNF complex or the sprawling Paris Rive Gauche project.
Les Frigos was built in the 1920s and used as a cold storage warehouse until 1975. It was operated by SNCF for some decades but is now owned by the city; since the 1980’s it has remained as a workspace for a wide range of artists and crafts-people. Today, 200 creators work here.
While loitering around outside in the parking lot for a few minutes kind of expecting Willy Wonka to appear, a friendly man standing by the door asked us if we wanted to go in. (We must look harmless!) Of course, we said, ‘Sure!” and he beckoned us inside.
The space isn’t usually open to the public, and there didn’t seem to be anyone around because it was early on a Saturday, so we sneaked around the building quietly, as if we were trespassing. The building was massive and the hallways and industrial doorways, by themselves, displayed a graffiti gallery worth checking out.
Unfortunately, none of the studio doors were open, therefore the annual open house event, scheduled in May, was the only way we were going to be able to see more! And it only happens one weekend a year!
So roll forward 3 months and here we are! Just a few days to go and we will be able to see the wonderful work created by these independent artists.
So if you are in Paris don’t miss out. For more information on the artists and studios here, go to the Les Frigos website.
Les Frigos 2019 Porte Ouvertes – May 25 (14h-22h) and May 26 (14h-20h)
19 rue des Frigos 75013 Paris
Try not to miss it. Enjoy!
For more ideas on what to do this month check out our May events post.