This interactive art exchange celebrates the 50th anniversary of the
Boston/Strasbourg Sister City Association.
In the summer of 2011, the participating artists (25 from each city) created 16 inch x 20 inch artworks
on paper. After completion, these works were collected, photographed and shipped across the Atlantic
The background art was randomly distributed to our 50 artists and they added a second layer of
imagery directly on top of the first, similar to the French Surrealists' parlor game
The Exquisite Corpse.
When this phase was completed, the works were returned to their country
of origin, completed and exhibited.
This website documents the evolution of that process. Some pieces display a visual dialogue
between strangers while others contain layers so dense that you cannot see what came before.
From pure abstraction to classical nudes, this collection of artwork is filled with ingenuity,
history and humor; an anthology of techniques from drawing and painting to silk screen and gold leaf.
After asking the artists to incorporate marks, materials and compositions that were foreign to
their own visual vocabularies, one universal sentiment emerged: this process challenged each person
to stretch artistically. Essentially, all 50 artists embraced a found object and somehow made it
their own. One artist aptly said, "This project was like creating a reply to a message
in a bottle."
Project Author, 2012
The Par Avion Project's advantage is the alchemy of collaboration, which can take surprising turns.
The uncertainty of what may happen next frees these artists to simply play.
Cate McQuaid, The Boston Globe