Every other year since 2002, the city of Vincennes has paid tribute to American literature by organising the literary Festival America.
This year, the festival will host over 80 authors, with a specific focus on Canada, featuring thirty of it’s finest English and French-speaking authors. This is the highest number of writers from this country to ever come to France as one group in recent years.
The Festival America is also an event that gives an important place to the Visual Arts. No less than nine exhibitions dedicated to North America will be set up, ranging from Inuit art to the struggle of the young Lakota Native Americans from the Standing Rock reservation, to engaging street art from New York City and Montreal.
In 2016, French artist Christian Guemy (aka C215) covered many of the city’s public post boxes with his highly detailed and exciting stencil work, offering festival-goers a series of portraits highlighting iconic characters from American culture. This year, once again, the festival gives a prominent place to the Urban Arts by inviting the New York-based artist Logan Hicks, Canadian artist Jason Botkin, and once again the work of C215, who will paint an exclusive mural to mark the occasion.
Logan Hicks is a New York-based artist known for using multiple layers of stencils to achieve photorealistic imagery. Studying at the Maryland Institute of Contemporary Art in the early 1990s, Hicks cut his teeth as a successful screen printer, before being inspired to branch into stencils. During a party thrown at his 6,000 square foot warehouse he owned in Baltimore, Hicks befriended Shepard Fairey, who inspired him to move to Los Angeles to align with the Low Brow movement of the 90s and concentrate on his fine art stencil work. Hicks relocated to Brooklyn in 2006 to focus on his fine art.
Jason Botkin graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 1997 and since 2009, he has been involved in the creation of over 300 personal and collaborative murals internationally since 2009. His largely figurative work is created using a wide variety of mediums, including small and large-scale frescos, installations and objects of all shape and size.
In addition to the exhibitions, the artists will meet with students, as part of the festival’s events specifically aimed at young people. Interviews, guided tours of the artists’ exhibitions and special performances will be taking place.