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I V Y paris invites you to the Louvre

Eur_erco_louvre_glas_intro_1_0Join an expected 5000 invitees this Sunday at Expatica's conference and experience Paris' contemporary art scene among international expatriate and French artists. RSVP.

Exhibiting in the famous Carrousel du Louvre, these talented young international artists are facing an extreme challenge – not only did they create new works of art worthy of exhibiting at the Louvre, but now they also must hang and perform their art in an open space within the museum’s ramparts, but without using any walls!

This year's group of international artists, from as far away as New York, Mexico, Chile and (closer to home), France, are creating art with a Parisian vision. Their new works include glowing photographic triptychs taken by artificial light in Paris’ hotels and metro stations, musical rhythms evoking far-away lands and Rembrandt-esque portraits in oils.

Why have these young talented artists come from all over the globe to start their ateliers in Paris? According to them, being in Paris is experiencing first hand l’art de vivre; here, a mosaic of international artists help make up this city’s vibrant artist character. With the city’s support and respect for art and culture, it’s location at the center point of Europe with a great transportation hub, and the glamour of the Parisian lifestyle, Paris is now as ever a network for artists from all over.

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I V Y paris at the Louvre

Eur_erco_louvre_glas_intro_1_0I V Y paris is has once again been invited to organise a one-day exhibit at the Louvre on Sunday October 14, 2024 - RSVP here. Our audience is 5000 people who are attending Expatica's conference on living in Paris, "I'm Not A Tourist". I V Y Paris arts network links emerging artists to help them meet, support and inspire each other. IVY paris enables you to easily find other Paris-based artists, writers, musicians, dancers and filmmakers. We help both artists and patrons quickly discover and negotiate the Paris arts scene and to participate in interesting under-the-radar events. IVY paris also provides links to resources for our artists and members.

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Finally an I V Y paris event

After the Winter recess it seems safe to venture out and connect with the hordes of people who joined
I V Y paris expecting exhibitions, information and soirees. I'm going to make it up for you, I promise.

So thanks to Danielle Voirin, the first event of 2024 is scheduled for next Sunday.
Can't wait to see who turns up and what the year will bring. 2024 was full of surprises. the best part for me was the show at La Chapelle Saint Louis on the first day of Summer, I'll never forget it, we think there must have been 600 people there and as we ran out of glasses, set our artwork on fire and quaffed the Stormhoek wine it all came together in an A Team style fashion.

Like the best things, I V Y paris is constantly evolving, from a pipe dream, to an art show, to a gallery, to a Salon, to a nomadic travelling exhibition and sometimes, a really good old knees up. It's never boring but it won't be a repetition of last year. I've got some ideas up my sleeves but as ever, it depends on those who join in, appear in Paris (and just as soon disappear sadly) and the energy between who is around at a given moment.

It's good to be back.

Articles about the Louvre event

Two nice articles were written about the I V Y paris show at the Louvre by Priscilla Lalisse on Bonjour Paris and Francis Powell.

By the way Priscilla, I am waiting with bated breath for your new project to be launched in the new year.........

Wendy Billingslea interview

Interview with Wendy Billingsea.

Wendy Billingsea, right, emotionally responding with Rob


Snapped at Chatelet

It kind of goes well with my installation "Something is eating my soul".


Danielle Voirin


Sono Fukinishi before she was mobbed


Ana Lee


Leila Shields and David


Stéphane Monnet and Kareen Kjelstrom


Sono gets strait-jacketed up

After gingerly positioning her chair for the performance smack in front of the entrance Sono really provided a original "Welcome to France".


Sono Fukunishi performance


Placard de Wendy


Wendy Billingsea emotional responses interview point


Wendy billingsea emotional responses interview point


Matt Rose installation


Carrousel du Louvre

The exhibition of the 25 I V Y paris artist's at the Louvre went really well and we got some great feedback from the organisers.  Our expo occupied the space that is part of the extension of the reception area of the Louvre museum, in an historic architectural area revealing the city's 14th-century ramparts.  It was these historical elements that influenced the choice of materials in the foyer where our exhibition was (Burgundy stone, white architectural concrete) and it was a beautiful "canvas" to work with.  I felt very priveleged to show my work there and I had some great conversations and questions about my work which is an important reason to participate in exhibitions.

Ana Lee


Matt Anzak work arrived in time from Texas with an unscheduled stop in Frankfurt where it was left behind


I V Y paris at the Louvre photos

More photos by Stéphane Monnet from the Carrousel du Louvre show

Expo opens in 45 minutes

Thanks to Matt Rose I made it thru the hanging day. His great idea to steal the velvet ropes from the Louvre and create this centrepiece.


Kareen Kjelstrom designer de bijoux and model Rachel Rogers


Eric and Rafael Morill


Andy Walhoo , rue des Gravilliers

Location of the pre-expo party


John Agee - designer de bijoux

Is the shop open yet??


Louvre expo

After 6.5 hours - we finally finish set up

Susie Hollands

In an eerie spotlight. "Something is eating my soul"


Susie Hollands

Inside my prefecture de Paris kit "Something is eating my soul"


Wishing Station/Poste de Voeux

Wed 04/10/2006 17:20 04102006018

The imposing Mairie de 6eme

Wed 04/10/2006 17:22 04102006021
Wed 04/10/2006 17:22 04102006021

Mairie du 6eme Biennale des artistes 2024


Salles de Fetes - Quite a daunting place to expose but i made the deadline and got my work there by 5pm. Even if I chickened out and didn't show the piece I wanted to originally. I am too scared of the weight of the French establishment.  I did plenty of soul-searching, which is why I was almost late with my submission.

Although the Mairie (local town hall) would be a great place to make this particular statement I'dbe unlikely to be flavour of the month when I  needed to get funding for further events and backing for large-scale projects in the future (the State pays for this in France almost exclusively). So I am living the dilemma that I see in the dichotomy of this system.  Still, there are always other ways and means.

I guess the plan has just gone the same way as the one I had about making a demonstration from the balcony of the American Embassy at Place de la Concorde during the annual university clubs cocktail party.

"Ne me quitte pas"

Photos and a little film from the two most recent I V Y paris picnic gatherings.

Holy Art Show

760638194_cea0cbc251_2By Anne-Marie Audet.

When you live in New York City you are constantly inundated with art shows in converted warehouse lofts and other industrial spaces. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting New York during design week then you’ve also had the pleasure of going from Manhattan to Williamsburg and to see how just crossing a bridge can change the space where these shows are held.

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Tres ephemeral

Well it was a pretty ephemeral expo being open to the public for 12.5 hours hours but this one piece "The day I was born again" by Sono Fukunishi didn't even last that long.
Dearest Sono, thanks for the display, we will ever know if it was really part of the work or a (slightly dangerous) accident.  If I were you I'd keep schtum, it can only add to the enigma. Thank God the firemen had just completed their walk thru and left the building.

The original work:


American artist and friend of I V Y paris Matthew Rose, has produced a wine label for STORMHOEK .  The limited edition bottles will be part of the the IVY PARIS exhibition goodie bag.

In case anyone forgot, the show opens at 9 am, along with morning mass.  The full bodied opening begins at 6 pm on 4 May until 10 pm. 

Address: 47 Bd de l’Hôpital 75013 Paris.  Metro: Saint Marcel/Gare d’Austerlitz.

CEO of phenomenon Meetup.com, (the

CEO of phenomenon Meetup.com, (the same system that powers the I V Y paris Salon) Scott Hieferman is in Paris so I try to get him to extend his trip and stay for the I V Y paris show but he can't.

His heart seems to be in the right place. A little too in the right place. ebay have a 5% share now in Meet Up, (currently very ad-lite) but he says that's because they are interested in "community". Hmm. I don't share his ambivalent attitude. Ring any bells? Here's Craig of craigslist fame singing from the same hymnsheet.

Time will surely tell.

Since summer's here

There's also a sneak peak at the rear view of a Stormhoek bikini, by hip designer Anne-Marie Audet.

Freshness matters

Artists are busily working away on Stormhoek inspired installations, drawings (left by Robert Hawkins)and paintings to display on our bar.  We'll be manning it ourselves on a rota system because we can't find any staff.

I just hope the Stormhoek arrives in time.

Wow, this is the first

Wow, this is the first time I have ever worked on a project where there were 4 press releases: English, French, Spanish, Japanese, and still counting. That also means: four times checking for typos and arguing the toss over the content - prepared of course to fit in with all the "local differences" - and getting agreement from a multitude of people with the requisite language skills. Of course all this done to a tight timeline.


The box of flyers is

The box of flyers is steadily decreasing. It seems to be a mad dash around town to deliver more to those who have run out and to get home in time for those dropping by to replenish.

Great start to a Monday

Great start to a Monday morning. Yeah!, Stormhoek come thru as the sponsor for the wine. Now we've got to come up with some interesting ways to help them get the most of their participation in the event.

Not just drinking six glasses and trying to rub up against the Director's wife at the bar.

"Can I speak to Emmanuel Perrotin please?"

This weekend I've been in front of the computer again, despite the gorgeous spring weather - I am destined to stay a pasty shade of white. An important aspect of the show will be to showcase the artist's work to galeristes so I spent all day on Saturday mailing invitations to a hand-picked bunch of art-pimps.  Well I didn't mail them as I don't want them to arrive back from their country retreats on Tuesday morning to find the card buried under a pile of their post (most galleries take Monday off). I'll send them out Tuesday and give a call round the day they drop;

"Can I speak to Emmanuel Perrotin please?"
C'est QUI a l'appareil? "C'est de la part de QUI"
"Suzanne Hollands d'I V Y paris"
" Sigh, Ach-Oh-EL-El-ah-en-day-es"
"il et en réunion - a Miami"
"Okay, bye"

I've been encouraging artists to contact their respective country's Cultural Centres. It's important that they use this opportunity to invite types who they can tap into in the future, for instance if they need funding for projects, to perhaps exhibit in one of the Instituts. And while we're at it, their country's reps at the OECD and UNESCO, what the hell, their Embassies.

The other important invitees are the people with buying power. It's all very well filling a space for a vernissage but I've been at plenty of exhibitions where we've all had a great time but no one has sold any of their work. I am not saying that making a sale is the be-all-and-end-all, but it's very important for the progression of each artist and as recompense for the sheer amount of hard work that's gone into pulling off their exhibition. So the other important invitees are the people with disposable income.  Harder then you think in Paris. So that does not normally mean other artists, it means lawyers, consultants, bankers and other people with full time jobs.

Cheers or tears?

The search to find a booze sponsor for the I V Y paris spring expo continues. Stormhoek could be perfectly provocative.

Thanks Anina for the contact. Fingers crossed.

I've already tried all the champagne contacts I know, a Brazilian Beer, a wine tasting company, and others have tried Heineken, Absolut and all the national drinks of the artist's involved.  Nothing. 

We're still waiting to hear from Martini. It would be great if they could resurrect that rollerskating waitress from the adverts in the 80's and bring her along.  Anytime. Anyplace. Anywhere.


The I V Y paris expo is generously sponsored by San Franciso-based HIFX, a unique currency service that allows individuals and companies to send currency abroad at fixed and protected rates. I have a relationship with HIFX already because they work with Bonapart Consulting clients who are transferring large sums for their real estate purchases. Because the show will attract many international residents of Paris they'll get a lot out of it in terms of PR and networking opportunities on the night. 

We already got more press today in ThisFrenchLife and FranceinLondon.
Doug Johnson is coming from the San Francisco office and colleagues from London will be joining him.  He writes me with his travel details because I'm determined to make sure he can find the church and arrives without any hassle. But he's a relaxed kind of guy and more interested in finding out the dress code for his girlfriend.  I told him, it's not the Oscar's so she shouldn't dress up too much but she can be "glam".

That's a thought, what will I wear? :)

Quel surprise?

The after-party venue and the "cocktail" served during the opening are both "surprises" because we didn't have time to arrange them before the publicity materials were printed. It has to be close to the expo as we are forced to clear off at 9.30pm, maybe we'll be allowed to stretch it until 10pm. Hoping the event is a success it seems likely that we might not just want to pack up and go home right after the church caretaker kicks us out. Or drown our sorrows.

So the search for a suitable hostelry has begun.  Right now, it could be a floating vessel on the river, a branché bar with "a restaurant evoking the style of a loft" (hmm, no one will be able to pay for the drinks here) or, if the worst comes to the worst we'll just have to hope for good weather and go down onto the Quai de Seine with our own refreshments. It could be worse.


It's 3am. I didn't realise how long it would take me to send this press release, but I try to write a personal note to the majority of my journalist contacts - I'm not even half done (and that's just the english-speaking press). It's no use sending a bulk email - no one will bother to read it, even if it's funny and interesting (thanks to Matthew Rose). Here it is for your delectation: IVY ARTISTS: Springtime in Paris Ex-Pat Artist Group Takes Over Historic Church

PARIS – They met through “Meet-Up,” the global hook-up network and an underground Paris ex-pat artist gallery, I V Y paris. A few months later, a group of 25 International Artists will pull together a large exhibition that shows off the diversity of the ex-pat and artist community in Paris and promises to raise the roof on one of Paris’s most historic churches

“It is really the 12th exhibition in the brief history of IVY Paris,” said Suzanne Hollands, I V Y founder and conceptual artist.  “There was an exhibition in September 2024 Los Angeles of the original I V Y artists – also ex-pats – but this one, at La Chapelle Saint Louis de la Salpêtrière in the 13th Arrondisement is a different kettle of fish.”

Artists from Turkey, Chili, Japan, The United States, France, Benin, Scotland, Finland, Mexico, Canada, Australia and England – 25 in all – will take over La Chapelle Saint-Louis de la Pitié-Salpêtrière for a single day spectacular on May 4th.  La Chapelle of la Salpetrière is one of the most interesting artist launching pads in Paris having hosted exhibitions by Nan Goldin, Anselm Kiefer and Anish Kapoor. 

In 1684, Louis XIV added a “maison de force” to the grounds for prostitutes and “debauched” women detained on the orders of their husbands or families. Now it’s a normal hospital where Princess Diana was taken after her tragic death in 1998. “If something happened to Jacques Chirac,” noted Hollands, “he’d be taken to Salpêtrière, too.

The church has, oddly enough, provided a new chapter in the networking of these ex-pat artists.  “It’s great to come to Paris, meet a group of like-minded artists and put up an exhibition in a beautiful space,” said Finnish photographer Vilma Pimenoff.  Others are excited over the acoustics. “I’m going to use the 52-meter high building for my work–it’s a gorgeous chapel,” said Chilean sound-installation artist, César Estay-Herrera.  African photographer and video artist, Dimitri Olivier Fagbohoun will show a series called “Historia,” said, “It’s a chance to show my work in an atypical art space, an historic building, something that would be hard to organize on my own.”

“The idea was to get a group show on the road,” said Hollands.  “We had our first meeting at the end of January, and the majority who came to that meeting are still involved.  We jointly sourced the venue and divided the work up so that those with certain skills such as graphic design did flyers, and above all, we split costs.”

IVY PARIS will include works ranging from video installations, painting, photography, acoustic pieces, embroidered sculptures, collage and a “shelter” made out of plastic bags.  All of these works will be nestled in the sacristies in the church, creating a “cosmic mélange” between contemporary art and contemporary Catholicism in one of the most historic churches in Paris.  (Built by Le Vau in 1660, who also designed Versailles).

The evening of the opening will include special cocktails and music by DJ Wise and Cosmoson.  “The church doesn’t want us to turn the exhibition into a rave,” said Hollands, “so we’ve planned a secret after-party near the Seine where we can celebrate after all our hard work.”

Admission to the exhibition is free and there’s room for a few thousand people.  “No problem,” said Hollands.  The show opens at 9 am, along with morning mass.  The full bodied opening begins at 6 pm on 4 May until 10 pm. 

Address: 47 Bd de l’Hôpital 75013 Paris.  Metro: Saint Marcel/Gare d’Austerlitz.

The exhibition is generously sponsored by San Franciso-based HIFX, a unique currency service that permits individuals and companies to send currency abroad at fixed and protected rates.

If these walls could balk

We get some press immediately. Not bad, the release is not even finished.  Laurie Pike calls in from Los Angeles and tells us she wants to publish details of the show and invite her huge team of bloggers. It's time to spread the word.

David Mccairley was more on the ball than I was and already suggested we get a photograph of the most nubile young artist in the show.  There's no question, it has to be the statuesque Ms Alexandra (Alex) Conn. She's also well-known for her love of posing for artists. Despite the fact that she's working three jobs the little trooper obliged at short notice.

I asked her later how it went:

"David was very nice but I think I might have shocked him a bit when i put on a sexy dress and red lipstick and said, "ok, where should we do this"...we had only just had coffee together.".

A Perfect Friend

I raced down to rue Daguerre to see my old chum Matthew Rose. Luckily Matt has a keen sense of "spin", more than I would have the gaul to use so he's the prefect person to help with the english press release.

I am still amazed we were accepted to show in this prestigious venue. Because it's a place of worship, the committee who decide on the exhibitions are incredibly strict not only about the quality of work but the content, especially after the Nan Goldin's show a few year's ago. I explain to Matt that La Pitie-Salpetriere was once a “maison de force” for prostitutes and “debauched” women detained on the orders of their husbands or families.  I understand with this history why the space appealed to an artist who was inspired by her life among hustlers, pimps and prostitutes in NYC.

I love it when a plan comes together

Finally all the artist's profiles are uploaded and edited into shape. Phew, what a way to spend Easter.  Right now they are in a mixture of English and French. With so many nationalities, it's getting confusing. Plus English is not even the first language for all of us, though it's the one we mostly communicate in.

I'm using some of the CV's submitted for our original application to hold the event. It reminds me the show has been put together at extremly short notice.  We only decided on holding an event at the beginning of February and after Michelle Korte's suggestion to approach La Chapelle bore fruit it was a mad-rush to submit a terrifyingly detailed dossier to the committee. And then a nail-biting wait for their approval, only given a month ago.  The intricate proposition and plans all had to be in French, of course. Yikes!  With 25 of us, it was quite a feat of organisation. 

I couldn't believe they had a space free but someone had dropped out and it became available at exactly the right time for us.  When I heard the requirements I almost wanted to give up there and then but I knew it was worth it and the right place for this show. 

Complete images and a detailed floorplan/hanging plan was needed, along with dimensions, weights and methods of hanging (which takes more than a little ingenuity when nails cannot be used in the walls of a 17th century Listed building). Luckily our curator, Mary Johnson, is also an architect and wowed the committe with a super slick plan, (despite losing her MAC for 3 weeks as it was being "repaired" in the Parisian suburbs). Tina Kentner is in charge of all the technical logistics and seems to have an never ending supply of talented electricians, hanging experts, lighting specialists and burly men to help carry things around.  Plus she's German and this is one girl who fits the organisation powerhouse stereotype.

La pub est arrivé - spread the word

Elizabeta has spent all week chasing round umpteen printers to get the cheapest quote for our flyers and posters.  And not just them but the designers too! The artwork was created just in time, (thanks to Sono and Cindy) and right before the Easter holidays, which will bring printers and other services to a standstill for about a week. 

At 7pm, half an hour before people arrive for the meeting we received delivery of all the publicity materials, posters, flyers and stickers. After a week of toiling to get through some of the more annoying aspects of the organisation (such as dealing with the Préfecture de Police) it was great to see the anticipation and excitement about the show when the artists arrived for our meeting and got their hands on the goodies.  But not before Michelle Korte, director of flyer distribution, has pounced on them, bundling them into piles of 100 and ordering her troops. She has already got lists of exactly where they are to be distributed in each neighbourhood - down to each cafe and book shop. Since there are about 25 of us involved we can cover most of Paris.  I also had some stickers made a while ago and I've been sticking them around town all week. So far I've had some bemused looks but haven't been arrested.

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