Par Avion: The Interactive Art Project

The Par Avion Project paired artists with Visual Counterparts from our sister city.  Each pair created two collaborative pieces of art together via air mail.   Upon artwork completion, both cities will hold exhibitions to showcase the finished artwork.

* 50 artists/printmakers will be selected to participate: 25 from Boston, 25 from Strasbourg
* Each artist was paired with a Visual Pen Pal from the other city
* Each artist created a background image on standard size paper and mailed it to his/her Pen Pal in the sister city
* Upon receipt, the second Pen Pal worked directly on top of the original layer
* When the artwork was returned, the original artist added the finishing touches
* A Par Avion Exhibit will take place in both cities to showcase works from their home artists

Since prints on paper are relatively easy to mail, this was a practical way to encourage and inspire artists to collaborate, share their ideas, and promote our sister city relationship.

The Boston Strasbourg Sister City Association coordinated and underwrote the cost of mailing, framing, and photographing the artwork for the US artists and created an exhibition catalog that is available for sale here.  The unique exchange was managed by a Project Coordinator in each city -  Ann Forbush in Boston and Alain Eschenlauer in Strasbourg.

The Boston Exhibition showcased all artwork pieces by the Boston artists at the French Cultural Center from June 7 - July 26, 2012.  We celebrated this collaboration with an opening reception on June 7, 2012, from 6:30pm - 8:30pm and a closing reception on July 26, 2012, from 6:30pm - 8:30pm.  We hope you were able to join us.

The Strasbourg Exhibition showcased all 50 artwork pieces - from both the Boston and Strasbourg artists - at the Old Strasbourg City Hall, in the Conrath Gallery at La Place Broglie starting on November 13, 2012 at 6:00PM.

To read more, please visit the project's website,, and Alain Eschenlauer's blog at

The Boston-based (left) and Strasbourg artists (right) meet to deliver round 1 of their artwork submissions.

Ann Forbush, our Par Avion Project Author, at work.

Next Phase: Artwork Drop-Off Party

On Sunday, November 20, 2011, we facilitated the next artwork submission by hosting an Apple Cider Party for the participating Boston artists.  This was a wonderful opportunity to meet the talented artists on this unique project and see their individual work before it was shipped to Strasbourg for the next phase of the exchange. 

Boston artists review the portfolio of prints after phase 2 of the project.

Par Avion Installation: Boston

Once the Boston artists made the finishing touches are their prints, they were ready for the exhibit at the French Cultural Center.  Here are some photos of the Artwork Installation - putting all of the framed prints on the wall for the six week exhibit.

Boston Opening Exhibit & Reception

Now that the artwork is complete, the pieces originated by the Boston artists are being exhibited at the French Cultural Center.  The exhibit opened with a Gallery Reception after the BSSCA's Annual Meeting on June 7, 2012.  Read more about this exciting project in article written by France-Amérique.

Mary Louise Burke, BSSCA President, Catherine van den Branden, French Cultural Center Executive Director, and Ann Forbush, Par Avion Project Author

A few examples of the finished artwork

It was a full house at the French Cultural Center for the opening reception!

The participating Par Avion Boston Artists

More photos are available in the Photo Gallery.

Strasbourg Exhibition November 2012

Just before Thanksgiving 2012, a group of BSSCA Members and Friends returned from the weeklong “Séjour” to Strasbourg, organized by the BSSCA. This special journey included the Par Avion Project's Opening Reception for the Strasbourg Exhibit, visits to artists’ studios, and guided tours of the Cathedral, Alsatian Wine Route and European Parliament.

Our group was received with such warmth that we were actually serenaded by our librarian after seeing pages from the Gutenberg Bible.

With the completion of this trip, the participants have forged important new personal and professional alliances – many accomplished Par Avion.

Please view photos from our trip in the Photo Gallery.