Open Art Code Paris experienced by Mary Lonergan

This past November, during the Thanksgiving holiday, I had the great fortune of showing my art work at Art en Capital, at the Grand Palais in Paris. The show has become a significant highlight in the cultural life of Parisians with over 40,000 people attending the event over a six day period. It was a life changing experience!

I was very excited to show a new piece of art work, entitled ‘great peacemaker (Iroquois)’ which was very well received. The piece is inspired from an Elton John/Bernie Taupin song called “Indian Sunset”.
Mary Lonergan
One of the best parts of being in Paris, was that I got to meet the founders of Open Art Code, Vito Abba and Carlotta Marzaioli of Florence Italy. They have been inviting me to show internationally with their group for the past two years and I am quite honored to be an artist in this company. They were gracious hosts and have been very kind to me and supportive of my work.

Surely you’ve had moments in your life when you’ve had to pinch yourself because you aren’t sure that where you are is really there in front of you…? I had to pinch myself several times a day! I was in PARIS with my art hanging on the wall at the Grand Palais!! It was a powerful reminder of the impact of intention and the numerous blessings in my life.

My cousin Elaine joined me in Paris for the week and we stayed in a small apartment near the Arc de Triomphe. The neighborhood was wonderful – we walked, we shopped, we ate, we drank, we looked at art, we said “Bon Jour!” a zillion times a day (even just to each other!) and met so many fun people, including a Jimmy Fallon look-a-like who was our taxi driver one night – he was hilarious, spoke perfect English (as most Parisians did!) and was happily wearing a NY Yankees hat…which we, originally being from Boston, disapproved of, but somehow let it go…

Paris was mobbed for the holidays….one night there were throngs of people lined up along the Champs Elysees & when we asked someone what was happening, they said, “we’re waiting for the lights”…it reminded me of the crowds at Rockefeller Center in New York and Union Square in San Francisco when the Christmas Trees gets lit for the holidays! They had these little house like store fronts lined along the street with people selling their hand crafted goods and foods….and of course ‘hand crafted” in Paris is an art form! Everything was beautifully made and presented.

So many people have a strange impression that Parisians are unfriendly and don’t care much for Americans. Not true!! Each person we met was wonderful to us and the younger people especially were anxious to speak to us in English and thrilled when we understood what they were saying! I don’t think I’ve smiled so much every day as I did in Paris.

The food…amazing. If you’r eplanning a trip, you MUST got to “Les Pappilles”. It’s a tiny gem that was recommended to us – a fixed menu, so call ahead if you have any food issues, but honestly it was our best meal. At the end of the evening I asked the chef to marry me! He graciously smiled and declined, but really, how can you not want to marry a French man who cooks?? One other great food recommendation is for a place called “Absinthe” – lobster stuffed raviolis in pumpkin sauce…need I say more? We were very happy as you can see!

The wine…this is the land of champagne people! And drink champagne we did! A must on anyone’s list is a trip to O’Chateau Wine Bar. Me and my sister Patricia went to this place several years ago on our first trip to Paris. It is a wine tasting experience like no other and was started by a young French guy named Olivier Magny, the youngest sommelier in France at the time. He did wine tastings in his flat in downtown Paris and it was so entertaining and educational that I insited we visit again during this trip. Well… O’Chateau has new digs! Now located in a beautiful building with a very much upgraded wine cellar and staff, we spent a wonderful evening trying different French wines and champagnes…and of course purchased a couple of bottles of bubbly on our way out! Very fun!

The city will have it’s way with you and for this you will be grateful. Paris is so gorgeous that you really can’t believe it. The architecture alone will blow your mind. The Eiffel Tower will capture your heart like nothing else and the fashion….well, let’s just say we drove past Yves St. Laurent’s fashion house and I almost fell out of the taxi.

It’s hard not to stare in Paris, but Parisians get it. They’re used to it. After all, they are and everything is, simply…beautiful.

Mary Lonergan