Peinture de Gilles Giacomotti



Art in the city
Apr. 2024
4 min.

The number of places to enjoy art (for free) in downtown Annecy has recently proliferated. This includes Galerie 17 in the Nouvelles Galeries mall, a newly-opened art gallery dedicated to local artists and just a short walk from the center of town.

Other initiatives also provide the opportunity for an impromptu artistic jaunt around town, offering a great way to top off a day of shopping, to spend quality time between two appointments, or even simply as part of an afternoon spent wandering around the city. Venture inside with nothing more than the simple desire to explore and to learn something new. To coin a well-known slogan, just “come as you are.”

A painting entitled "Grand Albigny"

© Gilles Giacomotti / A painting entitled "Grand Albigny"

La Galerie 17

With its wall-to-wall windows, this new downtown art gallery at 17 Rue de la Paix sprouted in a well-established location barely one month ago. Its founder, Jean-Michel Ducret, wanted to create a place open to everyone and to showcase local artists from Haute-Savoie, Savoie, and Geneva.

In what he calls “The Cube,” one new exhibition is planned every month to display artists from a variety of backgrounds. The first “test subjects” on the list are painters Arnaud Chapalain and Gilles Giacomotti, and sculptors Valérie Ducret Limousin and Pat Méo.

Jean-Michel Ducret’s goal is to make art accessible to everyone by displaying it in a public space. He also plans to organize events for every exhibition, opportunities to awaken the senses of the people of Annecy through personal encounters with local artists. These events will include music, dancing, or even wine tasting.

Jean-Michel Ducret de la Galerie 17

© Galerie 17 / Jean-Michel Ducret

“Placing the spotlight on art downtown, making it just as important as sports and gourmet food is essential. Artists highlight the spice of life, its beauty, and have a way of reaching into our souls. Today’s society needs art,” explains Jean-Michel Ducret.

He knows a lot about contemporary artists, having married sculptor Valérie Ducret Limousin; her works are currently on display.

Valérie Ducret Limousin, sculptrice

© Galerie 17 / Valérie Ducret Limousin

The DNA of local artists

It all started in December 2023, when the local Annecy collective “Art s’affiche*” invested in a temporary empty space at 17 Rue de la Paix – whose owner is none other than Jean-Michel Ducret himself – to display posters of works of art, presenting them like real estate listings, a nod to the profession held by the space’s former occupants.

As often happens, the temporary transforms into something permanent and today, the “listings” play an integral role in the gallery’s appeal and format. The window displays forty listings, forty artists, and forty works of art (collages, paintings, sculptures, photos, etc.) that anyone can purchase, even on an impulse.

The complete opposite of an elitist gallery that few people would dare to enter if not a connoisseur, Jean-Michel wants the place to bustle, for people to enter out of curiosity and for the simple pleasure of viewing art, to discuss their own personal interpretation with others, to marvel at the different pieces, whatever their own experience or knowledge with art in its many forms. Is this rather innocent approach not the best way to evoke raw emotion?


La Galerie 17

17 rue de la Paix – Annecy


La Galerie 17

A painting entitled "Femme au chignon" by Gilles Giacomotti

© Gilles Giacomotti / A painting entitled "Femme au chignon"

About “L’Art s’affiche”

L’Art s’affiche” is a collective whose vocation is to provide visibility to local artists by offering them the opportunity to display their works, in poster form, in public. The wide variety of styles, techniques, and types of art seeks to stop passersby in their tracks.

These posters offer a great way to showcase a particular work of art as well as take it out of the typical, often enclosed environment where displayed. This initiative in Annecy began during the second Covid-19 lockdown, when all museums and other culture-related buildings were closed, by displaying collages of posters in the windows of local restaurants. Two and a half years later, the collective returns to its roots by placing new posters on display.


L’Art s’affiche

The cultural center at Nouvelles Galeries Mall

What do you think about embarking sensory adventure while shopping at the mall? This is what Nouvelles Galeries offers its patrons. Following the recent renovations, Citynove took over managing Nouvelles Galeries Mall and now proposes a whole host of friendly, regularly scheduled or impromptu sporting, leisure, and cultural events all throughout the year.

Work of art "Waste Landscape"

© Elise Morin / Work of art "Waste Landscape"

Following “Flowers and People – A Whole Year per Hour,” an interactive, digital, and immersive work of art that presented the four seasons over the course of an hour, the cultural center (open and free of charge) at Nouvelles Galeries is currently exhibiting “Waste Landscape,” a work of art created by artist Elise Morin and architect Clémence Eliard.

Just poke your head inside to be transported into another dimension where light and sound give life to a 300 square meter metallic dune landscape built with 45,000 unsold CDs that were collected, separated, and woven together by hand.

A flashback to the future so to speak, this retro-futuristic work of art also encourages the viewer to take the time to think about overconsumption, obsolescence, and the increasingly complex relationship between technology and ecology.

The expo has become a pretext for other uses, including unique events and experiences, such as yoga classes or sound baths held within the same Waste Landscape.

  • Yoga classes, through May 29, on Mondays at 12:30 and Wednesdays at 18:30. (Register: www.nouvellesgaleriesannecy.fr/agenda/cours-yoga)
  • Sound baths on Fridays, April 12 and May 31, from 18:30 to 19:30. (www.nouvellesgaleriesannecy.fr/agenda/cours-bains-sonores)
  • Waste Landscape, behind the scenes (www.nouvellesgaleriesannecy.fr/agenda/exposition-waste-landscape)

Through June 15. Monday through Saturday, 10:00 to 19:00. Free entry.


Nouvelles Galeries

Entrée Sud (South Entrance), Pilier 18 – 25 avenue du Parmelan – Annecy


Nouvelles Galeries



  • © Gilles Giacomotti

Journalist: Aude Pollet Thiollier

Translation: Darin Reisman