This contemporary art centre was born in 2009 with the European project SMIR (eSpaces Multimédia pour l’Innovation et la Recherche) funded within the framework of the “European territorial cooperation” of the ALCOTRA programme (Alpes Latines Coopération Transfrontalière). Before joining the newly restored Capuchin Chapel, he developed his activities – exhibitions and conferences – outside the walls.
In October 2012, a new programme will be launched. The state renews its support in partnership with the PACA region, the Hautes-Alpes department and the municipality of Embrun.
The contemporary art centre Les Capucins proposes four to five exhibitions per year (including one off the walls) which are the result of specific projects, considering the place, its architecture, its environment and its history.
Artists are invited to work on site, and to engage in collaborations with local associations and craftsmen. This involvement on the production side, coupled with significant prospecting work, allows the art centre to position itself, not as a simple relay of what has already been exhibited, but at the beginning of the diffusion chain. By showing previously unpublished works, it thus enhances the value of its activity for both the amateur public and art professionals.
In parallel to exhibitions and artistic events (performances, readings, concerts, video projections…), Les Capucins offers meetings with art professionals as well as documentary film screenings.
An individual accompaniment is also systematically proposed to each visitor to the exhibitions, who is never left alone (unless he or she wishes to be left alone, of course) in front of the works presented.
This meeting does not take the form of a visit as such, but rather an exchange, usually informal, around the issues raised by the exhibition. The idea is not to propose a ready-made reading grid but to engage in an open and spontaneous discussion. In this way, the art centre intends to make its projects accessible to a wider public, from the initiated to the simply curious.
Starting with the youngest, this is why it is setting up a contemporary art awareness programme in partnership with the educational establishments of the city of Embrun and the neighbouring communes. This initiation takes the form of visits to exhibitions, plastic arts workshops and, since 2015, an artist’s residence in schools.
Finally, since 2017, the contemporary art centre offers two research and experimentation residencies, one by invitation and one by call for projects.