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Kolaj Fest New Orleans is a multi-day festival & symposium about contemporary collage and its role in art, culture, and society, July 10-14, 2019.

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Program Overview

Organizers will be announcing program panels, workshops, exhibitions, and activities over the coming weeks. What follows is not a complete list. More to come!

EVENING EVENTS | DAILY COLLAGE CONGRESS | SYMPOSIUM | IN FOCUS
WORKSHOPS | SPECIAL EVENTS | EXHIBITIONS

AT KOLAJ FEST

Daily Collage Congress

At each Daily Collage Congress, we will review the day’s agenda. Speakers will share ideas about the state of collage. And we will hear updates about special projects taking place during the festival.

Evening Events & Special Sessions

PRE-KOLAJ FEST WORKSHOP

Get Your ART Together

Each year countless organizations produce career and business workshops for artists that cover everything from money management to website building to marketing strategy. The problem is that making a life as an artist is an idiosyncratic, non-linear journey where success can be ill-defined, elusive, and ever changing. In this pre-Kolaj Fest New Orleans session, we offer a different approach to this subject. During this four hour workshop, artists will come together as a group of professionals to exchange stories and strategies. The workshop is structured to address three key parts of an artist’s life: voice, practice, and career. MORE


WEDNESDAY EVENING

Welcome Reception

Aloft New Orleans Downtown's W XYZ Bar is known for its vibrant social scene, eclectic playlists, and live acoustic performances from emerging artists. It's the perfect place to mix and mingle with other attendees while sipping on a specialty cocktail, a glass of bubbly, or a cold draft beer. Kolaj Fest New Orleans will host a reception on Wednesday, July 10th, 5-7PM. Attendees will be able to check into Kolaj Fest and meet the organizers and other folks attending Kolaj Fest.


THURSDAY EVENING

Collage Party at Art Klub

& Exhibition Opening: “Femme Fatale Freed” by Art Klub Resident Emily Stone. Art Klub welcomes Kolaj Fest New Orleans with COLLAGE PARTY, an evening of collage making, show & tell, and readings celebrating the opening of the exhibition “Femme Fatale Freed” by Art Klub Resident Emily Stone. In addition to collage making, there will be story telling and readings being organized by Portland, Oregon collagist and writer Kevin Sampsell. COLLAGE PARTY is open to everybody in New Orleans and an opportunity for Kolaj Fest New Orleans to meet and mingle with the city’s art community. MORE


FRIDAY EVENING

Collage in Motion

Animated Collage Celebrated with Film Screening and Workshop. Kolaj Fest New Orleans continues its history of celebrating collage in animation. The 2019 edition of the festival will present “Collage in Motion”, a film festival of animated collage at Kajun’s Pub on Friday, July 12th, 7PM with karaoke to follow. “Collage in Motion” is curated by independent filmmaker and collage artist Lisa Barcy. MORE


SATURDAY EVENING

The Surrealist Salon

On Saturday evening at Kolaj Fest New Orleans, we will come together for The Surrealist Salon, an evening of collage, community, and culture. Inspired by The Rothschild Surrealist Ball, our salon will have collage animations, stories, music, and art. Attendees are encouraged to embrace New Orleanians' love of costumes and join us for a remarkable evening in which we "evoke the mystery without which the world would not exist” and have a good time doing so. DETAILS

Symposium Sessions

 

SYMPOSIUM PANEL

Latin American Collage

With a rich, complex history that blends indigenous, African and European cultures, Latin America is as diverse as it is large. Its history of colonization gives it a complicated relationship with Modernism which in various countries has been embraced or rejected as foreign influence. A culture of muralism and a deep appreciation for the role of art in civic discourse and cultural resilience has bolstered Latin American art. And artists who have taken up the role of expressing national identity and pride have produced remarkably unique work. In recently years, Latin American art has enjoyed a key presence on the international art scene through fairs and exhibitions. In this panel, artists and art professionals will share their approach to collage and speak to how it is received in their communities. MORE


SYMPOSIUM PANEL

Going Big & Telling Stories

In this session at Kolaj Fest New Orleans, a panel of collage artists will present their work and lead a discussion about how they scale-up and tell stories with their collage. We will hear about the variety of strategies they use to achieve scale, a key development for making collage that can function in a museum and gallery system that places emphasis on large, experiential work. Stories move culture and collage's ability to tell new and dynamic stories is one of the medium's hallmarks. We will hear from artists about how working narratives into their work opened them up to working bigger. MORE

SYMPOSIUM PANEL

Women in Collage

From the #MeToo movement to unprecedented political gains in the recent election in the United States, the voices of woman are getting louder and being heard more. Women are engaged in all sorts of collage making and as we see time and time again, when the axis of art history is shifted from painting to collage, suddenly the work of countless women artists becomes pivotal to understanding the evolution of art history. Dafna Steinberg will host a panel at Kolaj Fest New Orleans that presents the work of Steinberg; Elke Desutter; Beth Guipe Hall; G. E. Vogt and opens a dialogue about the role of women as makers of collage and as the subjects of collage works. MORE


SYMPOSIUM PANEL

Politics of Collage

Iowa State University Art Historian Wendy Parker will lead “The Politics of Collage”. Parker’s Masters thesis focused on how John Heartfield, Martha Rosler, and others used photomontage during periods of political unrest and artistic revolution to construct a political narrative. She will be joined by John J Heartfield, the grandson of the famous Dadaist, and contemporary artist G. E. Vogt, who uses collage to address contradictory societal narratives around inequality in the United States and the toxic political climate. MORE

SYMPOSIUM

Collage in Black Art

Keith Marshall wrote in The Times-Picayune, “Gallery owner and obstetrician Stella Jones may be small of stature, but she’s a powerhouse in the world of African-American art and culture.” Since 1996, Jones has operated an eponymous named gallery in the Central Business District that has played a central role in supporting artists of the African diaspora in New Orleans. At Kolaj Fest New Orleans, Kolaj Magazine editor Ric Kasini Kadour will host a live interview with New Orleans gallerist Stella Jones where they will discuss the collage artists she has featured in her gallery, the role of collage in Black art and aesthetics, and how an understanding of Black artists and collage informs our understanding of the canon of art history. MORE


SYMPOSIUM

Curatorial Issues in Collage

Last year, at Kolaj Fest New Orleans, we began a conversation about how we put collage into the world. The topic was the subject of a panel presentation and the focus of the exhibition, “Revolutionary Paths: Critical Issues in Collage”, in which all of the work was a starting point of deeper curatorial inquiry. This year, we pick up that conversation. Using the Kolaj Fest New Orleans exhibition, “Cultural Deconstructions”, as a launching point, this session will explore how we put collage into the world. MORE


AT KOLAJ FEST

Day at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art

Kolaj Fest New Orleans embeds at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art on Friday, July 12, 2019. The Ogden's Curator of the Collection Bradley Sumrall will lead a tour of an exhibition of artwork by Benny Andrews. The museum will also be the site of two panel presentations. Participants will also have the opportunity to view the exhibition "Vernacular Voices." MORE

(Image: Courtesy of Ogden Museum of Southern Art)

In Focus

COLLAGE & PERFORMANCE

Destroy She Said

Collage (and related forms) have shaped the creation of Mia van Leeuwen’s performance works since 2002. During this presentation at Kolaj Fest New Orleans, van Leeuwen will present her work and how she brings collage into performance. Van Leeuwen will share a slide presentation of her performance, Destroy She Said, and other performance works and discuss how they are shaped by collage. MORE

CALL TO ARTISTS: For those interested, after the presentation, van Leeuwen will work with participants to create performances that will debut at The Surrealist Salon on Saturday. DETAILS


COLLAGE MAKING

Street Art Planning

Rosie Schinners, Laurie O’Brien, and FANCLUB13 will work with other others interested in joining in to form the Kolaj Fest New Orleans Street Krewe. The trio will host an organizing session in the Collage Making Space on Thursday of Kolaj Fest. Each will share their experience of doing guerilla art activities in their own communities and lead a discussion about the ethics of street art and strategies for organizing. They will also share a plan for guerrilla art project during Kolaj Fest that will reveal itself through Instagram posts using the hashtag #kolajfest. MORE

COLLAGE WORKSHOP

Animation: Making Moving Collages

A screening, a demo and a workshop facilitated by Lisa Barcy, Paloma Trecka and Laurie O’Brien. Participants in this workshop will be immersed in a screening of animated films created with a range of cinematic techniques by artists exploring the idiom of collage in the twenty-first century. Participants will have the option of creating a collage puppet, a flipbook or assemblages using paper and/or objects to shoot in a short sequence. Final creations will be included in a showing at the Surrealist Salon on Saturday evening. MORE


DISCUSSION

Excavations, Destruction, & Accumulation

Clive Knights and Andrea Burgay each engage in atypical collage making processes to make work that engages with ideas about culture. Knights has recently begun to explore the potency of light-ray excavation. Burgay writes, "Using found and vintage paper ephemera whose original relevance has been lost or abandoned, I integrate the past histories of these objects into the present. Their disintegration and decay speaks of the passage of time and the possibility of redemption for the obsolete.” The artists will present their work and lead a discussion. MORE

DISCUSSION

Working in Series: Self-Imposed Rules and Their Creative Impact

Many artists find that self-imposed rules can be liberating and provide a roadmap for exploration, however it seems that relatively few collagists work this way. One was for an artist to build a body of work is to work in a series where multiple collages are made using shared limitations. Jill Stoll, Janice McDonald, and Michael DeSutter will lead a discussion about working in series: Why work this way? What are the pros and cons? How do you get an idea for a series? How does a series evolved? What has it taught you? How long will the exploration of the series continue? How do you know when the series is done? Do you work on more than one series at a time? How does this change the way you collect materials? MORE

Collage Making & Workshops

AT KOLAJ FEST

Collage Making Space

Collage making will take place 11AM to 5PM on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of Kolaj Fest New Orleans. In addition to free time to make collage, the space will host artists leading demonstrations and workshops. The space has scissors, X-acto knives, glue, and a collection of papers and materials.


WORKSHOP

Continuation Collage

Paul and Kathryn Kramer Waters explain their art practice this way: “You can create art from just about anything. The five-year-old magazines in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. The Rorschach-like spaghetti-spotted napkins on the floor at the local restaurant. The barf-bags on airplanes—only the clean ones—we’re not that avant-garde, yet. When we’re out hiking, we’ve even been known to use bark and leaves. The point is that the possibility of art is all around us. You don’t have to buy a thing. Everything you need is here for you to use if you stop your day-to-day routine long enough to notice it.” At Kolaj Fest New Orleans, the duo will host a workshop on Continuation Collage. MORE

COLLAGE MAKING

From Bavaria to New Orleans

Roswitha Mueller makes large scale collage on canvas. "Collage work connects with a childlike joy of cutting, composing, and sticking," writes Mueller. There is nothing childlike about her collage, however. Mueller manifests a large-scale, complex composition by placing a variety of scenes on the canvas and then intervening on them. She works with newspapers and magazines as well as her own pictures that she enlarges onto posters and then rips and cuts. Often, she embellishes her collage with simple print techniques and acrylic. MORE


COLLAGE MAKING

Exquisite Corpse

Mary Behm-Steinberg writes of her art practice: "My collages are a map through my subconscious, both in terms of process and content. As a person with multiple disabilities, I live in an alternate reality of how to make desire, physical limitations, and necessity coalesce into something beyond mere adaptational survival into a thing of wonder that even in its sometimes (absurdly) tragic moments, transcends to a bizarre crescendo of wisdom, joy, and mystery." At Kolaj Fest New Orleans, Behm-Steinberg will lead a variation of “Exquisite Corpse.” MORE

COLLAGE MAKING

Humour with Dadaist Sympathies

A champion of collage, Allan Bealy is an active collaborator and a regular participant in the international collage community. “Humor, dadaist sympathies, colour studies and exploring surfaces and untraditional processes all drive my creative interest." At Kolaj Fest, Bealy will host an informal session in the collage making space. This is a rare opportunity to make collage with a true master of the craft and a dedicated member of the international collage community. MORE


WORKSHOP

Assorted Tips & Tricks

A Collage 101 with Kevin Sampsell. Working with a wide range of source materials, Kevin Sampsell’s collages swim in the pool of pop culture. At times they can be silly; at other times they can be astute studies of composition and color. “I’d been doing word collages for a long time but then started–in 2014–using manipulated-by-hand images (from old magazines and books) and became much more serious and passionate about it,” said Sampsell. In this workshop, Sampsell will share some of his collage work and offer some tips and tricks for making collage that he has come across on his journey through the medium. If you’re new or curious about collage, this is a great place to start. MORE


WORKSHOP

Digital Decals

Computer Collage Techniques Applied onto Three Dimensional Objects. Last year at Kolaj Fest New Orleans exhibition, Evelyn Davis-Walker wowed us with her ability to apply collage to everyday objects like milk bottles and a clothing iron. Her work uses the language of advertising copy to manipulate social messages that once bombarded women. By bringing this work into the third dimension, she is able to create an experience of collage that engages the viewer in a deeper way. This year, Davis-Walker will teach others her technique. MORE

WORKSHOP

The Exquisite Chamber

Inhabiting New Worlds through the Augmented Collage Spatial Study. At Kolaj Fest New Orleans, participants will learn new techniques and methods of art making and collaboration that they can bring back to their own communities. Clive Knights & Jill Stoll will lead a workshop will lead one such workshop that is focused on "Augmented Collage Spatial Study." The Exquisite Chamber introduces participants to a mode of creative practice that conjures new, imaginary, spatial worlds from found image fragments rich in material surface, light and shadow, perspectival depth, and human character. MORE

Exhibitions

EXHIBITION

Cultural Deconstructions at LeMieux Galleries

LeMieux Galleries in the Arts District of New Orleans hosts "Cultural Deconstructions", the main exhibition at Kolaj Fest New Orleans. Continuing a theme established in the 2018 exhibition, “Revolutionary Paths: Critical Issues in Collage”, the collage works on view represent a point of departure for further curatorial inquiry. The exhibition will be complemented by a discussion of curatorial issues in collage and a discussion of whether or not the book is a better means of diffusing and sharing this artwork. MORE

SPECIAL TOUR

Tour of the Benny Andrews Exhibit

The Ogden Museum of Southern Art Curator of the Collection Bradley Sumrall will lead a tour of an exhibition of artwork by Benny Andrews, an African-American painter, printmaker, and collagist. Drawing from surrealism and Southern folk art, Andrews' work offers a social critique of 20th-century America and speaks with humanism to issues of injustice, militarism, sexism, and suffering. Andrews was also a steadfast advocate for artists of color. In 1969, Andrews co-founded the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition to protest an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, "Harlem on My Mind: Cultural Capital of Black America, 1900-1968", which contained no art and in which no African-Americans had been involved in organizing. In the 2013 exhibition catalog, Benny Andrews: There Must Be a Heaven, Civil Rights leader and Congressman John Lewis wrote, "For Benny there was no line where his activism ended, and his art began." MORE


SPECIAL TOUR

Uncollage Tour of the Ogden Museum

Todd Bartel will lead a special tour of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art with an eye for examples of “Uncollage”. The subject of a series of articles appearing in Kolaj Magazine, “uncollage” is an art practice that masks an initial collage operation in favor of creating a seamless final image, through the act of painting, and beyond. Bartel will focus on those artists on view at the Ogden Museum “whose respective painting processes are dependent upon collecting images and employing collage processes that are not always visibly evident in the final result of their paintings. Artists such as these, and many more, prompt us to expand the definition of collage and divide the term to attribute some of its wider, but as of yet unnamed applications.” MORE


EXHIBITION

Unfamiliar Vegetables

At Kolaj Fest New Orleans, the Mystic Krewe of Scissors and Glue invites registered participants to contribute a collage to an exhibition at Artisan Bar & Cafe, the home of the festival’s collage making space. The exhibition will run the month of July with additional work being added during Kolaj Fest New Orleans. DETAILS

To participate, check out the Call to Artists.

COLLAGE ON VIEW

BrickRed Gallery

Jill Stoll's "Lost and Found" and Amy Newell's "en route" at BrickRed Gallery in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 13 July-10 August 2019. In conjunction with Kolaj Fest New Orleans 2019, BrickRed Gallery in the St Claude Arts District presents two solo shows by New Orleans artists. "I am seduced by a worked, worn surface and drawn to matter with a high survival factor," writes Amy Newell. "Appropriated imagery from a variety of sources (such as the Childcraft series, Gray’s Anatomy, engineering manuals and encyclopedias) often finds its way into my visual vocabulary." Using found snapshots of women who are lost to history, Jill Stoll creates an ephemeral atmosphere where implied space and form are rendered in cut and paste collage. A tribute to what is worn and abandoned, images are fragmented with pattern and reassembled. MORE


COLLAGE ON VIEW

Papier Plume

Julie Blankenship at Papier Plume in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, during Kolaj Fest New Orleans. “I create mixed media works with these nineteenth century photographs, responding to the ways in which, throughout the industrial revolution, these mediums began to be employed in the construction of identity,” explains San Francisco artist Julie Blankenship. “Standards of living improved for some, but income disparity increased at the same time. The United States, an agricultural economy fueled by slave labor, underwent a painful transformation, reinventing itself as a consumer culture in an increasingly industrialized environment.” An exhibition of her work will take place at this French Quarter quill, pen, and paper shop. MORE

COLLAGE ON VIEW

Collage in
The Crescent City

Like any vibrant, contemporary art scene, New Orleans is full of remarkable galleries showing collage. For 2019, we are planning dynamic exhibitions and gallery tours.

Here is our list of places we visited for the 2018 of Kolaj Fest New Orleans.

Assemblage by Marcy Lally
at LeMieux Galleries. MORE

Special Projects

 

SPECIAL PROJECT

Guerrilla Street Collage

New Orleans impressed on Laurie O’Brien the value of taking art directly to the people. “My time in New Orleans last summer at the Kolaj Fest was life-transformative for me,” writes Laurie O’Brien. “Since the last year, I have become interested in site-specific collage installations.” This year, O’Brien will lead guerrilla art project to place small fragments and collage around the city and document their placement. To get involved, attend the Street Krewe Organizing Meeting on Thursday. The project will reveal itself through Instagram posts using the hashtag #kolajfest. MORE

SPECIAL PROJECT

The Trashy Streets of New Orleans

As a long-time photographic artist, FANCLUB13 was always capturing little abstract urban scenes. He started making collage using scraps of trash he found on the streets, making it into art, and then putting it back out on the street. During Kolaj Fest New Orleans, FANCLUB13 will be collecting trash from the streets of New Orleans and turning it into collage. MORE


SPECIAL PROJECT

The Brujas Visit The Swamp

Last year at Kolaj Fest, Rosie Schinners demonstrated her Dystopian Reader Project, a guerilla project that places collage bookmarks in science fiction books found in libraries, used bookstores, or large bookstore chains. This year, she hopes to recruit other collage artists to bring Dystopian Reader Project to more communities. Schinners will also be executing "The Brujas Visit The Swamp" in the form of large-scale, collage, wheat-paste installations. "I want to celebrate and invoke the magic of the festival itself outside of the traditional gallery model and offer a nod to the tradition of hoodoo and brujeria within New Orleans," writes Schinners. MORE

SPECIAL PROJECT

Donate Yourself

Working in video, photocollage and installation, Belgian artist Elke Desutter explores the body in all it forms. “The body is literally objectified,” writes Desutter. “This time not as a lust-object, or a object of desire.” Desutter photographs all the models herself and searches for the right perspective and details to use in her collages. At Kolaj Fest New Orleans, Desutter will be collecting material and inviting participants and the public to “Donate” a part of themselves. She explains her process. “I reached out to people and passers-by to ‘donate’ a body part on camera. They choose what they wanted to donate and I photographed the parts.” Desutter will use the fragments to create analog collage as well as videocollage, installation, or assemblages. MORE


SPECIAL TOUR

Tour of Paper Machine

Paper Machine is a 5000-square-foot printshop in the Lower 9th Ward housing a range of traditional and cutting edge print technologies, to enhance, amplify, and explore New Orleans’s rich printing heritage while providing significant opportunities for artists and residents of the Lower Ninth Ward and beyond. It is also the home of Hope Amico’s Gutwrench Press. A co-organizer of the Mystic Krewe of Scissors and Glue, Amico is a collage artist, trained letterpress printer and former community bike shop volunteer, living and working in New Orleans. On Sunday afternoon, Amico will lead a tour of Paper Machine with an eye towards artists who want to use their services. MORE


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About Kolaj Magazine

Kolaj Magazine is a quarterly, printed magazine about contemporary collage. We are interested in how collage is made, how collage is exhibited, and how collage is collected. We are interested in the role collage plays in contemporary visual culture. Kolaj is a full colour, internationally-oriented art magazine. Kolaj is published in Montreal, Quebec by Maison Kasini. Visit Kolaj Magazine online.

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