Community Workshops are opportunities for members of the Greater New Orleans community to experience collage making and explore new ideas. Most of our workshops are 2 hours long and take place in the evenings or weekends. Workshops are open to anyone (18 years and up), regardless of skill level or experience. Unless otherwise specified, all materials are provided. Space is limited and we suggest signing up early.

Workshops take place at Kolaj Institute Gallery, located at 2374 Saint Claude Avenue, Suite 230, at the corner with St. Roch Avenue. (The door is located to the right of the Peach Cobbler Factory.)

Got questions? Send an email.to info@kolajinstitute.org.

Collage artists interested in professional development, artist residencies, and artist labs should consult the Calls to Artists page for open opportunities.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

Collage Artist Meet-Up

Tuesday, 4 June 2024, 7-9PM
Tuesday, 2 July 2024, 7-9PM
Tuesday, 6 August 2024, 7-9PM
Tuesday, 3 September 2024, 7-9PM

Cost: Free

At Kolaj Institute, we reject the myth of the solitary artist and believe that artists are better in community with one another. In that spirit we invite working artists to join us for a monthly meet-up to get feedback on work, and network with one another. Find out who’s looking for folks to exhibit, meet other working artists, and get the low-down on the skinny of what’s up and up. At May’s Collage Artist Meetup, Ric Kasini Kadour will preview Kolaj Fest New Orleans and speak about exhibition opportunities for local artists during the festival. The event is hosted by LaVonna Varnado Brown at Kolaj Institute Gallery. RSVP is helpful but not necessary. Artists are encouraged to bring artwork to share with the group. Questions? Send an email to info@kolajinstitute.org

Uses of the Erotic

Tuesday, 21 May 2024, 6-8PM

Cost: $25 per participant

This workshop is a process by which we will raise our awareness of the erotic and its use as a source of power, healing, and self exploration. The erotic is a conduit to harness energy from a heart centered space. By engaging in collage exercises and exploring our will to intentionally create space to begin to reclaim our right to our own erotic power. We will create space to intentionally explore the use of the Erotic as power through symbols, printed image, and composition work ending with a collage in process. The power of the Erotic awakens the knowledge that satisfaction is possible. Join with intention to explore as we make, discuss, and contemplate our will to access pleasure. The title of this workshop comes from an essay by Audre Lorde which begins. “There are many kinds of power, used and unused, acknowledged or otherwise.”

LaVonna Varnado Brown is a multidisciplinary artist and community worker. She has developed her practice around intentional engagement to inspire action through creative expression. AfroFuturism is a cultural aesthetic that explores the intersection of art and history with intention to inspire action in the now by healing beyond trauma. In addition to curating intentional workshops, LaVonna creates works using acrylic, hand drawn form, and sculpture that speak from the experience of a Black mother creatively navigating the American landscape with a focus on healing and raising spatial awareness. Through her work she hopes to uplift the narrative of rest, joy, resistance, and wholeness.

Collaging Desire

Thursday, 23 May 2024, 7-9PM

Cost: Free, RSVP Required

In the workshop, “Collaging Desire,” participants will explore the work of Brooklyn-based collagist and Kolaj Institute Artist-in-Residence Meghan Larimer and make collages exploring their own feelings of desire or in response to a piece of provided text. 

While artist-in-residence at Kolaj Institute, Larimer will develop a series of artwork for a book and exhibition. Larimer’s “Hidden Desires” series explores “yearning feelings” the artist has for “people outside of my long-term relationship.” She writes, “I have used cut images of bodies along with shapes of colors and texture to create a confusing tangle of limbs, torsos, and mouths, some of which are hidden from view. In this way, I’ve pieced together different people and the desires I feel while stealing glances and scans of their faces and bodies. I hope to create erotic compositions that spark a desire for connection and exploring the sensual feelings we hide from ourselves and others.” The artworks are paired with love letters and poetic prose that explore lust, love, loss, and grief. The workshop is open to anyone (18 years and up), regardless of skill level or experience.

Larimer is a founding member of the New York Collage Ensemble, which promotes a supportive community of like-minded collage artists in New York. She has shown her work collaboratively in the US as well as France and Norway. She plastered the streets of New Orleans with wheatpaste collages as part of Kolaj Institute’s Collage as Street Art Artist Residency in June 2023.

Learn more about Meghan Larimer’s Solo Residency https://kolajinstitute.org/solo-residencies/

Abstract Collage

Tuesday, 28 May 2024, 7-9PM

Cost: $25 per participant

The Lebanese-American poet, essayist, and visual artist Etel Adnan said, “Abstract art was the equivalent of poetic expression; I didn’t need to use words, but colors and lines. I didn’t need to belong to a language-oriented culture but to an open form of expression.” The freedom of abstract or non-representational art makes it an ideal way to engage with the medium of collage. In this workshop, participants will explore color, texture, and composition as they assemble an 8″x10″ abstract collage on paper they can take home.

The workshop is led by Ric Kasini Kadour, artist, writer, and Director of Kolaj Institute.

 

PAST WORKSHOPS

Crafting Costumes With Recyclables

Thursday, April 4th, 2024, 7-9PM
Thursday, April 11th, 2024, 7-9PM

Cost: $10

Welcome to Crafting Costumes With Recyclables! Join The Recycle Challenge for a fun and creative in-person evening where you will learn how to turn recyclables into costumes. Participants will learn how to identify repurposable materials and to work with that material to make hats, dresses, sashes, jackets, and other costumes. This hands-on workshop will inspire you to see the beauty in materials that are often overlooked. Come learn new crafting techniques; make environmentally friendly art pieces; connect with other crafters; and make a positive impact on the environment. Let’s reduce waste and create something amazing together! Get ready to unleash your creativity by turning everyday recyclables into beautiful works of art.

Participants will be invited to join The Recycle Challenge Earth Day Parade & Festival that takes place 19-21 April 2024. The event is produced by The Recycle Challenge, a multinational initiative that celebrates the richness of diversity and is committed to fostering an inclusive environment that respects and values individuals of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Based in New Orleans, they reach global partners from Nigeria to the Congo. The organization offers hands-on experiences that fuse cultural art with upcycling. Their crafting sessions foster creativity, teach collaboration, and leave participants with a sense of accomplishment. 

Abstract Collage

Tuesday, 23 April 2024, 7-9PM

Cost: $25 per participant

The Lebanese-American poet, essayist, and visual artist Etel Adnan said, “Abstract art was the equivalent of poetic expression; I didn’t need to use words, but colors and lines. I didn’t need to belong to a language-oriented culture but to an open form of expression.” The freedom of abstract or non-representational art makes it an ideal way to engage with the medium of collage. In this workshop, participants will explore color, texture, and composition as they assemble an 8″x10″ abstract collage on paper they can take home.

The workshop is led by Ric Kasini Kadour, artist, writer, and Director of Kolaj Institute.

 

Nonsensical Beasts Collage Workshop

Saturday, 11 May 2024, 2-4PM

Free, RSVP Required

“My nonsensical beasts are deformed creatures—composed of various objects including wings, heads, tails, table legs, skirts, boots, and abstract shapes—that are endearing and sometimes charming,” writes Montreal-based artist-in-residence Maria Schamis Turner. “I use elements from fashion and design combined with animal or human appendages to draw the eye to a specific shape or gesture within an abstract form. I playfully encourage the viewer to confront the uncomfortable, to discover something beautiful or familiar in what could otherwise be seen as peculiar or even tragic.” In celebration of World Collage Day, the artist is hosting a collage making workshop where participants make “Nonsensical Beasts” and share made up stories about their creatures.  The workshop is open to all ages. Materials provided by the Mystic Krewe of Scissors & Glue. 

Learn about Maria Schamis Turner’s solo residency:  https://kolajinstitute.org/solo-residencies/

On World Collage Day the gallery will be open from 10AM to 6PM. Visitors are invited to explore the exhibition, “Collage the Planet: Environmentalism in Art.”