Through a series of residencies, exhibitions, and publications, Folklore & Collage considers the role artists play in activating, transmitting, and celebrating folklore in communities as a form of cultural expression and a strategy for community resilience.
Folklore is the imagination of the past as it is understood in the present. More importantly, folklore is how a community expresses itself to one another. In order for folklore to be transmitted over time, it must be nurtured. During a time when folklore is devalued by economic systems and dismissed by political power, artists play an important role in calling attention to and celebrating these important elements that shape community identity and reinforce communal ties. In times of crisis and collective trauma, these stories can be key to a community’s sense of resilience and ultimate survival.
“Folklore is how we communicate to each other our morals, ideals, hopes, and fears. It’s how we make meaning or sense of the world around us,” said Christopher Kurts. “Maybe this is true of stories in general, but folklore are the stories that hold enough water with a community to keep being passed down. They have momentum and so they change from being these ephemeral tales and solidify into a kind of mythology or foundation.” By engaging with these stories, artists can play a role in activating folklore for a community and facilitating their transmission.
Folklore of the Upper Nithsdale
Thirty-three collage artists illustrate stories of witches, ghosts, and other spirits from Sanquhar, Scotland. Using stories collected from William Wilson’s 1904 book, artists reimagine these tales in a 21st Century context and invite us to see folklore as the imagination of the past, understood in the present.
CALL TO ARTISTS
Folklore & Collage Residency
Knoxville Museum of Art
19-23 March 2023
An in-person residency at the Knoxville Museum of Art in Tennessee centered on collage artists who want to incorporate history and folklore into their artist practice. Residents will make artwork for an exhibition and book. The Call to Artists is closed for this Residency.
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Image: Beyond Reproach by Michael Madzo from his 2014 exhibition at Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles
Collage Artist Residency: Scotland
Held over three weeks in September 2022, Collage Artist Residency: Scotland-September 2022 was an in-person residency at MERZ Gallery in Sanquhar, Scotland centered on collage artists who want to incorporate history and folklore into their artist practice. Residents made artwork for an exhibition and book.