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.

PROJECT OVERVIEW

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.

Current Activities

Image: Raking Over the Bones by Frances Ryan (12″x16.5″; collage of magazine cut-outs and printed photographs with pencil and tissue on paper; 2022.)

EXHIBITION

Mythical Landscapes: Secrets of the Vale

at the Knoxville Museum of Art in Tennessee, USA
17 March-28 May 2023

FORTHCOMING BOOK

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.

Past Activities

Explore Folklore from
Kolaj Magazine

Image: Beyond Reproach by Michael Madzo from his 2014 exhibition at Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles

Explore Folklore in the Kolaj Magazine Artist Directory

Image: Mushroom Patch by Amy Ross
20″x20″; collage on paper; 2017

Collage Artist Residency: Scotland

September 2022

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.