Getting Organized: Collage Projects

Friday, 14 June 2024, 2-3PM
Cafe Istanbul
Carol Fettin, Dawn M. Conry, Chasity Porter & Jenn Judson

The international collage community is a vibrant, globally networked group of artists who come together around projects and activities. From Februllage, the annual, monthly-long social media event where thousands of artists make art in response to prompts and post the art on Instagram, to countless monthly collage meet-ups where people gather in bars, coffeeshops, libraries, or art spaces to make collage in fellowship with their other artists; to collaborative books where one artist sends a starter collage to another who adds to it and sends it on to another until the thing is done. Collage artists are unique in their organizing; rejecting the myth of the solitary artist and embracing community. These events and projects don’t just happen, they require organization and stewardship.

Collage communities are collectives, meet-ups, ongoing collaborative projects, and groups whose focus and mission involves collage as a medium or genre in some way. The International Directory of Collage Communities is a survey of artist groups who are coming together around collage. The directory exists online as a searchable website. Kolaj Institute publishes a printed directory that features and highlights communities. By documenting and mapping these communities, Kolaj Institute works to develop a picture of the collage movement: how collage artists are working together, how they are diffusing collage, and what challenges they face mobilizing an art community.

In this session we will hear from artists who are project organizers. Chasity Porter will speak about Scissors of Texas/Tijeras de Tejas, a Houston-based monthly collage meet-up founded with Anastasia Kirages in 2023. Carol Fettin will speak about “The Nebraska Collage Project,” an ongoing effort where she identifies and interviews collage artists, curators, and gallery owners in the state. The effort led to an exhibition in May 2024 at the Hot Shops Art Center in Omaha that she co-curated with Omaha collage artist Lori Elliott-Bartle. Phoenix, Arizona-based collage artist Dawn M. Conry will speak about Collage Salon and “the sacredness of a scheduled open studio weekly meet-up practice with Arizona Collage Collective. As a community, we have practiced in a weekly Wednesday evening zoom meet up. An open studio style meeting that has no agenda, just a dedicated time to work with other artists. This meeting has become a foundational aspect of practice for many of our members.” Jenn Judson is the creative force behind Paper Bananas, a Niagara region-based initiative specializing in collage events, workshops and take-home kits. Serving her community in St. Catharines, Ontario, Judson fosters inclusive spaces where artists, enthusiasts, and newcomers alike can come together to explore collage in a low-pressure, creative environment. Panelists will offer tips for how to organize one’s own project and the audience will be invited to share projects they are organizing or ideas they have projects or events they would like to.



From St. Catharines, Ontario, Jenn Judson (image above) holds a degree from Brock University’s Visual Arts Department. She spends her time hopping from venue to venue, spreading the joy of collage and broadening art-making opportunities for her community. She is the creative force behind Paper Bananas, a Niagara region-based initiative specializing in collage events, workshops and take-home kits, which goes beyond creating art; Jenn cultivates a dynamic space that encourages creativity, collaboration, and inclusivity, shaping the cultural landscape of Niagara one collage at a time. The artist was recently nominated for a “Making a Difference” award at the St. Catharines Arts Awards.

Chasity Porter holds a BFA from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. She has worked as a Gallery Director, Floral Designer, Art Instructor, and Custom Framer, all of which influences her artwork. Porter has exhibited her work locally and internationally. In September 2023, Porter was a resident artist at the Collage Artist Residency Scotland: Folklore, Place, and Collage. She is the owner of Dormalou Project, an art studio and experimental mobile art gallery located in Missouri City, Texas.

Carol Fettin holds a degree in news writing and editorial journalism from the University of Nebraska and a Master of Arts in Teaching and in English Language Development from the College of Saint Mary. Her art is informed by her many years of working as a writer and photographer and working with children from all walks of life. Fettin is the founder of the Nebraska Collage Project. The artist lives and works in Omaha, Nebraska.

Dawn Conry, aka Dawnry, is a collage artist and nurse living in Phoenix, Arizona, where her formal studies in theatre arts and nursing science have given her a firm foundation for creative and critical thinking. Her work has been shown in Arizona, California, Louisiana, and Oregon in the US and in Ghent, Belgium; Jakarta, Indonesia; Dorset, England; Dundee, Scotland; Moscow, Russia; and Kathmandu, Nepal. Dawnry took part in Kolaj Institute’s Politics in Collage Artist Residency.