Kolaj Fest New Orleans is a multi-day festival & symposium about contemporary collage and its role in art, culture, and society, 12-16 June 2024.

About the Event

Kolaj Fest New Orleans is 12-16 June 2024

Kolaj Fest returns to New Orleans on 12-16 June 2024 for a coming together of collage artists and art professionals; a multi-day festival and symposium about contemporary collage and its role in art, culture, and society; where the focus is how we celebrate and elevate the status of collage.

Presenters will lead panel discussions and explore key curatorial issues. Artists will exhibit artwork, and create special activities and demonstrations. We will meet, network, share community, camaraderie, and fellowship. We will leave armed with new ideas for our artmaking, writing, and curatorial projects, but more importantly, we will leave Kolaj Fest New Orleans prepared to champion this artform in the year to come.


With your registration for Kolaj Fest New Orleans 2024, you have access to all sessions and activities, as well as the printed program guide for the event. You also receive  access to collage making and workshop spaces.

Early Bird Registration: $125 through 31 May 2024. After 31 May, the rate is $150.



Where to Stay

Kolaj Fest New Orleans is a decentralized event that extends across New Orleans. There is no official host hotel. New Orleans is rich with housing options, from traditional hotels to B&Bs at a range of price points. We recommend booking in the Central Business District/Warehouse District, French Quarter, or in the Marigny/Bywater, all places well served by public transportation and ride share services. New Orleans & Co., the city’s visitor and convention bureau, offers a free hotel and B&B booking service.

What Happens at Kolaj Fest New Orleans

Kolaj Fest New Orleans 2024 Program

Kolaj Fest New Orleans 2024 Program Book is a document of all things related to Kolaj Fest. In these pages, you will find a schedule and descriptions of sessions, bios and website information for artists and presenters, descriptions of evening events and special workshops. A full-colour, printed book is included with your registration.



The program at Kolaj Fest is a unique experience. We have multiple goals and are serving multiple audiences: We aim to breakdown hierarchy and foster dialogue among art professionals working in a variety of capacities. We aim to build bridges between the collage community and the larger art world; between the art world and the general public. To see the full roster of panels, workshops, film screenings, and events, VISIT THE PROGRAM PAGE.


Collage Making

Collage making takes place each day 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.


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.


Kolaj Fest Heads to the New Orleans Museum of Art

On Thursday, 13 June, Kolaj Fest New Orleans will head to the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park for a day of activities. The centerpoint to the day is “Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined”, a remarkable exhibition of one of the world’s preeminent collage artists. The exhibition takes viewers on a journey through the Nairobi-born artist’s early collage work and demonstrates how she makes fantastical forms that fuse folklore and history to speak to gender, race, colonization, the environment, and personal identity. The day kicks off with a Daily Collage Congress where Kolaj Institute’s Ric Kasini Kadour will officially open the festival. Jennella Young, LaVonna Varnado-Brown, and Aisha Shillingford will introduce the Wangechi Mutu exhibition and lead a collage-centric tour. After lunch, Phil Irish, Naomi White, and Madera Rogers-Henry will hold a panel discussion on environmentalism in art. Paloma Trecka and Todd Bartel will speak about the intersection of collage and jazz in light of the upcoming collage exhibition, BOP! in Chicago. Artist and filmmaker Mara Ahmed will screen the short, experimental film, “Return to Sender: Women of Color in Colonial Postcards & the Politics of Representation.”

Exhibitions at Kolaj Fest New Orleans


Magic in the Modern World

1 June to 11 August 2024
Kolaj Institute Gallery

In Fall 2023, Kolaj Institute invited collage artists to visit New Orleans and explore magic as a cultural idea, an ancestral tradition, a construct used by power to subjugate, and as a practice used by others to resist colonization and capitalism. Writer Arthur C. Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” While Clarke was looking backwards, the artwork in this exhibition considers the role of magic in our contemporary, modern communities and what role it may play in the future.


S&WBNO Billing Issues

Collage by New Orleans Artists
Second Story Gallery
June 8 to July 6, 2024

The title of the exhibition, “Sewage & Water Board Billing Issues,” describes an almost universal experience of New Orleanians, something we fear, something we contend with, something we like to complain about. On view is artwork by collage artists who live in or around New Orleans. Collage, like New Orleans, which often plays with the absurdity of life, nonsense, frivolity, and fun, can also take on serious issues and help us make sense of a fragmented world. The exhibition will be the site of The Art Party at 7PM on 16 June 2024.


Amuse Bouche

1-16 June
LeMieux Galleries

An amuse-bouche is a small tasting of what is offered on the menu, often served as an hors d’œuvre or appetizer. With this culinary tradition in mind, this exhibition features collage work by participants of Kolaj Fest New Orleans. The exhibition is being juried by Christy Wood, the director of LeMieux Galleries, and Kolaj Magazine Editor Ric Kasini Kadour.


Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined

at the New Orleans Museum of Art
1 Collins C. Diboll Circle in City Park, New Orleans, LA 70124

Through 14 July 2024. “Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined” at the New Orleans Museum of Art is the most complete survey of Mutu’s work to date. The exhibition is a rare opportunity to see the range and depth of the artist’s practice across her influential career and to trace the thematic throughlines and progressions in her work. “Intertwined” draws connections between the artist’s works on paper and her sculptures, featuring some of Mutu’s earliest collages, small-scale sculptures, as well as new and recent works—some made of natural materials sourced in Nairobi such as wood and soil and others cast in bronze. Mutu first gained acclaim in the late 1990s for her collage-based work exploring camouflage and transformation. She extends these strategies to her work across various media, developing hybrid, fantastical forms that fuse mythical and folkloric narratives with layered social and historical references. Informed in part by her undergraduate training in anthropology and by her experience living and working in New York and Nairobi, Mutu consistently challenges the ways in which cultures and histories have traditionally been classified. Hours: Tuesday, Thursday-Sunday, 10AM-5PM; Wednesday, Noon-7PM.


Where Photography Meets Collage

9 June-28 July 2024
New Orleans Photo Alliance Center, 7800 Oak Street, New Orleans

Opening Reception: Wednesday, 12 June 2024, 6-8PM 

Photography and collage have a long history of being in dialogue with one another; however, the intersection of these two mediums is poorly explored. The exhibition “Where Photography Meets Collage” aims to change that. This is the first of two exhibitions produced in collaboration between the New Orleans Photo Alliance and Kolaj Institute. The exhibition will feature artwork submitted through an open call to artists and artwork from the May 2024 Photography & Collage Artist Residency, where photographers and collage artists come together in dialogue, learn from one another, and make artwork for a series of exhibitions that explore the intersection of collage and photography.

Special Events at Kolaj Fest New Orleans


Welcome Reception

Wednesday, 12 June 2024, 3-5PM
Artisan Bar

Located just down the street from Kolaj Institute in the Bywater, Artisan Bar is a friendly neighborhood cafe. Join us on Wednesday, 12 June 2024 from 3PM to 5PM for a Welcome Reception & Collage Making. Attendees will be able to check into Kolaj Fest and meet the organizers and other folks attending Kolaj Fest. Collage Making is hosted by Mystic Krewe of Scissors & Glue, New Orleans collage community. Cash bar.


Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined | Film Screenings

Wednesday, 12 June 2024, Noon-7PM
New Orleans Museum of Art, Lapis Center for the Arts

As part of the exhibition, “Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined”, the New Orleans Museum of Art presents seven short films by the artist. The total runtime is about an hour and a half. The films will be screened in the museum’s Lapis Center for the Arts, which has ample seating and is wheelchair accessible.

Mutu’s film work confronts the missing attention to Black women within society, their labor, their experience of the world while also directing our attention to environmental destruction and cultural trauma. The films have been screened widely in art institutions for over a decade and increasingly use collage in motion as a compositional and narrative strategy.


Collage & Kiki, New Orleans Edition

Friday, 14 June 2024, 6-8PM
John Thompson Legacy Center

Collagists Aisha Shillingford, LaVonna Varnado-Brown, and Jennella Young invite the New Orleans community to a Collage & Kiki. “Remember that feeling of making art with the homies just for the pure joy of spending time and being creative together? There were snacks within reach, you got your art materials, some dope tunes playing in the background, and the kiki was so sweet you just didn’t want to leave. Join us for Collage & Kiki, New Orleans Edition, with our fam in town for Kolaj Fest New Orleans 2024. We’ll bring the playlist, the magazines, glue, and scissors. You bring the vibes and the creativity. All are welcome.” This event is free.



Friday, 14 June 2024, 7-9PM
New Orleans Healing Center, Suite 204

At Kolaj Institute, we have a deeply held belief that art is not a competition and the practice of art awards, artist rankings, and competition among artists belies the spirit with which the International Collage Community makes its way through the world. But at Collage Game Night, we are throwing that out the window. Bring it, you gluesticks!

At this event, teams compete in increasingly ridiculous collage challenges until a winner is crowned. Assembling collage fragments blindfolded, building a collaborative zine in record time, and creating wearable collage fashion are just some of the games you can look forward to. Tap into the silly side of artmaking while being judged harshly by a cast of characters straight out of reality game shows like Hell’s Kitchen and Project Runway. Only one team can prove themselves the best (prizes are purely hypothetical).

When you show up at 7PM (if you’re brave enough to play) you will be randomly assigned to a team of 4-5 people who you will be stuck with throughout the evening. There’s only one trophy so if your team wins, then y’all will have to fight about who gets to keep it.

Hosted by Cheryl Chudyk, Jenn Judson, and Robert Grouchenberg


Collage Art & Book Market

The Collage Art & Book Market is an opportunity for the general public to meet artists and publishers and to take in the rich and diverse cultural production of the international collage community. The public will be invited to peruse vendor displays or attend a talk or demonstration. The event is free and open to the public.


Great Collage Swap

On Sunday, we will gather one final time to say our goodbyes and to conduct The Great Collage Swap. To participate, bring a collage to exchange to the Info Table before 10AM Sunday. In return, you will be given a number. All of the collages will be displayed. During the program, a collage will be selected and matched with a number and the holder of that number will receive the collage. As the collages are matched, each artist has a chance to share their story.

Past Events