Residencies are focused on artmaking, are project-driven, and provide an artist or writer dedicated time to complete bodies of work for exhibitions or publications that are then supported by Kolaj Institute.


Collage & Illustration:

The Awakening

A four-week, virtual/online residency with Kolaj Institute in October 2022

Deadline to apply: Sunday, August 28, 2022

During this project-driven residency, artists will collectively produce a series of collages that illustrate Kate Chopin’s 1899 novel, The Awakening. As a group, artists will analyze the story, discuss themes, uncover symbols, ask questions, and visually interpret the text for a 21st century audience.

The Awakening touches on 19th century feminist, identity, and societal themes that are still relevant today, such as;  What does it mean to be a woman? What are the expectations that society puts upon women? Are we bound to what we are born into? What does it mean to transform? What does patriarchy look like in 2022?

Collage Artist Residency: Scotland

An in-person residency at MERZ Gallery in Sanquhar, Scotland in September 2022

Collage Artist Residency: Scotland is a week-long artist residency designed for artists working in collage who seek to engage with place in their practice. Using the rural community of Sanquhar, Scotland as a laboratory, artists will spend a week making artwork; learning about the place, its people, and its history; and discussing how art can capture, share, reflect, comment, and otherwise engage with a sense of place. The goal of the residency is to develop an individual methodology for responding to place in one’s art practice and to make a work of art about Sanquhar that speaks to and about the people and land. Our hope is that artists will return to their home communities with fresh eyes and be prepared to see their communities in a unique way.

Submissions are closed.


Poetry & Collage Residency

In January 2022, we issued a call to artists for a Poetry & Collage Residency and received so many excellent responses that we organized a series of three residencies. The artists heard from guest speakers Kevin Sampsell, Renée Reizman, Rod T. Boyer, and the Poetry Foundation’s Fred Sasaki and were challenged to create page spreads to be included in a forthcoming book of collage and poetry.

In the residency, we challenged artists to move beyond taxonomical debates. Ric Kasini Kadour said, “What is a poem? We do not need to have a singular answer to that question. Individually we must each answer that question for ourselves. In practice, every poem we make will be an example of what a poem is. In considering other people’s work, we should ask ourselves, How is this a poem?” During the residencies, artists interrogated each other’s artwork, collaborated, and shared ideas. And at the end of it, they sent us more page spreads than could fit into a single book. Impressed and moved by the volume and quality of cultural output and a deep belief that this practice–however you want to describe it–at the intersection of collage and poetry deserves a platform, we decided to create a new journal dedicated to it. Christopher Kurts named it PoetryXCollage and said, “How do you pronounce it? You can say the letter ‘X’ or it can stand for the words ‘and,’ ‘in collaboration with,’ or ‘featuring.’ The X is an intersection, a crossroads, or an equation. X marks the spot.”

PoetryXCollage soft debuted at Kolaj Fest New Orleans in June 2022 and officially launched July 15, 2022. A third round of the residency will take place in September 2022. In 2023, Kolaj Institute will open up submissions for future volumes of PoetryXCollage.

Politics in Collage Residency 2021

In September 2021, twelve artists joined us for the Politics in Collage Residency with the goal of helping collage artists who are creating social/political work, or who are interested in doing so, to grow and expand their practice. In fact, we had such a high level of interest in this residency, along with numerous qualified applicants, that we ran the residency for a second round with thirteen more artists in November.

Although the main thread running through the project is “political” in its broadest definition, each artist chose specific issues to explore through the medium of collage. Their artwork allows viewers an opportunity to reflect on various forms of racism, ableism, sexism, and xenophobia; the consequences of colonization and capitalism; the effects of contemporary media; and the eco-grief or anxiety associated with climate change. By using collage, a form composed of juxtaposing a variety of disparate elements together, the artists are able to tell nuanced stories about their highly complex topics, inviting the viewers to regard a potentially overwrought issue from a fresh angle.

Kolaj Institute made $4,600 in grants to remove financial barriers to participating and helped underwrite the costs of bringing the book into print.

The work that came out of these residencies was exhibited at Kolaj Fest New Orleans 2022 and became a book and online exhibition.

Collage as Street Art Residency:Letting the Art Find Its Own Audience

In July 2021, we began our Collage as Street Art Residency, in which fourteen artists learned about the history, methods, and major artists of the “street art” movement with a particular emphasis on collage while also taking their own collage out into the streets. The process and the work was documented by each of the artists. Leading the residency was Lance Rothstein, aka FANCLUB 13, who has been creating street art for over twenty years.

Fourteen artists participated in the residency and Kolaj Institute made $2,230 in grants to remove financial barriers to participating artists.

A forthcoming book about their work will be released in the fall of 2022 with the support of members of the Silver Scissors and Golden Glue Societies, who will automatically receive a copy.

Money Money Collage Artist Residency

In June 2021, we brought together a group of artists to learn about collage and illustration by working together to interpret Eleanor H. Porter’s 1918 novel, Oh, Money! Money!. To illustrate the book, ten artists learned from guest speakers about collage and illustration and then worked collaboratively to make sixty-three collages that interpret Porter’s novel for a 21st century audience.

Christopher Kurts served as art director for the project, led collage making sessions, and facilitated the collaboration. Heather Ryan Kelley spoke about “The Midden Heap Project” in which she made a collage in response to each page of James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake. Jeanna Penn spoke about how she uses collage to interpret historical material including her project “Souls of Black Folk” collage series inspired by W.E.B. DuBois’ seminal book where he sets out to “have briefly sketched…with loving emphasis and deeper detail, that men may listen to the striving in the souls of black folk.” Nancy Bernardo spoke about collage as illustration, the visual essay she contributed to the book Deconstructing Brad Pitt, and how collage artists can engage with the marketplace for illustration. Ric Kasini Kadour presented a theoretical overview of collage, shared “The Money $how” exhibition, and facilitated the discussion of Porter’s book.

Kolaj Institute made $1,450 in grants to remove financial barriers to participating artists and helped underwrite the costs of bringing the book into print.