World Collage Day 2020: How We Did Different

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Director Gary Tinterow told Vogue recently, “Our primary responsibility, and our most valuable asset, is creating a condition for human beings to be in the same space as works of art.” That is as much the mission of artists as it is museum directors. World Collage Day is supposed to be about getting collage outside of its bubble. This year, the bubble we got outside of was a little different. Instead of meeting up with other collage artists in our communities, we popped into a workshop in Russia, checked out a virtual exhibition in New York, or looked at Collage Gardens that sprang up in Spain, Norway, Indonesia, and France, among other places.

The swiftness with which collage artists are able to move online is a testament to a well-practiced resilience that comes out of being shut out of art networks that put a premium on spectacle and market value. I am proud of how World Collage Day event organizers tapped their networks, shifted gear, and manifested on May 9th, 2020. We had a lot to celebrate. And the next day, we had work to do. The pandemic is causing a revolution in the art world, exacerbating pre-existing resource disparities and stressing the conventional means through which art gets to the people.

As Tinterow reminds us, our mission is to get art to the people, to get human beings in the same space as art. Collage artists are brilliant at creating new methods of diffusion. The art world can benefit from our collective wisdom and experience. Let’s help them.

–Ric Kasini Kadour