Call to Artists: Collage Magic Artist Residency


Collage Magic Artist Residency: New Orleans

A five-day, in-person collage artist residency in New Orleans

First Session:

Wednesday, 25 October to Sunday, 29 October 2023

Second Session:

Wednesday, 6 December to Sunday, 10 December 2023

Final Deadline to Apply: Sunday, 24 September 2023

Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis until space is filled. Artists are encouraged to apply well before the deadline. Also, please note, responses may not be sent out until two weeks after the deadline.

In our scientifically-minded modern world, little room is left for the the mystical, the esoteric, and the magical, but we contend that such things, irrational as they may be, are fundamental to the human experience and necessary liminal spaces in which people experience joy, process trauma, or otherwise work through complicated emotions that a rationalistic society is not set up to handle, if it doesn’t actively reject them. Magical traditions are often ancestral and also deeply embedded in communities. Many practitioners (particularly those of older generations) experience shame and ridicule when speaking openly about their experiences. For those living a diasporic existence, magic can be a fundamental connection to a homeland.

Artists have a role to play in nurturing and supporting magic traditions. Through our artwork, we can share stories, demystify histories, reinforce ancestral or community connections, and celebrate magical practices in ways that are safe, comfortable, and legible. We can make visible cosmologies other than those of the prevailing culture and hold space for alternative worldviews. At various times, such work can be profound acts of resistance, caring, or celebration. With its history of surrealism, collage in particular lends itself to this work.

Designed for collage artists, professional development sessions focus on artist practice: topics include Collage in Theory; Copyright & Appropriation; Developing Context; Collaboration; and Collage in Presentation. We will explore contemporary art that references magic, altar making, and ritual practice and take a walking tour of New Orleans and explore the city as an archive of magic. A visit to the Historic New Orleans Voodoo Museum will afford us the opportunity to consider how contemporary practitioners are engaged with magic traditions in the 21st century. 

Louisiana-based artist and community worker LaVonna Varnado Brown will lead the four-hour workshop, “Uses of the Erotic”, the title of which comes from an essay by Audre Lorde which begins. “There are many kinds of power, used and unused, acknowledged or otherwise.” The workshop is a process by which we will raise our awareness of the erotic and its use as a source of power, healing, and self exploration. The erotic is a conduit to harness energy from a heart-centered space. We will engage in collage exercises and explore our will to create space to intentionally explore the use of the Erotic as power through symbols, printed image, and composition work ending with a collage in process. The power of the Erotic awakens the knowledge that satisfaction is possible. Join with the intention to explore as we make, discuss, and contemplate our will to access pleasure.

Residents will make a collage that will be published by Kolaj Institute in a book about collage and magic. The artwork will be exhibited at Kolaj institute during Kolaj Fest New Orleans, 12-16 June 2024. Artists who wish to develop proposals for larger contemporary art projects (books or exhibitions) will be invited to submit proposals for consideration. 


The Collage Magic Residency is in-person and centered on collage artists who want to develop their artist practice. Residencies are intended for self-motivated artists, regardless of the stage in their career, who want to develop their practice by exploring a topic or working method and collaborating with others to produce a final product and who want to develop a practice of making artwork that speaks about the role of magic in communities. 


The cost of the residency is $750 per artist; however, no artist will be turned away for lack of funds and the organizers will work with artists to build a financial aid package.

Travel to and from New Orleans, accommodations in New Orleans, and all meals are the responsibility of the artist. Activities such as the visit to the Historic New Orleans Voodoo Museum and to the New Orleans Museum of Art are included in the fee.


Submit your application HERE.


The submission process asks applicants for:

• Contact information
• Artist Bio (50-250 words)
• Statement of Artist Practice (50-300 words)
• 5-7 examples of artwork (still or moving images or links to other films)


If you have questions, send an email.


LaVonna Varnado Brown

LaVonna Varnado Brown is a multidisciplinary artist and community worker. She has developed her practice around intentional engagement to inspire action through creative expression. AfroFuturism is a cultural aesthetic that explores the intersection of art and history with intention to inspire action in the now by healing beyond trauma. In addition to curating intentional workshops, LaVonna creates works using acrylic, hand drawn form, and sculpture that speak from the experience of a Black mother creatively navigating the American landscape with a focus on healing and raising spatial awareness. Through her work she hopes to uplift the narrative of rest, joy, resistance, and wholeness. At Kolaj Fest New Orleans 2023, LaVonna presented her collage workshop, “Uses of the Erotic”, and was a panelist for the symposium, “The Mystical, the Esoteric, & the Magical”. The artist was the 2022-2023 Artist in Residence at Longue Vue House & Gardens in New Orleans. 

Ric Kasini Kadour

Ric Kasini Kadour, a 2021 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts Curatorial Fellow, is a writer, artist, publisher, and cultural worker. Working with the Vermont Arts Council, Kadour curated four exhibits: “Connection: The Art of Coming Together” (2017) and Vermont Artists to Watch 2018, 2019 and 2020. In 2017, he curated “The Art of Winter” at S.P.A.C.E. Gallery in Burlington, Vermont. In 2018, Kadour curated “Revolutionary Paths: Critical Issues in Collage” at Antenna Gallery in New Orleans, which bought together collage artists whose work represents the potential for deeper inquiry and further curatorial exploration of the medium; followed in 2019 by “Cultural Deconstructions: Critical Issues in Collage” at LeMieux Galleries in New Orleans, which furthered the conversation; and “Amuse Bouche”, also at LeMieux Galleries in 2023. Since 2018, he has produced Kolaj Fest New Orleans, a multi-day festival & symposium about contemporary collage and its role in art, culture, and society. As Curator of Contemporary Art at Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh, Vermont in 2019 and 2020, he curated three exhibitions, “Rokeby Through the Lens” (May 19-June 16, 2019), “Structures” (August 24-October 27, 2019), and “Mending Fences: New Works by Carol MacDonald” (July 12-October 25, 2020). He also curated “Contemporary American Regionalism: Vermont Perspectives” (August 17-October 20, 2019); “Where the Sun Casts No Shadow: Postcards from the Creative Crossroads of Quito, Ecuador” (November 1-30, 2019); and “Many Americas” (August 20-November 27, 2022) in the Wilson Museum & Galleries at the Southern Vermont Arts Center. “The Money $how”, co-curated with Frank Juarez, was presented at the AIR Space Gallery at Saint Kate-The Arts Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (April 10-September 12, 2021). For Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival in Birr, County Offaly, Ireland (August 13-20, 2021), he curated “Empty Columns Are a Place to Dream”, which traveled to the Knoxville Museum of Art in January-February 2022. At 516 ARTS in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Kadour co-curated with Alicia Inez Guzmàn two exhibitions: “Many Worlds Are Born” (February 19-May 14, 2022) and “Technologies of the Spirit” (June 11-September 3, 2022). In 2023 at the Knoxville Museum of Art, Kadour curated “Where the Sun Casts No Shadow: Postcards from the Creative Crossroads of Quito, Ecuador” (January 9-February 16, 2023) and “Mystical Landscape: Secrets of the Vale” (March 17-May 28, 2023), which will travel to A’ the Airts in Sanquhar, Scotland in September 2023. His short film, The Covenant of Schwitters’ Army, debuted at Collage on Screen during Kolaj Fest New Orleans 2023. Kadour is the editor and publisher of Kolaj Magazine. He has written for a number of galleries and his writing has appeared in Hyperallergic, OEI, Vermont Magazine, Seven Days, Seattle Weekly, Art New England (where he was the former Vermont editor) and many others. Kadour maintains an active art practice and his photography, collage, and sculpture have been exhibited in and are part of private collections in Australia, Europe and North America. In January-February 2020, he was artist-in-residence at MERZ Gallery in Sanquhar, Scotland. He holds a BA in Comparative Religion from the University of Vermont. Kadour splits his time between Montreal and New Orleans.