Kolaj Institute Partners with The Recycle Challenge


Kolaj Institute is excited to partner with Madera E. Rogers-Henry and the New Orleans non-profit, The Recycle Challenge.

Madera E. Rogers-Henry is an artist, performer, activist, and visionary who uses “collage art intertwined with 3-D and mixed media to incorporate recycled materials to create large-scale canvases, masks, paper dresses, jewelry, and hand fans. She draws inspiration from her global perspective of living life in places such as Montreal, Quebec; Puerta Vallarta, Mexico; and Stuttgart, Germany. Adding cities such as Denver and Brooklyn allow her to experience the rich African influences within each locale. New Orleans parade culture provides an infusion of celebration to expand the range of artwork to include costumes, masks, and mini floats.”

The Recycle Challenge “addresses a serious global need to reduce waste, and transform waste into viable products or vibrant works of art.” Each April they produce The Recycle Challenge Parade and Festival to celebrate Earth Day in New Orleans. The organizations produce workshops throughout the year that teach people how to reclaim materials and make art. They also work with the Milliners Association of Nigeria who “create flamboyant recycled hats to complement recycled dresses for national Earth Day celebrations.” In addition to Earth Day, The Recycle Challenge brings together a krewe of artists and youth as “The Green Beans Krewe”, a walking Carnival parade on Lundi Gras where the participants wear costumes made from recycled newspapers to celebrate their commitment to sustainability. 

Kolaj Institute is partnering with Rogers-Henry and The Recycle Challenge on several projects. Rogers-Henry will lead a workshop as part of the Collage Artist Residency: Joy as Subject: Mardi Gras. Folks from The Recycle Challenge will join residents and the Mystic Krewe of Scissors & Glue for “The Paper Parade,” a collage-inspired Carnival parade on Sunday, 28 January. Kolaj Institute and the Krewe will in turn join The Recycle Challenge’s Earth Day Parade. The two organizations will work together to bring Kolaj Institute’s network of collage artists in Africa and The Recycle Challenge’s network of artists in Nigeria and Ghana to create an exhibition that explores the intersection of art, craft, and recycled materials. The Recycle Challenge will also be a featured presentation at Kolaj Fest New Orleans

“Collage artists are recyclers by nature,” said Kolaj Institute Director Ric Kasini Kadour. “Madera’s vision of a world with less waste and her commitment ‘to shifting the narratives and centering the conversations & discussions to include BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) youth and adults, along with allies in arenas such as recycling and sustainability’ makes for a powerful collaboration.”