Collage the Planet: Environmentalism in Art Artist Residency


Collage the Planet: Environmentalism in Art Artist Residency

at Kolaj Institute
9-16 June 2024

A week-long, in-person residency in New Orleans that coincides with The Recycle Challenge Parade and Festival, during which artists will be invited to create work for the Collage the Planet exhibition.

About the Residency

In recent years, activists have taken to staging protests in museums as a way to draw attention to the pressing issues of climate change and in doing so suggest the art world was somehow at odds with the goals of humanity having a healthy, ethical relationship to the natural world. The premise of the “Collage the Planet: Environmentalism in Art Artist Residency” is that science has the capacity to tell us how to care for the planet, but those solutions are meaningless if humanity doesn’t care enough to evolve and change. Art is a unique technology that can distill complexity into simple human gestures that, when experienced, facilitate a deeper understanding of our world. In short, art can be a tool for caring. 

What role can artists play in sorting through the complex social, political, and economic dynamics that shape our discourse around the environment and leave us feeling confused and powerless? How do we sort through such complexity and develop an understanding for ourselves of what an ethical and healthy relationship with the natural world could be? What is the relationship between our individual choices and the systemic change needed to bring humanity’s relationship with the natural world into harmony? How do we move beyond rhetoric, cliche, and performative actions and towards meaningful change? In this six-day, in-person residency, collage artists will create work that explores environmentalism in art and make artwork that contributes to a broader dialogue on sustainability and ecological consciousness. Residents will reflect on the balance between human activity and the environment and explore strategies to draw attention to issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and the impact of industrialization on our planet. 

This residency is particularly important to New Orleans, a city deeply connected to its natural surroundings and witness to ecological challenges and natural disasters that have left indelible marks on its landscape and community. 

Jill Stoll‘s Consumer Cloth Project asks, “How can we reconcile our addiction to consumerism and be safekeepers of our planet at the same time?” Stoll collects cardboard waste from “bodegas and restaurant dumpsters”, trolls “the neighborhood on garbage days”, and processes this material into strips which she weaves into artworks on an improvised loom of push pins, binder clips, and glue. During the residency, Stoll will speak about her project and her practice. Moira Crone, artist and award-winning author, will speak about her relationship to New Orleans and the environmental aspects she works with in her art and writing. Crone is “inspired by the complexities of vision and sound in New Orleans” and in her work “the interpenetration of humans and their environment is a constant theme.” Christopher Kurts will speak about his work and its relationship to environmentalism. Kurts writes “I’m thinking about what we build and what we leave behind, not just for our communities, but for the land and the animals that allow our communities to exist. I believe that the cyclical nature of our relationship with Earth’s resources requires us to take care of that which takes care of us.” Madera E. Rogers-Henry will speak about her project, The Recycle Challenge Parade & Festival, during which popular craft-making using reclaimed materials promotes “sustainable practices and environmental awareness.” She writes, “The festival includes parades, exhibitions, and engaging activities designed to showcase the efforts of local communities and businesses in leading the way towards a more sustainable future.” During the residency, Rogers-Henry will speak about how the project uses social practice and crafting as a way of building community around environmental issues.

The goal of this residency is to support collage artists as they adapt their artist practice to speak to the complexities of environmental issues and contribute to a broader dialogue on sustainability and ecological consciousness. During the residency, artists will consider how elements of their practice (research & play, process, making, finishing, diffusion, and impact & engagement) can be adapted. 

Artists will be invited to submit artwork to the exhibition “Collage the Planet: Environmentalism in Art”, 19 April to 19 May 2024 at Kolaj Institute Gallery in New Orleans and to participate in The Recycle Challenge Parade and Festival taking place in the St. Claude neighborhood. 

The exhibition and artist residency, “Collage the Planet: Environmentalism in Art” is part of Kolaj Institute’s project, Politics in Collage, a series of residencies, publications, discussions, and exhibitions examining complex socio-political issues that contemporary society is contending with, in order to spark meaningful dialogue and inspire deeper engagement.


Ghost Migration by Krystal Anton
8’x30′; overhead projector acetates, color laser printing, barrel safety pins, hog panel, Unistrut; 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

With a background in graphic design and the sign industry, Krystal Anton made a mid-life career shift into a science field, and her artwork took a similar turn. As the Zero Waste Coordinator at Johnson County Community College in the Kansas City area, Anton works to correct institutional consumerism and waste through diversion and education. She also has a long running bird collision study on campus that works to mitigate bird deaths through data collection and advocacy. Anton’s work has evolved from decorative pieces to messages about the human condition and the plight of wildlife in urban settings. In the last few years, Anton has been part of the installation “Avian Conspiracy Theory” at Fischhaus Gallery in Wichita, Kansas, and again at the Leedy-Voulkos Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri, with her piece Ghosts of Migration. This piece consists of 3000 birds photographed through Anton’s bird study, printed life-sized onto obsolete sheets of overhead acetate, and hung by species, month, and volume, on a large grid that creates a startling bar chart depicting bird migration deaths extrapolated over a single decade at a college in existence for 50 years. Anton works mostly in printmaking and mixed media collage using discarded materials. During COVID times, she used the material constraints of what was sent in the mail to create pieces about the current conditions under which everyone was living. The series “This Bill is Due” was selected and shown at the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center in KS.

Land Offerings at Fort Tryon by Duncan Richards
found objects, digital collage; 2024. Courtesy of the artist.

Duncan Richards (she/they) is a NYC-based interdisciplinary artist, folk witch, and social worker alchemizing through pixilated psychodynamic creation. She earned her bachelor of arts from Sarah Lawrence College (2019) and went on to acquire her master’s in social work from New York University (2023). As an emerging artist, her surrealist creations are a visual séance that conjures vibrant iconography and meditative symmetry. Inspired by pre-colonial ways of being, revolutionary Trans icons, and traditional folk magic practices, Richard’s body of work has been featured at 17 Frost and in Trans Asylum Seeker Support Network (TASSN) art sale to raise funds for Transgender and Queer asylum seekers. Her work as a digital collage artist is intertwined with her spiritual and social work practices. Rooted in traditions of animism and ancestral veneration, her early artistic work focused on biblical figures and their surrealist portrayal. Currently, her collages incorporate themes of traditional folk magic, psychoanalytic symbolism, and spirit work. As a social worker, her focus on upholding the dignity, integrity, and worth of individuals is central to her focus as an artist and as a human being. With her diverse range of skills and mediums, Richards is committed to transmuting the ordinary into the extraordinary.

May the pods feed us by Nancy Clingan
8″x5″; paper, cardboard, glue; 2024. Courtesy of the artist.

Nancy Clingan is a semi-retired art therapist and artist who lives full-time in Mexico. Thematically, Clingan’s personal work is focused on the environment, the world, and the balance between people, animals, water, and resources. Her work as an art therapist helps others balance frustration, grief, and anger about social injustice and environmental danger through creativity. Her work creates equilibrium between the beauty of the world and the chaos we witness every day. Collage itself symbolizes creating something beautiful and meaningful from what might be thrown away. Using a Jungian approach of the collective unconscious to embrace the shadow and the light of each of ourselves, we recognize one another regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, class, or other differences. As a painter, Clingan has been a part of many group shows, and has had a solo exhibition in her former home state of Vermont.

Brody Panics by Carson Carroll
24”x24”; cyanotype paper collage on wood panel; 2023. Courtesy of the artist.

Carson Carroll is an interdisciplinary artist and educator in Charleston, South Carolina. She received her BFA from Winthrop University and has studied at the Dunedin School of Art in New Zealand. Currently, she is creating monochromatic cyanotype paper collages composed of photogram cutouts of collected marine debris. Her paper collages of plastic utensils, bottle caps, and handheld flossers, comment on the issues of human consumption and plastic pollution and subvert the notion that to provoke positive change one must utilize the element of shock. Her pieces instead subtly motivate viewers toward environmental activism by pulling them in with beautiful but haunting imagery. Carroll has exhibited at the Redux Contemporary Art Center, Public Works Art Center, Art Fields, and domomu gallery. Her photographs and collages have been published in international publications including the MANIFEST: International Photography Annual, Shots Magazine, and MURZE Magazine. She placed first prize in Issue 8 of Manifest’s International Photography Annual, Photo District News’s 2019 Portrait Photography Competition, and the New Media division of the 2021 North Charleston Arts Fest.

Nygg’Drazzel by Jonilyn Paige
7’x3′; collage, graphite; 2024. Courtesy of the artist.

Jonilyn Paige is an artist from Detroit. She studied at the College of Creative Studies (CCS) for Fashion Accessories Design. In March 2015, Paige traveled to Windhoek, Namibia with the African Democracy Project to research Herero fashion. There she shadowed fashion designer Cynthia Schimming at the College of the Arts in Katutura. In April 2016, Paige participated in the Doors of Opportunity contest for Habitat of Humanity in collaboration with CCS. She placed second for her door design centered around handmade bags for the homeless made out of recycled materials. During May 2016, Paige took her research to Harare, Zimbabwe where she traveled to Tongogara Refugee Camp to study refugee culture. While in Zimbabwe, she was a panelist for an Artist Talk that initiated collaborations between artists from Zimbabwe and Detroit. Upon returning to the States, Paige’s work was recognized in a feature-length article in ONE MILE Magazine. After a six year hiatus from producing art, Paige has shifted her art focus. Currently, her work explores social and political issues as seen through the subconscious mind.


Christopher Kurts is a storyteller and artist in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is the Coordinator for Kolaj Institute, where he has organized artist labs, residencies, workshops, and forums, often leading to exhibitions and publications. In this role, Kurts acted as the Art Director for Kolaj Institute’s Oh, Money! Money! by Eleanor H. Porter, illustrated and interpreted by contemporary collage artists. His work has appeared in the exhibition, “Empty Columns are a Place to Dream”, which debuted in August 2021 during the 53rd Annual Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival in Birr, County Offaly, Ireland. In January 2022, Kolaj Institute published a book about the project and the exhibition traveled to the Knoxville Museum of Art in Knoxville, Tennessee. Kurts is also the co-founder and lead organizer for The Mystic Krewe of Scissors and Glue, a group of creatives in New Orleans who meet monthly to collage, converse, and foster community. Along with the Krewe, Kurts helped organize “Unfamiliar Vegetables”, a group exhibition for Kolaj Fest New Orleans in July 2019, later published as a book.

Jill Stoll never met a medium she doesn’t like. She believes in the hand that draws, sketches, paints, collages, weaves, sews, knits, carves, prints, and releases the shutter of a (film) camera. An artist whose work transcends boundaries, she invites you to join her where each medium becomes a unique language, and every piece tells a story of ingenuity, curiosity, and a deep connection to the physical world. Jill’s making is profoundly rooted in resourcefulness, as she seeks inspiration from the overlooked abundance of materials, such as cardboard, plastic bottles, and the intriguing cat’s claw (uncaria tomentosa). Step into her studio in Arabi, Louisiana, and you’ll find yourself immersed in an environment that transcends traditional art appreciation. Her creations resonate with a multisensory experience, engaging all five senses. As a high school student under the mentorship of Lina Dean at Interlochen Arts Academy, Jill’s imagination was sparked by the intricate craft of weaving. Dean’s teachings not only imparted technical skills but also instilled a profound perspective that continues to shape Jill’s artistic worldview. Currently serving as a Professor of Practice in Design at Tulane University School of Architecture, Jill is on a continuous exploration of the systems of pattern and structure that parallels weaving drafts and pixels. Her commitment to the fusion of art and design is not just a profession but a lifelong dedication to unraveling the complexities of creative thinking.

Moira Crone came to concentrate on painting and collage in 2018, after a long career as a writer of fiction and sci-fi. (In two of her novels, the narrator was a painter.) She now works in mixed media and collage, on canvas, wood, and paper. She makes her home in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans. She is inspired by the palimpsest of the city. The interpenetration of humans and their environment is a constant theme. She uses elements from photographs, posters, books, trash, fabric remnants, and Japanese papers. Since 2018, she has been in several juried shows, in Los Angeles, Norfolk, Virginia, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans; and had four one and two-woman exhibitions. She has shown at Staple Goods, 928 Julia, and Lemieux Galleries. A member of the Second Story Collective, she is also represented by The Sullivan Gallery, the New Orleans Art Center Gallery, and ARTSPER online. Her influences include Romare Bearden, Maria Berrio, Neo-Expressionism, and the European Expressionists. Her works have been featured in The Southern Review, The North Carolina Literary Review, and the Xavier Review.

Madera E. Rogers-Henry is a self-taught artist, born in El Paso, Texas in 1958. Her work is truly remarkable as she 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 countries 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 use of natural colors sourced from magazines, tissue paper, cardboard packaging, and newspapers is simply captivating. Each completed artwork tells a story of recycling materials that are diverted from landfills. There’s a celebration to honor the human experience. Her commitment to environmentalism, and how she integrates performing arts and visual art to bring her imagination to life. Rogers-Henry’s art is not only visually stunning but also carries important messages of sustainability, cultural preservation, and diversity. Her work reflects her deep understanding of the interconnectedness between art, nature, and community. She inspires others to thrive through dynamic collaborations, community initiatives, and dedication to creating a more sustainable world. For the past ten years, the former integrated-art teacher has called New Orleans home. Returning to being an emerging artist of fourteen years. She allows her environment to fine-tune her artistic repertoire which extends beyond traditional mediums to include large-scale paper and fiber canvases utilizing paints, fibers, and recycled items. Rogers-Henry’s dedication to incorporating recycled materials into her artistic creations has garnered attention from private collectors in the New Orleans area. From April 2023 to September 2023, St. Roch Market on St. Claude Avenue served as a showroom, a crafting and recycling station for Rogers-Henry’s artwork, showcasing her commitment to sustainability. During this time, the station also featured recycled hats from the Milliners Association of Nigeria, adding an international element to the display. In 2022, Rogers-Henry’s krewe of artists and youth participated in “The Green Beans Krewe” walking parade for Lundi Gras, wearing costumes made from recycled newspapers to showcase her commitment to sustainability. Rogers-Henry’s artwork has been featured in various exhibitions and collaborations. For March 2022, her collaborative efforts with her team of artists and her paper jewelry were purchased and featured in the JAMNOLA gift shop, providing an opportunity for a wider audience. In 2018, six large-scale hand fans were prominently displayed at the New Orleans Art Center, showcasing the talent and creativity of Rogers-Henry’s unique art. In 2019, St. Roch Market was once again the venue for a collaborative show, featuring artists from REFOCUS and recycle artists, providing a platform for diverse artistic expressions. Overall, Rogers-Henry’s engagement with different spaces and communities highlights her dedication to promoting sustainable artistic practices and fostering appreciation for recycling.

Ric Kasini Kadour, a 2021 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual 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). In September 2023, he curated “Word of Mouth: Folklore, Community and Collage” at A’ the Airts in Sanquhar, Scotland. 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.