Call to Artists: Collage the Planet: Environmentalism in Art Artist Residency

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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.

Read the full Call to Artists to apply: https://kolajmagazine.com/content/content/calls-for-artists/call-to-artists-collage-the-planet-environmentalism-in-art-artist-residency/

Event date: 
April 19, 2024 to May 19, 2024
Deadline: 
10/March/2024
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