Collage Festival

we are a multi-day festival dedicated to the idea of low fi collaboration and the presentation of art that is not typically shown together in one venue.

COLLAGE history

Notes on the history of COLLAGE

May 2011: First COLLAGE festival. This was curated by Philadelphia based artists Joy Mariama Smith and Toby Celery. Taking over the still raw basement of the Wolf Building in the early days of underground arts, the first festival featured many local artists including George Alley, Melissa Diane, and Ben Neiditz & Zach Webber, as well as work from The Black & the Jew (NYC), Alyssa Lee/Group A (Ohio), and Andrew Francisco (Chicago). The festival also featured a site specific handmade bar created by Krisada Surichamorn and Kristen Phillips-Surichamorn.

February 2012: COLLAGE hosted its first Cupid is Dead fundraiser at Tritone (one of the last shows held there). The show featured many acts including Allies for Everyone (NYC)

April 2012: Twin Peak-a-boo fundraiser at Underground Arts. Performances included a George Alley collaboration with  Dante Bucci, Murmuration, Mary Kate Newell and Corey Cohen

May 2012: COLLAGE year two. Curated by George Alley, Justin Dula and Joy Mariama Smith, the second COLLAGE festival was held at the Latvian Society and organized around three distinct themes: Opulence, Color Theory and Architectural Variations.  Artists included Michael Kelly, Eli Vanden Berg & Nina Makhija, and your name here performance collective as well as Abby Zbikowski (Columbus, OH), David Mason Chlopecki (NYC) and Sabina Van Der Linden (Berlin)

December 2012: Freak Boutique Fundraiser at Tabu featured performances by Icon Ebony Fierce

February 2013: Cupid is Dead… Broke! The second annual fundraiser was held at The El Bar

May 2013: COLLAGE year three. Curated by George Alley, Toby Celery, Justin Dula and Joy Mariama Smith, year three was held at the Ukie Club and organized on a grid in tribute to Philadelphia’s original lay out. With the theme of Bizzare! Biazaar! artists included Sean Flanagan, Meg Foley, Mauri Walton, as well as Collab-A-Craft (NYC), Sarah Woomer (NYC) and Gio Black Peter (NYC)

February 2014: Cupid is Dead… and so is Lou Reed. The third annual fundraiser was held upstairs at 3rd & Girard and curated by Toby Celery. Artists included Mauri Walton & Benjamin Hunter, Sean Glass, George Alley & Eric Coyne, Lance Pawling, Shamoan Jackson (NYC) and Naked Highway (NYC)

May 2014: COLLAGE year four. Curated by Adam Peditto, Asimina Chremos and Amanda Wagner, it was held inside and all around the Community Education Center (CEC) in West Philly. The year of the gewgaw included work from David Serotte (NYC) and Julius Ferraro 

February 2015: Cupid is Dead… In the Water! Curated by Joy Mariama Smith and held upstairs at The Dive. Artists included George Alley, Blacksalt, Melissa Biddle aka Miracle, Toby Celery & Doug Greene, Robert Gross & Julius Ferraro, and Mauri Walton & Benjamin Hunter & Pete Sounds

May 2015: COLLAGE year five. Curated by the co-founders Joy Mariama Smith and Toby Celery with the core COLLAGE dream team Justin Dula and George Alley. It was held at Headlong Dance Studios in South Philly. QUEER SCHOOL, took us back to school.

February 2016: Cupid is Dead: Dead Letters. Curated by Joy Mariama Smith and existing as a temporary tumblr. Artists included Giulia Crispiani (NL), Mauri Walton (PHL), Joel Chartkoff and more.

May 2016: COLLAGE shifts platforms this year to birth COLLAGE-ve. The virtual edition took place on the internet.  It feature the work of Andrew Francisco (CN), Fabien Lapouge (FR), and Asimina Chremos (PHL).


**this is only a partial list of the artists involved through the years. Many artists have contributed more than once. COLLAGE remains thankful for all the artists who have donated time, energies and talents!**