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 festival line up

View the entire COLLAGE 2012 line up. 


2012 COLLAGE took place at the Philadelphia Society of Free Letts, aka The Latvian Society of Philadelphia, the oldest continuously active Latvian Society in the world. Established as a settlement house in 1892 by Lettlanders (the common Germanic term for Latvians at the time) fleeing oppression in Tsarist Russia, the organization has served generations of Latvians coming to the United States, and advocated for Latvian independence during the Soviet era. It exists today as a community center and research facility with an explicit mission to forward and support Latvian culture. Celebrating 120 years in 2012, the society has only recently opened its doors to various Philadelphian cultural organizations.


With a 100-plus collective year history of art making between them, the curators of the COLLAGE festival — Joy Mariama Smith, George Alley and Justin Dula — have designed an annual three-day festival where over 100 artists connect and protect the flow of power and data that touch every aspect of our lives.

George Alley

George AlleyGeorge Alley, MFA  is a multi-media artist, columnist and arts scholar. A native Clevelander, Alley is perhaps best known for his work as the creative director of AlleyInk Dance (founded in 2004) and the co-host of the top ten rated comedy podcast I’m Going to Kill You. AlleyInk Dance has produced work internationally and has been the recipient of numerous grants and residencies. Alley’s work with I’m Going To Kill You! has included collaborations, discussion panels and interviews with artists ranging from rapper Leslie Hall to scream queen P.J. Soles.

George is also known for his work in early arts education and its role in cognitive development, and has performed and composed music in various forms. For more information, see his website.

Joy Mariama Smith

Joy Mariama SmithJoy Mariama Smith, M.Arch. – Co-founder of the COLLAGE Festival, native Philadelphian, architect by day, performance installation artist by night. Smith is jack of all trades. In order to diverge from quotidian movements, Smith engages in acts of spontaneous performance- be it dance, installation or otherwise. Their interests include curating, site specific performance installation, parkour, improvisational dance, collaboration, theoretical architecture, and gender non-conforming actions. Guidelines, structure, plans and details tickle their fancy.

Since the 1990s, Smith has founded two collectives: yellow # five and Your Name Here, performing in such festivals as the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Ingenuity Fest Cleveland and Ponderosa Tanzland, Germany.

Justin Dula

Justin DulaJustin Dula, AICP, is an urban planner by trade, but artist by heart. A rust belt native, Justin studied studio art and art history at Kalamazoo College. His work is mostly in private collections in North America and Asia. He works to combine motifs from urban planning with his color theory painting, and he works in the context of the local working environment to make each work specific to the location or project. He also incorporates principles of public participation taken from urban planning in his work, soliciting patron and public input on the creation by a variety of means. His painting process is a kinetic one that involves the flowing, pooling, and drying of pigmented water with a focus on color contrasts.

Curatorial themes

The COLLAGE Festival 2012 has three themes, each selected by the three curators. These are:

George Alley: OpulenceWe own everything. We believe the mask is more interesting than the face. This evening is about entertainment; with beauty and glamour in fatal doses. BTW we only use “we” when speaking to others. I WANT TO SEE THINGS THAT ARE NICE. UNUSUAL GIFTS AND GIFT IDEAS. LUXURIOUS AND LAVISH OPTIONS FOR FOOD AND PLUMING HARDWARE. The strength of this production is in its theatricality. NO harrowing life experience; the pas de deux deepens.——- LUMINOUS ENGERGIZED ICONIC HURRINCANES ACTUAL GENIUS ON STAGE. ATMOSPHERE WITH ROMANCE FOR MAGNETIC ENACTMENTS CLASSICAL STRUCTURING OF GRAND AND CHARMING (NOT TO MENTION INCREDIBLY HANDSOME) SHADED MOMENTS.

Justin Dula: Color theory. Color theory has a specific meaning in the world of Western visual art, which invokes images of color wheels and predefined relationships of complementary colors. In the spirit of the COLLAGE Festival, the color theory theme goes beyond visual representation to individual artist conceptions of color. Color evokes feeling; color has culturally assigned meaning. Color, and its lack, shapes our interaction with our environment. Color has many themes and many theories beyond those of western art classes. If your work relates to the world of colors or relationships between colors, then this is the theme for you.

Joy Mariama Smith: Architectural Variations. When we think of architecture, we think of building and inhabitable spaces in the most literal sense.  Architectural can mean things conceived with a  focus on an overall design or structure. The theme Architectural Variations focuses on the artist perception of all things architectural.  Work that examines space, time, and movement while relying on light, context, structure, and order. Think precision in technique, as well as acknowledgement of individual limitations of physicality.  Variations in this context refer to the idea that many media can express architectural themes, or a divergence from the structure previously created.