The Columbia Collective is a group of emerging female/trans incarcerated/formerly incarcerated artists exercising creative freedom across states of confinement, named for the maximum juvenile secure center in which they lived and worked. The group is currently comprised of six artists; Marshmallow, Jay, Juste-A, Marilynn, Torei and Toni, and was founded in 2020 by artist Maggie Hazen, which she co-directs with her curatorial partner, Sofia Thieu D’Amico.

From 2019 to 2021, the group met weekly for arts instruction based on a graduate-school MFA model, in which artists cultivate their own visions and projects, outside of an established curriculum with grades and assignments. For the past five years, Hazen has cultivated artist communities in other NY state prison facilities, actively working with abolition-minded community partners to connect the Collective to resources and transitional support post-incarceration through fundraising, storytelling, and mentorship.

Since the formation of the Columbia Collective, the group has exhibited and collaborated with Pioneer Works, Red Hook, NY; the Moxi Children’s Museum, Santa Barbara, CA; Siena College, NY; Boarder Patrol, Bakersfield, CA; Shandaken Projects, NY; The Athens Cultural Center, Catskill, NY; and Girls Inc., Santa Barbara, CA.


We really do carry all the names we are given, even when we don’t want them.

//Menace to Society//
//The Disposables//

“We can embody error by finding new ways to self-define, reclaiming the art of naming ourselves. Embodying error--an all consuming joyful failure within a system that never wanted us and that will not make space for us if we simply wait for it.

Inside of us is beatific brokenness and as we travel beyond it, we ask: What next? Where do we go from here?”

-Legacy Russell, Glitch Feminism

Monday Nov 5 2018