Artistic Rising: Climate in Crisis
Type of work
Visual Art

During their residency, MILAGROS focused on the development of their “Crud Buddies” project. Crud Buddies are cute, adoptable pets made from ocean-bound foam fished out of the Mississippi River and given new life through artistic intervention. Their residency helped facilitate a new partnership between MILAGROS and Healthy Gulf, directing funds from Crud Buddy adoptions to the environmental nonprofit’s efforts, and helping raise awareness about plastic waste.

MILAGROS, consisting of Felici Asteinza and Joey Fillastre, is a mural and installation collective based in New Orleans, LA. Asteinza and Fillastre met studying Fine Art at Florida State University in 2006. Their public art works pepper the southeastern United States. Community and collaboration is the heart of the MILAGROS ethos. Inspired by their Latinx upbringing, MILAGROS aspires to create enjoyable spaces for intergenerational gathering, where individuals can feel connected through the joint construction of a positive experience. This celebratory spirit shines brightly in defiance of current political dramas.

Read a article about MILAGROS and their Crud Buddies here.

“Our initial concept for our residency was to create an installation, inspired by the style of national parks, using waste from the Mississippi River. Upon arriving at A Studio in the Woods we quickly pivoted to expand on our pre-existing body of work, called crud buddies. Crud Buddies use tumbled foam from the river that resemble rocks to create a pet rock style sculptural friend. ASITW helped us partner with an environmental group, Healthy Gulf, to give data surrounding the pollution in the river and to start donating a portion of the proceeds from this body of work to help support Healthy Gulf’s work. We began the groundwork for developing a better online presence for crud buddies and a more stream-lined adoption process that will be debuting soon. It would not have been possible to conceptualize this without our time away at A Studio in the Woods. The surroundings are so inspiring and quiet that it allowed us the time and space to relax into thinking about our work in a deeper and more holistic way. During our time at A Studio in the Woods we also collected foam from the river and began a large series of new crud buddies that have ceramic facial features, a new development for us. While the surroundings and accommodations were lovely and inspiring, the best part for us was the staff, other residents, and the community surrounding A Studio in the Woods. Having a supportive, low-pressure living and working environment was essential for us, especially after the stress of Hurricane Ida.” – MILAGROS