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Work Samples

Mountain Women

24" x 20" collage on poster board, 2013, paper

Girl with the big 'fro

11" x 17" Collage and watercolor on canvas 2013

Black Butterfly

20"x 20" collage on watercolor paper, 2019, paper


About Mirlande

Baltimore City

Mirlande Jean-Gilles is a mother of two, a visual artist and writer. She has been creating collages for over twenty years. She creates her vibrant collages using papers from books and magazines. She is old school and likes to work with paper, scissors and glue.  Mirlande’s vibrant collages have been exhibited at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, University of Baltimore, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Kenkeleba Gallery and Corridor Gallery in New York. She was... more

2019/2020 Season Artwork-Baltimore Center Stage

I was commissioned by Baltimore Center Stage to create original artwork for all six plays in the 2019/2020 season. I also created one piece entitled "Black Butterfly" that encapsulated Baltimore and the spirit/theme of the season.
I hand cut and glue all my work and I used paper from hundreds of books and magazines to create the images.  

To prepare I read the scripts and the artwork is inspired by what I read.  It was a grueling but rewarding process. I feel like I grew tremendously as an artist. 

This what appears on the Baltimore Center Stage website about the the project  "Our collaboration with Mirlande signifies a stride to pull local artists into Baltimore Center Stage and provide them momentum to create new forms and expressions we can all learn from."

Basket Women

The Basket Women series is dedicated to my Granmere "Big".  It is inspired by her and by the absolute beauty, strength and tenacity of  the women who go up and down Haiti's hills with their livelihood balanced gracefully on their heads.

My grandmother grew legumes and rice.  She would go to the market to haggle and sell her wares.

My grandfather died prematurely and she was left to care for their six children. She not only made a way, but the family was able to thrive because of her hard work.

Star People

It is said we are all made of stardust. In this collection I've created people and landscapes made out of deep space and planets.

Mother and Child

These collages were inspired by the fabulous movement between mother and child. It is a daily, beautiful dance.

There is so much work to do as a mother. Children are demanding. But it is also colorful, being a mom is fun and silly. Sometimes you get to see the world through the kalidescope eyes of your children.

Environmental Shifts

My goal in these collages was to remove the person from their original environment and make them larger than life. I also wanted to elevate them to God/Goddess status. I gave them control over the elements, over their environments.

Back when I first starting doing collages in the 90's I loved looking through National Geographic magazine, but sometimes amongst the amazing photos there were also stories of human suffering, and alot of them were women and children. I wanted to change what I saw and I created new stories for them in my own way.

Esprit (Spirit)

These collages evoke a sense of ritual, spirituality, meditation, a nice vibe. All hand done using various papers and sometimes paint. 

  • Free Are Those

    8.5" x 11" collage on paper, 2002, paper
  • Burn

    10" x 8" collage on paper, 2018, paper
  • Clouds

    8" x 10" collage on paper, 2015, paper
  • Elixirs

    5" x 7" collage and watercolor paint on watercolor paper
  • Sanctuary

    4" x 5" collage on paper, 2018, paper
  • Big Lotus Little Lotus

    8" x 10 " collage on paper, 2019, paper

Tent City Neighborhoods

All over the world people are becoming refugees in their own land. They have been displaced by war, famine and natural disasters. Millions driven from homes must make shelter with tents, tarps and blankets.

They have to remake their lives with donated food, water and clothing. It is happening in Somalia, in the Congo, in Syria and in the Phillipines, in Haiti and in the United States.

In Haiti the earthquake of 2010 killed over 300,000 people. It destroyed millions of homes. Plastic tarps and tents were given to the citizens to make shelter. Four years after the earthquake, many still call a tent their home.

  • Tent City

    21" by 48" Collage. I created this collage after the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Over 300,000 dead. Millions injured. Millions of homes destroyed. In my own feelings of shock, sadness and helplessness of the situation I created this collage. The Women look out at the vast tent city so much is needed. When night comes tent cities become the darkest of dark. There are no street lights or any lights except moon and stars. When night comes the predators emerge and prey on the innocent. The Light Bringer brings lights for the people.
  • Tent City #3 Going On Despite the Rubble

    Collage 8 1/2 x 11 on poasterboard I made this collage 3 years after the earthquake. There is progress but there are still tents, still rubble and possibly still dead buried under debris.
  • Home Bringer

    Detail of the Tent City collage. The basket woman brings homes to those living under tarps and tents held together by sticks and twine in the tent cities. The new houses will have solid floors where rain water cannot flood. A roof to keep the tropical sun at bay, a window to let in a breeze and a door for the privacy we all need.
  • Tent City-Detail

    In this Tent City Neighborhood the water is poisoned by the waste of the military that was sent to protect them. Do you see the skull not so hidden amongst the living? There are human wolves who prey on the innocent. Can you find the stalking wolf? In the tent city everyone works. Even the elders balance baskets brimming with bounty.
  • Rue de Jardin (Garden Street)

    Collage and watercolor. 14" x 11" on paper I created this collage two years after the 2010 earthquake. Though they are still in tents, the people of the city have created businesses, they cook and share meals, they keep beautiful gardens and grow flowers and food.

Mirlande's Curated Collection

View Mirlande's favorite works from other Baker Artists