CORNING, N.Y., May 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Rockwell Museum today announced the opening of its newest exhibition, Blanket Stories: Western Door, Salt Sacks and Three Sisters by artist Marie Watt. A monumental new sculpture, created with blankets, quilts, and afghans contributed by residents of the greater Corning and Upstate Finger Lakes communities of New York, will be on display until September 5, 2017.
Blanket Stories: Western Door, Salt Sacks, and Three Sisters is a collaboration between artist Marie Watt, The Rockwell Museum, and the greater Corning, NY, community, as well as an ongoing series in the artist's practice. Watt – who draws upon biography, history, Iroquois teachings, and Seneca proto-feminism – was invited by The Rockwell to gather stories that tether people to place and community.
Each story is represented by a textile in this sculpture. The textiles were contributed in response to a call for blankets and their stories from the community including local residents, the greater Finger Lakes region, and friends of The Rockwell. While each blanket in this column represents one person's story, it also serves as a marker for the collective memory of a larger extended family. Each story communicates the universal nature of our shared human condition and has the potential to unite us.
"Blankets are everyday objects. We take them for granted, yet as we use them, they quietly record our histories: a lumpy shape, a worn binding, mended patches," says Watt. "Every blanket holds a story, and with the secondhand and thrift-store blankets I use in much of my work, I can only guess at the story. But when I can work with contributed blankets and learn about the stories attached to them, they remain with the blankets in their installations, and are also transcribed and collected, so that others can share them."
"Marie's work is a compelling story that connects the local Corning community with its deep-rooted Seneca and Iroquois history," says Brian Lee Whisenhunt, executive director of The Rockwell Museum. "We believe her vision is directly in line with The Rockwell's programming and community connections and look forward to having the installation remain part of our permanent collection and eventually installed in our Modern and Contemporary gallery."
Each blanket has been photographed and can be viewed by the public at: http://www.mariewattstudio.com/projects/western-door
For more information about the exhibit and The Rockwell Museum, please visit: www.rockwellmuseum.org
About Marie Watt
Marie Watt is an American artist. She holds an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University, attended Willamette University and the Institute of American Indian Arts, and in 2016 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Willamette University. Among other residencies, she has attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, received a fellowship from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, and the Anonymous Was a Woman Award.
Selected collections include the National Gallery of Canada, The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and Renwick Gallery, The Tacoma Art Museum, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Facebook, The Seattle Art Museum, and The United States Library of Congress.
In 2015 she exhibited in the 'Unsuspected Possibilities' show at SITE Santa Fe, curated by Janet Dees, and in 2016 was commissioned by the Art in Embassies program to build a 36' tall sculpture to be permanently installed in the newly expanded US Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. Ms. Watt lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, the graphic designer Adam McIsaac, and her daughters, Maxine and Evelyn. She exhibits internationally, and is represented in Portland by PDX Contemporary Art, and in Seattle by Greg Kucera Gallery.
About The Rockwell Museum: A Smithsonian Affiliate
The Rockwell Museum, in association with the Smithsonian Institution, collection tells the story of the American experience through a display of stunning art about America. Founded in 1976, The Rockwell is an evolving community center which showcases the best of America through compelling exhibitions and imaginative programs. The diverse collection includes a mix of contemporary Native American art with traditional bronze sculptures, landscape paintings and other works that embody America. Housed in the beautifully restored 19th century Old City Hall building, The Rockwell is active in the local community and holds special events and educational programming with area public schools. The Rockwell provokes curiosity, engagement and reflection about art and the American experience.
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SOURCE The Rockwell Museum