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July 7th, 2015

Artist Spotlight: Marie Watt

The third and final artist featured in SITE Santa Fe’s upcoming Unsuspected Possibilities exhibition, Marie Watt makes sculptures from wood and textiles that engage with ideas of culture and community. Her heritage, tracing from both the Seneca Nation and the ranches of Wyoming, informs her interest in multiculturalism, traditional art forms, and Western art history. This plethora of influences results in a body of work that varies in its media and messages. Her recent artwork focuses intensely on the process of sewing: she uses reclaimed wool to make colorful wall textiles, or massive sculptural blanket stacks that present the viewer with the enormities of memory and history. Commenting on this theme, Watt says, “We are received in blankets, and we leave in blankets. The work…is inspired by the stories of those beginnings and endings, and the life in between…Blankets hang around in our lives and families – they gain meaning through use.”

Marie Watt has studied at Willamette University, the Institute of American Indian Arts, and Yale University School of Art. She has exhibited at such venues as the New York Museum of Arts and Design, the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, the Seattle Art Museum, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Portland Art Museum, and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. She has received many awards and fellowships and has given lectures at colleges and universities across the country.

For SITE’s Unsuspected Possibilities exhibition, curated by Janet Dees, Watt will present new installations responding and corresponding to those of fellow artists Leonardo Drew and Sarah Oppenheimer. The exhibition will be on view from July 18 – October 25, 2015 at SITE Santa Fe.

Works by Marie Watt

  • Braid, 2004
  • Ledger: Ladder, 2005
  • Blue Mountain Lullaby, 2006
  • Blanket Stories: Three Sisters, Cousin Rose, Four Pelts, and Sky Woman, 2005
  • Forget-me-not, 2008
  • Six Degrees and Seven Generations, 2008
  • Marker: Axis Mundi, 2010
  • Trunk, 2010