Marie Watt draws from history, biography, protofeminism, and Indigenous principles to address what she terms “the interaction of the arc of history with the intimacy of memory.” Watt uses materials that are conceptually attached to narrative: in particular, exploring the stories connected with commonplace woolen blankets, cedar, and iron. Part Seneca, Watt often involves community effort when creating artworks; her project Blanket Stories: Transportation Object, Generous Onesat the Tacoma Art Museum, for example, involved created large-scale installations out of blankets donated by the community.Not only are blankets the medium in many of Watt’s works but she believes “that blankets provide access to social connections, historical traditions, and cross-cultural meanings."
Watt 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; and received fellowships from the Joan Mitchell Foundation and the Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation.
Watt’s Placeholder (2017) will be installed at the Storehouse at the English Camp.