Marie Watt: An Artist Sews A Sense of Community

Robin Cembalest, Yale Alumni Magazine , March 20, 2021



Marie Watt '96MFA leads collaborative art projects influenced by her indigenous roots.


Exhibiting over the last year in the Smithsonian, the Whitney, the Yale University Art Gallery, and several commercial galleries, Marie Watt ’96MFA has gained steady visibility. This May the artist, a member of the Seneca Nation with German-Scots ancestry, opens her biggest show to date.


The Denver Art Museum will feature her sculptures, wall hangings, and large-scale installation works alongside those of Cannupa Hanska Luger (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota, and European), in a show called Each-Other. Both artists, who are known for collaborative artmaking, will collaborate on a new, community-made piece, a massive she-wolf. Its pelt will be assembled from hundreds of stitched bandannas, created and sent in by the public.

Communal crafting and collective action are essential parts of Watt’s art practice. For almost two decades, she has been leading sewing circles open to the community, starting in her home studio in Portland, Oregon, and most recently on Zoom.  

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