Marie Watt (b. 1967) is an American artist. Her work draws from history, biography, protofeminism, and Indigenous principles, and addresses the interaction of the arc of history with the intimacy of memory. She uses materials that are conceptually attached to narrative: in particular, exploring the stories connected with commonplace woolen blankets, cedar, and iron.

Studio news

Photograph by Aaron Johanson

Unraveled: Textiles Reconsidered at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati

We’re in Cincinnati this week, and tonight is the opening of Unraveled: Textiles Reconsidered, a group show exploring the deconstruction and reconstruction of everyday textiles, curated by Kate Bonansinga, formerly of Portland and now director of the School of Art at the University of Cincinnati.

For the exhibit, the studio made Blanket Stories: Beacon, Marker, Ohi-yo, a blanket column inspired by the marker trees to be found in woodlands areas in the midwest. Anthropologists believe that these trees were “trained” by Indigenous peoples to provide navigation information along foot trails.

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Blanket Stories: Talking Stick, Works Progress, Steward at the High Desert Museum

We’re in Bend today for the opening of Art for a Nation: Inspiration from the Great Depression a show curated by Faith Brower that explores the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

I’m honored to have been commissioned to make a piece for the show: Blanket Stories: Talking Stick, Works Progress, Steward consists of a stack of blankets contributed by the central Oregon community, and a wooden blanket totem, carved from a white pine beam salvaged from a previous incarnation of the sawmill on the High Desert Museum site.

Art for a Nation: Inspiration from the Great Depression runs through October 2 and if you’re not from the area, the High Desert Museum is well worth the trip. We have catalogued the blanket contributions and stories here on the site: click here to have a look.

Recent work

Photograph by Aaron Johanson

Blanket Stories: Beacon, Marker, Ohi-yo, 2016

Blanket Stories: Beacon, Marker, Ohi-yo, 2016
240 × 108 × 48 in.
Folded blankets, steel
Photograph by Aaron Johanson
Photograph by Aaron Johanson

Canopy: Ledger, 2015

Canopy: Ledger, 2015
78 × 21 × 21.5 in.
Reclaimed yellow cedar, reclaimed wool blankets, satin binding, steel
Photograph by Aaron Johanson