Washington photographer Matika Wilbur (Tulalip and Swinomish Tribes) is on a journey with Project 562 to build cultural bridges, abandon stereotypes, and renew and inspire our national legacy by documenting people from every federally recognized indigenous nation in the United States.
Tacoma Art Museum is honored to present an inaugural exhibition of work from Project 562 this May in Photographic Presence and Contemporary Indians: Matika Wilbur's Project 562. The exhibition will feature 40 Native American portraits accompanied by stirring audio narratives from select sitters.
Wilbur began her project in the Northwest and has traveled more than 80,000 miles around the Western United States to record the narratives and images for Project 562. She has been welcomed into rare experiences, capturing images and voices that have never before been represented.
Wilbur’s provocative work exposes the tenacity and richness of contemporary Native life, and seeks to encourage a shift in consciousness toward Native Americans. What is revealed of Native America in these portraits? What consciousness unfolds from the many stories of the sitters?
Delve deeper into the stories behind the pictures. Listen to excerpts from interviews that Matika Wilbur has recorded with Project 562 participants throughout her journey. Click here to listen to and download the audio guide.
Related Programs and Events
Saturday, August 30, 2 pm
We often hear race is passé and we live in a post-racial America. More and more young people say race doesn’t matter, and even “biracial” can seem old-school with the increasingly complicated ancestries of today’s youth in some communities. But does the past inform the present? Join retired UWT professor Cathy J. Tashiro, author of “Standing on Both Feet: Voices of Older Mixed Race Americans,” for a safe and friendly discussion of how the stories of older people of mixed race in her book shed light on the meaning of race and mixed race today. Cost: $15 ($10 for member, $5 for student) Tickets
Saturday, September 20, 2 pm
Sven Haakanson, associate professor at University of Washington, discusses efforts in repatriating art in museums across the globe. Get informed about current progress and challenges on this topic. Cost: $15 ($10 member, $5 student)
Artist Lecture: Matika Wilbur
Saturday, May 17, 4 pm
(This lecture was SOLD OUT as of Wednesday, May 14.)
Internationally renowned artist Matika Wilbur shares the intent behind her photographs and the purpose of her most recent works in Project 562, which delve into cultural identity and heritage. Learn about her work, the people she’s meeting, and the journey she’s taking while capturing the many cultures of Native Americans.
Cost: $15 ($10 for members, $5 for students)
Members' Opening Celebration
Saturday, May 17, 6–9 pm
(This opening celebration was SOLD OUT as of Friday, May 16, 11:45 am.) Meet artist Matika Wilbur and celebrate the inaugural exhibition of her remarkable Project 562.
The celebration began with a sharing of songs and stories, and a blessing by Connie McCloud (Puyallup) and members of the Puyallup Canoe Family.
Sky and Talon Duncan (Three Affiliated Tribes of Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation and San Carlos Apache Tribe) will shared their world champion hoop dance.
Tony Collins, Anthony Thosh Collins, and Amson Collins (Salt River Pima-Maricopa) shared songs from Onk Akimel O’Odham.
Bethany Yellowtail for Project 562 released elements couture fashion designs.
Please enjoy photographs from the opening celebration courtesy of Treothe Joseph Bullock. © Treothe Joseph Bullock and treeoathe.wordpress.com, 2002–2014.
Matika Wilbur’s Project 562 with Curator Rock Hushka
Friday, May 23, 11 am
Learn the importance of bringing Matika Wilbur’s Project 562 to Tacoma Art Museum and about the artist’s process in tackling contemporary Native American issues. Cost: Free with museum admission