March 19, 2014
Media Contact: Julianna Verboort, 253.272.4258 x3011 or

Blanket Donations Needed to Create New Sculpture by Northwest Artist Marie Watt

Artist Needs 400 Blankets to Become Part of Bronze Sculpture in Front of Tacoma Art Museum’s New Haub Family Galleries

(Tacoma, WA) – Tacoma Art Museum and artist Marie Watt invite you to donate a blanket that will become part of a monumental new sculpture at the museum. Portland-based Watt has proposed a dynamic new work to grace the exterior of the museum’s new Haub Family Galleries. This new work, titled Blanket Stories: Transportation Object, Generous Ones, and Trek, continues Watt’s exploration of blankets and their significance as social connectors. The blankets collected will be transformed from fiber to cast bronze. The sculpture reflects on the humble yet significant role blankets play in our lives, in Native American communities, and in the settling of the West.

Watt explained how blankets are a powerful component of her sculptural practice as connectors between people: “The history of an individual blanket is perhaps even more interesting. In my work, I use mainly second-hand blankets. These show patterns of us (a lumpy shape, a worn binding) that make each one unique, but I can only imagine the stories they contain. When I can work with contributed blankets, I record a blanket’s provenance and history as written by its contributor.”

A member of the Seneca Nation of Indians, blankets hold a personal meaning for Watt. In the Seneca community, as well as other Native groups, blankets are given away to honor those who are witness to important life events.

Watt needs 400 blankets to create Tacoma Art Museum’s Blanket Stories. Anyone is welcome to donate a blanket. As part of the sculpture, Watt asks that those who donate their blankets also share their story about the importance and history of their blanket by filling out a tag that will be made available by the museum. This information will be preserved as an invaluable part of the sculpture and made available through the museum’s website and through object documentation. Blanket donors can also have their photo taken with their blanket when they donate it.

Donors will be able to identify the location of their blanket(s) in the sculpture’s arched, folded, and stacked blanket columns. Blankets will be burned-out in the casting process and leave a bronze life-like impression of the original. Participants are welcome to submit stand-in blankets rather than the original.

Those interested in donating a blanket and sharing the blanket’s story can will receive a small screen print by Marie Watt in exchange for their blanket contribution.

To donate a blanket to become part of Marie Watt’s sculpture at Tacoma Art Museum:

  • Write the blanket’s story on a tag available at the museum.
  • Bring the blanket to Tacoma Art Museum by May 18, 2014.
  • Have your photo taken with your blanket at the museum.
  • In exchange for participating, you will receive a small silk screen print by Marie Watt.


About Tacoma Art Museum
Tacoma Art Museum’s mission is to connect people through art. The museum serves the diverse communities of the region through its collection, exhibitions, and learning programs, emphasizing art and artists from the Northwest. Tacoma Art Museum is located in the downtown Cultural District, near the Museum of Glass, Washington State History Museum, and Union Station.

HOURS: Wednesday–Sunday, 10 am–5 pm, Third Thursdays 10 am–8 pm
ADMISSION: Adult $9, Student/Military/Senior (65+) $8, Family $25 (2 adults and up to 4 children under 18). Children 5 and under free. Third Thursdays free from 5-8 pm. Members always free.
CONTACT: 253.272.4258,,