Marie Watt: The Corning Leader

Thu, 05/04/2017

The Corning Leader
May 4th, 2017

Watt: Trying Something New
By Stephen Borgna

CORNING - Prior to the opening of her new exhibit at the Rockwell Museum, artist Marie Watt has been at the Corning Museum of Glass this week to spend some time out of her comfort zone.

As a sculptor, Watt normally works with blankets, wool and stone. This week she spent some time with CMOG’s glass artists in the Amphitheatre Hot Shop.

“It’s a new experience for me,” she said. “I’ve never worked in glass before. I’m really interested in how glass intersects with other materials I’m more familiar with.”

Watt is of Seneca descent, one of the six tribes that form the Iroquois nation.

Together with gaffers from the museum, she helped with creating a glass SheWolf -- a mythical creature in Iroquois mythology.

“I started researching dog imagery and dogs as they’re represented in our history, and I found an image of the SheWolf,” Watt said. “That image really spoke to me.”

Watt’s time in the Hot Shop is a collaboration between CMOG and the Rockwell Museum. Her Rockwell exhibit, “Blanket Stories: Western Door, Salt Sacks and Three Sisters,” opens Friday at the Rockwell and will be on view until Sept. 5.

For the exhibit, Watt created a 14-foot totem of donated blankets that contain personal stories and histories of Steuben County and the New York community.

The Rockwell said each blanket was submitted with a story tag written by the blanket’s owner that described the family meaning and significance of the blanket.

“I think for me, I’m really interested in our history and stories and how they intersect with the rest of American history,” Watt said. “And I guess when I have the opportunity to share those intersections, and those stories, and make connections with other people whose stories might be different or those that might be similar.”