The Coe Center is honored to host artist Marie Watt (Seneca Nation) who will lead a community sewing circle on Tuesday, July 16 from 4:30 to 7:30 pm at the Coe. This event, in collaboration with the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (IAIA-MoCNA), offers the public an opportunity to share in the creation of a major art project by Watt.

Marie Watt is an internationally renowned multidisciplinary artist. Her work draws from history, biography, Iroquois proto-feminism, and Indigenous principles, and addresses “the interaction of the arc of history with the intimacy of memory.” Her larger works are created collaboratively, notably through sewing circles, public events in which anyone with time and interest can participate, resulting in moments of shared experiences, stories and creation.

Watt is in Santa Fe as part of an IAIA-MocNA Social Engagement Art Residency. While here, the focus of her work is on the concept of “mother” and all its varied, complex connotations. In addition to holding a “sewing circle” at the Coe, Watt plans to engage with the Santa Fe public through a series of additional “sewing circles” at locations yet to be announced.

Watt asks: How does a population unique to Santa Fe and New Mexico— Indigenous, Hispanic, Colonial, Multi-ethnic, and it’s UFO visitors (Unidentified Foreign Others)—free associate to the word MOTHER? In knowing what the word “mother” means to us as a collective of companions’ species, then we are positioned to nurture what is “mother-like” within in us and by extension in the natural environment. This is an ecosystem that is in peril and requires collective stewardship to create positive and ecosystem affirming choices. 

The sewing circle is open everyone, all ages and no experience required. Watt will ask participants to write the word “mother” in their own hand, and then invite them to embroider their own hand-written word. The public is invited to come as they please, share their stories, enjoy some food, and stitch together. In exchange for stitches, participants will receive a small, limited edition print.