The Art Museum of West Virginia University presents “Storywork: The Prints of Marie Watt, From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation” through Dec. 11.
Located in the Upper Gallery at the Art Museum of WVU, “Storywork” celebrates the work of Marie Watt (Seneca, b. 1967), one of the country’s most celebrated contemporary artists, whose work draws on personal experience, Indigenous traditions, proto-feminism, mythology, and art history.
“Storywork” is a comprehensive look at Watt’s 30-year career, including more than 50 original prints and sculptural works. The exhibition also showcases Watt’s deep veneration for Indigenous narratives, especially those informed by her own Seneca heritage.
Over the course of her career, residencies at the Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, and the Tamarind Institute provided Watt the opportunity to collaborate with master printers in producing ambitious print series. Whether working in lithography, woodcut, or etching, the medium of print has served for Watt as a laboratory for large-scale pieces and concepts. In each of her prints, Watt demonstrates a tactile appreciation for the particular qualities of wood, copper, or stone, aiming to achieve in her words a “familiarity and intimacy” with the material that adds a layer of thematic resonance to her work.
“Bringing ‘Storywork' to WVU is providing an excellent opportunity to collaborate across campus,” said Art Museum of WVU Director Todd J. Tubutis. “Not only will the exhibition itself engage our audiences – there is so much to see – but Marie Watt’s visit to Morgantown for several days in September will also be an opportunity for students, faculty, and members of the community to more deeply connect with the exhibition. We are especially grateful to be partnering with WVU Native American Studies and the School of Art & Design in new ways that make ‘Storywork’ relevant to the campus experience.”
During Watt’s visit to campus, she will be the honored guest at the WVU Peace Tree Ceremony at noon on Sept. 21 on the Downtown Campus outside E. Moore Hall. She will also present a public lecture at 5:00 PM that same day in the Canady Creative Arts Center’s Bloch Hall. More details will be released as Watt’s visit approaches.
“Storywork,” drawing from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation, is curated by John Murphy, Ph.D., Philip and Lynn Straus Curator of Prints and Drawings, The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College and former Hoehn Curatorial Fellow for Prints at University of San Diego.
At age 14, Jordan D. Schnitzer bought his first work of art from his mother’s contemporary art gallery in Portland, Oregon, which evolved into his lifelong avocation as collector. He began collecting contemporary prints and multiples in earnest in 1988. Today, the collection exceeds 20,000 works and includes many of today’s most important contemporary artists. The Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation has organized over 180 exhibitions and has had art exhibited at over 160 museums, lending work to qualified institutions with no additional fees.
For more information about the Jordan D. Schnitzer Family Foundation, please visit jordanschnitzer.org.
The Art Museum of WVU is always free and open to the public. The museum is open Thursday - Sunday, 12:30—6 p.m. For directions, parking information and more, visit https://artmuseum.wvu.edu/visit.