Published on May 29th, 2014 | by Katy Evans


Your blankets would look better as art

M Watt at Gates Foundation

Marie Watt’s sculpture at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Northwest artist Marie Watt really cares about blankets.

“I am interested in human stories and rituals implicit in everyday objects. Currently I am exploring the history of wool blankets…Blankets hang around in our lives and families – they gain meaning through use.

“My work is about social and cultural histories embedded in commonplace objects. I consciously draw from indigenous design principles, oral traditions, and personal experience to shape the inner logic of the work I make. These wool blankets come from family, friends, acquaintances and secondhand stores. As friends come over and witness my blanket project in progress, I am struck by how the blankets function as markers for their memories and stories.”

In the spirit of this care, the Tacoma Art Museum is asking all of us to donate blankets for Watt’s newest art piece, a site-specific installation that will debut this November in front of the Art Museum’s new Haub Family Galleries.

But the blanket donations don’t stop at art. The museum is partnering with The Rescue Mission to collect as many blankets as possible.

Watt needs 400 to create her sculpture; the Mission – which operates six shelters serving children, women, and men who are homeless and in transition – needs more than 800 annually.

I suppose June is not the most blanket-centric time of year, but what better time to go through your linen closets and find a new home for some of your old blankets? Chances are, you have a few to spare.

Watt’s sculptures manifest history, generosity, and shelter. Let’s be a part of that, Tacoma, and show our love for our community and creativity through cozy blankets!

This Saturday, the Tacoma Art Museum presents the Northwest Native Celebration, a perfect time to stop by, visit the museum, enjoy some culture, and drop off blankets.

The Tacoma Art Museum needs 400 blankets by June 14 so Watt has the time she needs to construct her sculpture. Stop by sometime in the next week and donate a blanket. Or ten.

Tacoma Art Museum can be found at 1701 Pacific Avenue in Downtown Tacoma.

L Cinotto kitty 4

Thanks to Ms. Wylla Stout of the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee for acting as our blanket model, and to Laurie Cinotto for use of the photographs.



TAM Rescue Mission Blankets

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About the Author

Founder and Co-Managing Editor at Post Defiance, Katy writes and fundraises for Tacoma. Follow her @katynicoud.

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