CORNING | The Rockwell Museum is crafting a unique new sculpture for its galleries, and is offering residents a chance to contribute.
The Rockwell with artist Marie Watt are inviting residents to donate a blanket to become part of a new Blanket Stories sculpture by Watt.
According to the museum, the sculpture will be a “14 foot totem of the personal stories and histories of the Steuben County and greater New York community. The sculpture will become a dynamic part of The Rockwell’s permanent collection. It will also be on view as part of an upcoming exhibition ‘Western Door’, which opens May 5, 2017.”
The purpose of Watt’s work is to examine the significance of blankets as social connectors. Watt also intends to reflect on the importance and meaning that blankets play in our lives - objects that are often an afterthought - as well as to celebrate the Native American presence in New York.
As a member of the Seneca Nation of Indians - one of six tribes that make up the Iroquois Confederacy - blanket’s fulfill a special purpose for Watt. In the Seneca Community, they are given to honor those who are witness to life’s important events.
“Blankets are easily overlooked objects. But I have found that they tend to have a lot of history,” Watt said in a statement. “They are markers for memory and story. This seems to be a pretty universal thing. Collaboration is also essential part of my work. When I look at a finished piece, I see a process that involves many hands, shared stories, and generous communities,”
The Rockwell hopes to receive 80 blankets to contribute to the piece.
For those who wish to bring in a blanket, Watt is requesting wool or natural fiber blankets, quilts, afghans, or blanket-like cloth, in any condition, by Nov. 30. With the blankets, donors are asked to write their own stories on tags, which will be attached to the blankets in the piece.
According to the Rockwell, the blankets will then be folded and stacked, to create a skyward-reaching column and welcoming pole.
Donors will receive a small, limited edition screen print by Watt.
For more information, call the Rockwell Museum at (607) 937-5386.