Dwelling: A Call for Blankets

Salem, Ore--In collaboration with the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University and the Tacoma Art Museum, artist Marie Watt is seeking donations of used wool blankets to realize the artist’s installation Dwelling. The installation will be part of the exhibition Marie Watt: Lodge, a mid-career retrospective exhibition that will open at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art on Feb. 4 and continue through April 1, 2012; the exhibition will travel to the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington State where it will be shown from June 11 through September 24, 2012.

Dwelling, first realized at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut in 2006, is a soft structure of approximately 1,000 unfolded and stacked wool blankets revealing worn satin bindings and surged woolen edges. Each blanket is accompanied by a story provided on a tag: a beloved camp blanket, a favorite pet’s blanket, a blanket purchased from a tag sale for the purpose of participating in the project, and even a blanket issued to a Holocaust survivor that he brought with him to the United States.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art and Tacoma Art Museum are seeking the donation of approximately 100 wool blankets to intermingle with the existing blankets, which include 300 blankets donated by The Camin Family Foundation that will in turn be given to social service organizations for those in need at the conclusion of the exhibition.  Each donor is asked to fill out a tag provided by the artist telling their blankets’ story when they drop their blanket off at the drop off site. In exchange, the artist will provide a limited edition print to the donor in exchange for the blanket.   

In Oregon, blankets may be dropped off at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, 700 State Street, in Salem, Oregon. Hours for drop off are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 1 to 5 pm. Blankets will be accepted through December 22 but will not be accepted after that time.  

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art was founded in 1998 to serve as an artistic, cultural, and intellectual resource for Willamette University, the City of Salem, the mid-Willamette Valley, and beyond. It includes four permanent galleries and two temporary exhibition spaces. Permanent galleries focus on European, Asian and American art, Native American baskets, historic and contemporary regional art, and European and American works on paper. Temporary exhibitions feature historical and contemporary art.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located at 700 State Street (corner of State and Cottage Streets) in downtown Salem near the campus of Willamette University. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed on Monday. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Children under 12 are free, and Tuesday is a free day. For more information, please call 503/370-6855.