Artists in Conversation: Marie Watt and Hayden Haynes
Artists Marie Watt (Seneca, Turtle Clan) and Hayden Haynes (Seneca, Deer Clan) explored the relationship between their respective practices and the artistic and cultural traditions of the Seneca Nation, including the importance of everyday objects, storytelling, and the power of collaborative artwork and teaching.
The conversation was moderated by Dr. Jolene K. Rickard (Ska:rù:rę’/Tuscarora, Turtle Clan), artist and associate professor in Cornell’s History of Art and Visual Studies department and the American Studies Program, and former director of the American Indian & Indigenous Studies Program at Cornell.
This webinar conversation was being offered in celebration of the exhibition Storywork: Prints by Marie Watt from the Collections of Jordan Schnitzer and His Family Foundation and Message from our Ancestors (2021), an artwork by Hayden Haynes recently acquired for the permanent collection of the Johnson Museum.
Marie Watt is a multimedia artist and a member of the Seneca Nation (one of six that comprise the Haudenosaunee Confederacy) with German-Scots ancestry. Her interdisciplinary work, drawing from history, biography, Iroquois oral narratives, and Indigenous teachings, explores the intersection of history, community, and storytelling. Through collaborative actions, she instigates multigenerational and cross-disciplinary conversations that might create a lens and conversation for understanding connectedness to place, one another, and the universe.
Hayden Haynes is an antler carver, mixed media artist, and photographer, and a member of the Seneca Nation. His artwork is a blend of past and present Seneca-Haudenosaunee culture and pays homage to the ancestors that inspire him, highlighting contemporary issues that contemporary Indigenous peoples face while celebrating their strengths. He pushes the boundaries of what is considered Native American art and focuses on amplifying women’s voices, honoring their role in Seneca (or Onöndowa’ga:’) communities.