Project 562: Changing The Way We See Native America
Featuring: Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip)
Curated by: Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip)View Location Details Times Square
Location open 24 hours
You are viewing the result of a decade-long journey through Indian Country for Project 562, an artistic endeavor dedicated to photographing more than 562 federally-recognized tribes in what is now known as the United States. This collection of environmental portraiture and personal narratives of Native peoples offers justice to the richness, diversity, and lived experiences of Indian Country.
Matika Wilbur was raised in the Swinomish tribal community, and she is enrolled in the Tulalip Tribe, where she currently lives with her husband and baby. She integrates fine art and social justice as a long-form photo documentarian, writer, filmmaker, podcaster, and public speaker. She is the founder and photographer of Project 562, a documentary project dedicated to changing the way we see Native America.
After earning her BFA from Brooks Institute of Photography, Wilbur began her career in fashion and commercial photography in Los Angeles. But she quickly decided to instead use photography as a tool for social justice. Project 562 is Wilbur’s fourth major creative project elevating Native American identity and culture. Her first project captured portraits of Coast Salish elders for We Are One People (2004, Seattle Art Museum), then We Emerge (2008, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture), which featured Native people in contemporary urban and traditional settings, followed by Save the Indian and Kill the Man (2012, Tacoma Art Museum), which addressed the forced cultural assimilation of Native Peoples.
Since 2015, Wilbur has offered more than 300 keynote speeches at institutions such as Harvard, Stanford, Google, the National Education Association, and TED. She is a National Geographic Explorer and recipient of the distinguished Leica Photo Award. She cohosts the popular Native issues podcast All My Relations, which invites guests to explore the connections between land, creatural relatives, and one another.
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Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, is the largest public platform for innovative contemporary performance and visual arts. With 312,000 daily visitors to New York City’s Times Square, it is one of the highest profile public arts programs and since its inception, Times Square Arts has featured works by a diverse group of nearly two hundred prominent and emerging artists.
The Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation helps fund important endeavors promoting photographic education and documentary photography across the United States. Its goal is to raise awareness of and appreciation for the field of photography as well as the photographers themselves. The Foundation has helped to fund projects and programs at dozens of nonprofit institutions over the years and takes pride in its hands-on approach and the relationships it has fostered.
Created by Matika Wilbur, Project 562 is a multi-year national photography project dedicated to photographing over 562 federally-recognized tribes in what is currently called the United States. The result is an unprecedented repository of imagery and oral histories which accurately portrays contemporary Native Americans. Authentic representation is not only essential for Native communities, but for society at large. Honest imagery of the wisdom, joy, and diversity of contemporary Native lives inherently guides folks to overcome toxic historical stereotypes that degrade Native American existence. Project 562 is about celebrating the nuance and relationality of Indigeneity.