WWU Department of Art & Art History instructor Margot Myers received 2017 Artist Trust GAP Award funding for a series of large woodcut panels each depicting one of the six rivers that feed Bristol Bay, Alaska.
The rivers are depicted as iconic figures - large, dramatic black maps that are meant to personify the power and significance of each body of water. Margot is reversing the usual pattern of visual cultural appropriation by using western religious symbols to point out the spiritual importance of these rivers. She uses prints as elements in installations and would like to develop several ways to show the rivers in distinct environments to diverse audiences.
Myers was born in a native hospital in a remote Alaskan village while her young parents were in the midst of fall fishing in Bristol Bay. She continues the annual tradition of participating in this harvest with her family. Early childhood training in the mental and physical stamina required to engage in backbreaking manual labor has shaped her approach to work and life. Close attention to biological systems shape her understanding of nature and her studio practice.
Her work has explored the relationship between the wild landscape and human behavior in paper media and temporary outdoor installations. In 2006, she earned her MFA in printmaking from New Mexico State University. Myers recently opened a community printshop in Bellingham, where she teaches classes, hosts membership events, and produces her own work.
Artist Trust is a nonprofit dedicated to helping Washington State artists of all disciplines thrive. Since 1986, Artist Trust has invested over $10 million in Washington State artists through funding, trainings, and resources to help artists establish and maintain careers through direct support, connections, and advocacy.