Social Justice Speaker Series: Artist Matika Wilbur

matika-wilburJoin us for our second talk in the MSC Social Justice Speaker Series on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. in Room L140, on the lower level of the Chazen Museum.  The guest speaker will be Matika Wilbur, an acclaimed portrait photographer and social documentarian from the Swinomish and Tulalip Tribes of the Pacific Northwest. Wilbur created Project 562, her multi-year national photo and narrative undertaking to reveal contemporary Indian identity. For three years, Wilbur has driven thousands of miles and received welcome from a great number of sovereign North American indigenous peoples who have shared with Wilbur the treasures and ravages of their ancestral territories.

This event is co-sponsored by The Multicultural Student Center, and The Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement American Indian Pathways To Educational Achievement. This event is free and open to all, and the room is wheelchair accessible. For questions or accommodations, please contact

Matika Wilbur, Creator of Project 562
Matika Wilbur, Creator of Project 562

 Artist Biography: 
Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) graduated from the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California and also trained at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. 

Wilbur began her extraordinary portrait work after a dream in which her grandmother Laura Wilbur, a prominent Swinomish tribal leader, urged her to return home from a South American assignment and begin photographing her own people. She first focused on portraits of Coast Salish elders in We Are One People, she probed the breadth and complexity of contemporary Native American identity with We Emerge and a 2011 one-person exhibition, Save the Indian, Kill the Man at The Seattle Art Museum.

Wilbur’s photographs have been included in Seattle Art Museum’s S’abadeb—The Gifts: Pacific Coast Salish Art and she has also exhibited at the Royal British Columbia Museum of Fine Arts, the Nantes Museum of Fine Arts in France, the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Kittredge Gallery at the University of Puget Sound, and Tacoma Art Museum. Her photographs have been acquired for the permanent collections of Tacoma Art Museum and Seattle Art Museum.

Two successful Kickstarter campaigns, sophisticated networking, high profile presentations (including TEDx Seattle and New York), and major media articles and interviews (Oprah Magazine, NYTimes, NBC, Upworthy, Indian Country Today, Huffington Post, etc.) have fueled tremendous national and international interest in and support for Project 562. 

Project 562, with intense and widespread media attention, including that of a variety of major publishers and other content producers, will when completed produce a fine arts book series, curricula, documentary, project-derived fashion, and other cutting edge Native American aesthetic material distinct in creativity and quality, origin and insight.