Tracy Rector’s Love Poems to The Environment at Seattle Art Museum


As an Indigenous filmmaker, it’s an incredible time to be part of a larger community of storytellers who are taking back their voice and telling their own stories from their own perspectives with their own communities. Hi, my name’s Tracy Rector and I am Choctaw and Seminole on my father’s side and I identify as a mixed-race urban Native artist and activist. As part of my installation in “Double Exposure” there are three stories called “Changers Land,” “Water is Life,” and “People of the Salish Sea.” They really are essentially, kind of, love poems to the environment and are part of a larger piece of work called “Clearwater: People of the Salish Sea” and it’s a multimedia project that encompasses stories, by and about and for peoples of this region, Tribal peoples specifically and their relationship to water. The work that I do is part of a greater culture of storytelling and oral history, and I wanted to transform the space to feel as though people can take time to just slow down, to look around, to sit down on the handmade wooden benches, to feel comforted by the wood, and the natural elements around them. To really listen: listen to the voices, listen to the songs, listen to the Lushootseed being spoken, and feel transformed. And I think that transformative moments happen when people are truly able to stop, let the distractions melt away, and to open their hearts and listen. I think it’s really important that when people come to the exhibition they understand that Native people or Indigenous peoples are not just of the past, that we are here that Native people are thriving today, are creating, and are part of every aspect of this region and this life and I hope that when people come to this exhibition they become curious about learning true history from a Native perspective, but also that people really understand what it means to be a guest on Indigenous land. I think, first and foremost, it’s important that people realize and understand that unless they are an Indigenous person of this region, they are a guest on this land, and how do we, as a community and society, move forward in that way, in a compassionate way, as guests.

2 thoughts on “Tracy Rector’s Love Poems to The Environment at Seattle Art Museum

  1. I would love to meet Tracy. Will she be doing any speaking events in Seattle coming up soon?

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