Broadway between 44th and 45th Streets
Photoville returns to Times Square this year with Project 562 by Matika Wilbur, a decade-long journey through Indian Country and 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.
Over the course of several years, Matika has visited members of over 300 sovereign nations throughout 40 states, from Tlingits in Alaska to the Pimas in Arizona, Pomos in California to Wampanoags on Cape Cod. Through her lens, we are able to see the diversity, vibrancy, and realness of indigenous individuals, both challenging and surpassing stereotypical representations to refresh the national conversation about contemporary Native America.
“The time of sharing, building cultural bridges, abolishing racism, and honoring the legacy that this county is built upon is among us. Project 562 is that platform.”
— Matika Wilbur
About Matika Wilbur
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.
Photoville is a New York-based non-profit organization that works to promote a wider understanding and increased access to the art of photography for all. Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which we are always striving for, by ensuring that the artists we exhibit are diverse in gender, class, and race. In pursuit of its mission, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions. By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, we join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation. Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.