Future Cosmologies

Priscilla Dobler Dzul


September 26 – October 18


Thursday, October 19


October 20 – November 22


Saturday, October 28


Thursday, November 16 (6 – 7pm)


Visit our Program page for more information on MATERIALIZE.


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At MadArt Studio, Priscilla Dobler Dzul’s Future Cosmologies: The Regeneration of Maya Mythologies combined textiles, ceramics, living plants, and audio compositions to engage viewers in a colorful and evolving narrative installation. Based in Tacoma, WA, the artist has ancestral roots in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico as well as Glasgow, Scotland. Her mixed heritage provided a unique lens on layered identities and histories, while her material choice and sculptural forms asked us to consider Maya practices that counter our consumerist relationship with the natural world.

Ask Dobler Dzul who Future Cosmologies was for and she will speak of the in-between places, of having one foot in the old ways and the other squarely in the now, challenging singular ways of knowing. This exhibition anchored in Maya worldviews, with imaginative ceramic creatures rendered in vibrant primary colors displayed alongside unglazed mythological figures and futuristic pods containing wet clay sculptures that sprouted and grew over time. Viewers were invited to sit with La Madre Jaguar, who spoke to origins of the world, light and darkness, and the creation of life; to walk within the Chaac Rain Ritual and hear the sounds of water, both natural and spoken; to move through the extraordinary suspended huipil dresses to activate clay tiles and henequen rope adornments added by Dobler Dzul. Originally owned and worn by her Grandmother, these embroidered textiles referenced the ancestors who passed on their knowledge through the work of their hands.

Future Cosmologies reimagined mythological narratives and ritual through form and material, revealing the interconnectedness among our collective former, current, and future selves. Through this, Dobler Dzul collapsed time to consider human actions and their negative impact on past and future generations. In remediation she offered a counter to this, inviting the audience to join in an act of care and growth by watering the living sculptures made from seeded clay and contributing to the ever-evolving nature of the exhibition.

As part of this exhibition and the MATERIALIZE program, we invited artist, curator, and public arts administrator Adetola Abatan to participate as a guest curator to help shape Dobler Dzul’s MadArt exhibition.



MATERIALIZE is a new program that supports artists in expanding their practices to include large, temporary, installation-based work, beginning with an exhibition at MadArt Studio. This program continues MadArt’s mission of encouraging artists to create new and compelling works, with an added intention of expanding access. Through MATERIALIZE, artists are provided with a holistic system of support that includes project funding, educational courses related to their developing work, and the guidance of MadArt staff and other arts professionals throughout the exhibition process. Eligible artists display a commitment to their professional art practices through residencies, education, and work samples, and most importantly, they have not yet had the opportunity to explore large-scale, site-specific installations. For the program’s inaugural year, we received 16 artist nominations from a wide range of regional arts professionals, and 12 artists submitted proposals for their prospective MadArt Studio exhibition. Proposals were reviewed by a three-person panel with consideration of the eligibility requirements and selection criteria listed below. In alignment with our intent to expand access, priority in selection was given to artists from communities that have historically been underrepresented in the arts, including Black, Indigenous, artists of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

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Must-see Seattle-area exhibits in October 2023

The Seattle Times
September 19, 2023

Video by James Harnois
Photo by James Harnois