Everything about Storme Webber signifies something.

Her writing signifies lost words re-discovered, re-birthed, and given new meaning. Her voice signifies the memories of our mothers and grandmothers – and their mothers. It signifies both the calmness and tempestuousness of primordial waters. Storme’s very presence signifies the global ‘we’. The ‘we’ of this planet whose roots run deep into the earth, who have tended the earth, ever since Sky-woman was lowered onto the turtle’s back. Storme signifies this.

She signifies the we-womyn-who-love-womyn-who-live-womyn-centered-lives, politically, personally, spiritually… at times vulnerably, at times fearlessly, but always honestly. Storme Webber signifies the consummate artist/priestess. When you witness her center-stage, or hear her recordings, you witness more than performance, you witness ritual.

~ Sha’Ifa Mami Watu, Hiphop Haijin/Lyricist-the Legacy trio

CityArts
It’s a highly conceptual yet extremely personal exhibit, featuring poems and archival photos from Webber’s own collection, and it was decades in the making. Webber calls it “an experimental memoir.”  The presentation of these images deliberately and subtly offers up a puzzle. Rather than grouping these personal photos chronologically, Webber opted for a dash of confusion over spoon-fed enlightenment. Revealing only who these women (and some men) were in relation to her, the personal family photos do not so much expose a genealogy as challenge the visitor to fill in the historical blanks.  Who records [history], who writes it down, and what is left out? Whose history has been overwritten, like the palimpsest in the show’s title, a term for old parchment manuscripts whose text was erased and overwritten but later rediscovered? Some histories, the show demonstrates, even when erased or long-thought forgotten, will reappear if you look hard and if you let it.
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Frye show strikes balance between family history, social commentary

For her powerful exhibition at the Frye Art Museum, Webber invites us to consider how the history of the Casino intersects with her family’s history, and, more broadly, with this region’s Native heritage. I’m fascinated by art that conflates archival work, personal biography and social commentary, but it can be tricky to pull off. A stridently subjective framing might invite us into a personal story at the risk of minimizing larger, continuing issues about prejudice and community. An overly neutral stance could render the ephemera into merely a collection on display for our intellectual consumption. Webber crafts a unique “both/and” position — communicating ideas that are both intimate and sociological.

CityArts

Casino: A Palimpsest

By many accounts, the show challenges our notions about what we think about when we think about Seattle history. As someone who has lived in the city for 20-plus years, I keep thinking, yeah, I know this place. Until someone smart like Webber presents work that says, Oh really? Well, take a look at this.