Ceramicist and multimedia artist Courtney M. Leonard is a member of the Shinnecock Nation of Long Island, New York—a community with historic, cultural ties to whales, water, and material sustainability—recurring themes throughout her extensive body of internationally acclaimed work.
Through her large-scale video/audio/photographic installations, Leonard explores and documents the multiple definitions of “breach”. She believes it is vital for artists to exchange with communities and honor such connections through inclusion and recognition, a foundation which has led her to travel and dialogue extensively with coastal indigenous communities regarding their sustenance harvesting traditions and rights. Her multimedia installations challenge their audience to question and respond: Can a culture sustain itself when it no longer has access to the environment that fashioned its culture?
Leonard earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Ceramics from Rhode Island School of Design. She received a Best of Division in Sculpture from Eiteljorg Indian Market in 2011 and exhibits internationally.
As a part of my practice I fully understand that everyone that has become a part of the work and deserves to be heard, recognized, and honored in the ways they advise.
~ Courtney M. Leonard