Virtual Tour available March 9
Public Reception: Friday, March 3, 6 – 8 pm, indoors and masks required
Main Gallery

What is your first memory of water?

Courtney M. Leonard’s BREACH installation series is an annual visual logbook that explores and documents environmental impact and disparate human consequences of the relationship with water through the many definitions of the word, BREACH. In BREACH: LOGBOOK 23 | CARRIER, Leonard asks, “What is your first memory of water?” and explores the human relationship with vessels or carriers while also being vessels or carriers. She endeavors to offer the culturally and historically significant stories surrounding Minnesota’s waterways and their layers of meaning to local Indigenous communities.

Leonard, a newer and still learning, Minnesota resident, honors the practice of connection in a new Indigenous community and the humility and respect necessary to build trust. The stories of river/water relationships illuminated through her work in BREACH spring from observation and research, but also incorporate the contributions of many and require collaboration and assent.

In the main gallery, the logbook presented springs from pipes—clay pipes—as carriers of waters and as carriers of a region from a time of harmony between the earth and people to one of “progress” and damage lasting for generations. Her work embraces the culture of atmospheric firing, specifically soda firing, and finds connections between salt- and soda-fired pipes and single-fired pipes created during the introduction of infrastructure in Minnesota. Leonard’s observations are shared through clay, sound, and projection and include the voices of Minnesota Indigenous artists and storytellers.

About the Artist

Courtney M. Leonard is a Shinnecock ceramic artist, painter, and filmmaker and currently serves the art community as an assistant professor of art and art history at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. Leonard writes, “As a Shinnecock artist, my work explores marine biology, Indigenous food sovereignty, migration, and human environmental impact through a visual logbook that investigates the multiple definitions of the term ‘breach’ as documentation of the impact of anthropogenic time.”

Leonard earned several degrees and certificates including an associate of fine arts from Institute of American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM) in 2000, a BFA from New York State College of Ceramics (Alfred University, NY) in 2002, certificates of teaching from the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning at Brown University (Providence, RI) in 2007, and an MFA in ceramics from Rhode Island School of Design (Providence) in 2008. She has received numerous awards, residencies, and fellowships, and her work is part of over 20 permanent collections, including American Museum of Ceramic Art (Pomona, CA), Crocker Art Museum (Sacramento, CA), Institute of American Indian Arts Museum (Santa Fe, NM), Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center & Museum (Southampton, NY), and Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (New York).

Join us for a public reception: Friday, March 3, 6 – 8 pm, indoors and masks required

Virtual Tour

Virtual Tour available March 9