Courtney M. Leonard in “BOUNDLESS” at the Mead Art Museum

Courtney M. Leonard featured in

Boundless is a nearly museum-wide exhibition that features work by Native American writers and artists, grounded in but not contained to the Northeast. Boundless takes shape like water, moving across generations and geographies, and expanding conversations about kinship, presence, resistance, and history through its flow. The exhibition never chooses one path, but moves in multiple directions and broadens as it goes. A wide range of materials from Amherst College’s Collection of Native American Literature and the Mead form the core of the exhibition, and are joined by key works on loan from artists and other institutional and private collections.

The importance of place—including not only land, but water—is featured in Boundless. Water actively names the original peoples of what we now call southern New England. For example, Nipmuc means People of the Freshwater, while the Niantic are People of the Long-Necked Waters because their lands are near a bay; these names are at once a location and the name of its people. Each tribal name is filled with an image, a place, a relationship, and a story referenced in the works of Boundless.

Objects in the exhibition span from the present back to the eighteenth century, and range from paintings to sculpture, video, historical texts, basketry, cookbooks, and more. As well, some objects by non-Native artists provide contrast and context, and are themselves recontextualized.

The broader Boundless project will include an open-access publication through Amherst College Press in 2024, K-12 digital curricular resources and materials developed with Genevieve Simermeyer (Osage Nation of Oklahoma) that will be available this November, in addition to other museum programming throughout the year. Reading rooms within the exhibition offer guests a chance to explore Native American-authored and illustrated books and zines for all ages.

The exhibition is researched and organized by writer and guest curator Heid E. Erdrich (Ojibwe).

More on the Exhibition HERE

More on Courtney M. Leonard HERE


At the Mead Art Museum | Amherst, MA | August 29 – January 7, 2024

Courtney M. Leonard, “BREACH: Logbook 21 | Collider Study #1,” 2021, mixed media, clay, acrylic on canvas

Courtney M. Leonard, “BREACH #2, from BREACH: Logbook 21”, 2016-2021, ceramic on wood pallet


The Mead hosted an evening reception for Boundless and Seeping In: Elizabeth James Perry on Thursday,  September 14th, 2023, at 6-8pm. All were invited to a celebration of both exhibitions involving remarks, performances, and refreshments

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