Shinnecock, b. 1980

Courtney M. Leonard is an artist and filmmaker, who has contributed to the Offshore Art movement. Leonard’s current work embodies the multiple definitions of “breach”, an exploration and documentation of historical ties to water, whale and material sustainability. In collaboration with national and international museums, cultural institutions, and indigenous communities in North America, New Zealand, Nova Scotia, and the United States Embassies, Leonard’s practice investigates narratives of cultural viability as a reflection of environmental record.

Leonard’s work is in the permanent public collections of the United States Art In Embassies, the Crocker Art Museum, the Heard Museum, ASU’s Art Museum and Ceramic Research Center, the Peabody Essex Museum, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of the North, the Mystic Seaport Museum, and the Pomona Museum of Art.

Leonard has been the recipient of numerous awards, fellowships, and residencies that include The Andy Warhol Foundation, The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, The Rasmuson Foundation, The United States Art In Embassies Program, and The Native Arts and Culture Foundation.


“Breach” is an exploration of historical ties to water and whale, imposed law, and a current relationship of material sustainability. Navigation lies within visual translation; an account of relations and responsibility.
Charting exists as a log of record; the documentation and mapping of each point where the surface breaks.
As a visual acknowledgment, each work examines the evolution of language, image, and culture through video, audio, and tangible objects. Each component, a resonation of memory, documenting both social and environmental issues acknowledged through the cartography of mixed media.

– Courtney M. Leonard, Shinnecock Nation