Courtney M. Leonard, "Breach: Logbook 24 | Staccato", Installation at the University Museum of Art, UMASS, Amherst, MA, 2024, Photos courtesy of UMass Amherst University Museum of Contemporary Art

COURTNEY M. LEONARD | BREACH: LOGBOOK 24 | STACCATO

University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS | Amherst, MA February 14 – May 10, September 19 – December 9, 2024

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION


The artist Courtney M. Leonard, a citizen of the Shinnecock Nation of Long Island, explores marine biology, Indigenous food sovereignty, migration, and human environmental impact through visual logbooks that investigate the multiple definitions of the term “breach.”

BREACH: LOGBOOK 24 | STACCATO is the result of a multi-year artist residency initiated by the UMCA in collaboration with the UMass College of Natural Sciences and partially funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. The installation will fill the UMCA’s Main, East and West Galleries. It includes paintings, sculptures, and video exploring the life and kinship ties of Staccato, a North Atlantic Right Whale killed by a ship strike in 1999, whose remains are housed in the UMass Natural History Collections.

BREACH: LOGBOOK 24 | STACCATO was created in partnership with the UMass College of Natural Sciences and is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Office of the Provost, The Class of 1961 Artists’ Residency Fund, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the UMass Natural History Collections and the UMassFive College Credit Union. Significant research and exhibition contributions came from Kathrine Doyle, staff in the UMass Biology Dept and Vertebrate Collections Manager for the UMass Natural History Collections, Tristram Seidler, Curator of the UMass Herbarium, and Michelle D. Staudinger, Ph.D., UMass Department of Environmental Conservation. Emily Volmar, a UMass undergraduate Natural Resource Conservation major, was a summer Art & Science research assistant for this project. Her work and that of UMass Postdoctoral Researcher Amy Teffer was supported by the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center.

Courtney M. Leonard:
BREACH: LOGBOOK 24 | STACCATO


University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS | Amherst, MA
February 14 – May 10, September 19 – December 9, 2024

EVENTS

OPENING RECEPTION:

Feb 21, 5:00 -7:00pm
Randolph W. Bromery Center for the Arts lobby & UMCA, Amherst, MA 01003
umass.edu/umca

Opening Reception & Talk: Wednesday, February 21 | 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Randolph W. Bromery Center for the Arts, 151 Presidents Drive, Amherst MA 01003

Free and Open to All

5:00 p.m. Artist Talk in Frederick C. Tillis Performance Hall 
All are invited to hear from artist Courtney M. Leonard in conversation with poet Abigail Chabitnoy, Assistant Professor, UMass MFA program for Poets & Writers, in the Frederick C. Tillis Performance Hall.

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Reception in Bromery Lobby and UMCA
Enjoy appetizers in the Bromery Lobby and chat with the artist. Meet the scientific team from the UMass College of Natural Sciences who worked on this multi-year collaboration and visit the exhibition in the museum.

ABOUT COURTNEY M. LEONARD

Courtney Leonard Artist Portrait

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.