'Courtney M. Leonard: Logbook 2004-2023' - 27 East

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‘Courtney M. Leonard: Logbook 2004-2023’

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Courtney M. Leonard

Courtney M. Leonard "BREACH: Logbook 23 | BREACH #2," 2023. Part of a limited series, begun in 2015, marking the death of one whale. Wooden pallet with ceramic sperm whale teeth. PRIVATE COLLECTION

Courtney M. Leonard

Courtney M. Leonard "Mátcík Way," 2005. Ceramic. COURTESY NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM, ALBANY, NY

authorStaff Writer on Jun 4, 2023

From June 10 through November 12, The Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington will present “Courtney M. Leonard: Logbook 2004-2023,” the first retrospective of the artist’s work and Leonard’s first solo museum exhibition in the greater New York metropolitan region.

Leonard is an enrolled member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation and creates immersive installations that encompass ceramic sculpture, painting and video. Informed by historical research and drawing on cross-cultural art traditions including wampum beadwork, scrimshaw and blue and white Delftware, her work champions environmental sustainability and Indigenous cultural viability.

Leonard’s work amplifies Indigenous knowledge and expresses admiration as well as advocation for the preservation of the earth and sea. This exhibit engages the history of Long Island, breaks new ground in the disciplines of ceramics and installation art, and underscores the importance of dialogue between Indigenous knowledge, marine biology and other sciences.

Three of The Heckscher Museum’s galleries will be dedicated to the Leonard exhibition, which will feature more than a dozen individual artworks. The show will also feature one of Leonard’s signature room-sized installations, “Breach: Logbook23.” Composed of contour mapping lines painted on gallery walls, ceramics installed in surprising configurations, and video projection, this immersive installation offers visitors a multisensory and emotional experience of Leonard’s message: “Can a culture sustain itself when it no longer has access to the environment that fashions that culture?”

This summer, Leonard will also have work presented by Planting Fields Foundation at their location in Oyster Bay. Leonard is the Planting Fields Foundation 2023 Catalyst artist, and as such will be creating a site-specific outdoor installation. The Heckscher Museum exhibition also includes a site-specific installation. The exhibitions at The Heckscher Museum and Planting Fields both explore themes of food and cultural sovereignty, as well as ongoing ecological issues that endanger the Shinnecock Nation and Long Island as a whole.

The Heckscher Museum of Art is located at 2 Prime Avenue, Huntington. For details, visit heckscher.org.

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