On Breach
A ceramic net floats on the wall amid a rippling pool of salmon- and blue-colored paint.
Courtney M. Leonard, Breach Logbook 22: Cull (detail), installation view, 2022. Ceramic, paint, and video. Weisman Art Museum commission.

In September, the Weisman Art Museum's Interpretation Assistant, Eileen Bass, interviewed artist Courtney M. Leonard in connection with her site-specific artwork BREACH: Logbook | CULL, 2022. The resulting interview is a rich record of Leonard's process and weaves between topics of: clay, water rights, the passage of time, and her experience as an indigenous artist in non-indigenous arts spaces. 


EILEEN BASS is currently studying at the University of Minnesota and is pursuing a double major in Anthropology and English, with a minor in Creative Writing. Her communities are the Hunkpapa Lakota of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, the Mvskoke Creek Nation of OK, and she is enrolled in the Sac & Fox Nation of OK. She is currently studying Dakota language because she lives in Minnesota. Her interests include language revitalization, museum repatriation, tribal sovereignty, and Indigenous storytelling/truth telling within the current literary climate.

COURTNEY LEONARD is a Shinnecock 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.