Audio Archive

Yellowbird, Leah

Originally a traditional bead-worker, Leah identifies strongly with her First Nations Algonquin-Metis and Anishinaabe heritage. At a young age, she learned from her extended family how to follow traditional beading patterns and has been working in this medium her entire life. This knowledge, combined with her creative eye and exploration of color, has spilled over into the realm of painting, and she is now well regarded for her work in all mediums (painting being her most recent). After a rough period in her personal life that involved a death and the end of a relationship, Leah took a break from everything and decided to pick up a paintbrush, something that had been absent from her hand for two decades. The result of this creative time brought significant public interest to her work.
Leah had her first solo exhibition at the American Indian Community Housing Organization in 2013 and has since had her work on display at a variety of prominent spaces, including the Macrostie Art Center, Plains Museum of Art, and the Tweed Museum of Art. She was the Grand Rapids artist in residence from 2015 until 2016. There, her studio was open to the public and she created some of her most popular pieces to date.

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