On April 27, Anishinaabe / Algonquin-Metis artist Leah Yellowbird had her opening reception for “Dimensions.”
Yellowbird’s latest work is cross-dimensional, with 3-D painted animal busts, a 9-foot bear sculpture constituted by pom-poms, a collection of black velvet beadwork designs, and an impressive selection of her signature pointillist paintings. The exhibit was an immersive experience for guests in attendance; Leah’s style has been refined more and more over the last few years, and the focus of this exhibit is the physical contexts of her work, be it through deviation from the canvas or focus on individual characteristics. For instance, having mastered her particular style on its surface, Leah has delved into new territory, adding depth to her already intriguing subject matter through a special focus on painted backgrounds. These backgrounds contrast the images on their surface in new and unexpected ways. She described the process as having been like painting two separate pieces in one - the background and foreground as separate but merged images.
Meanwhile, her elaborate beaded designs draw inspiration from different styles of tribal beading found across Minnesota. Her full-size animal busts (adorned with dot-painted designs) and giant pom-pom bear demanded full attention in an exhibit bursting with color, depth and vibrancy.
Photos by Ivy Vainio.