The Artist ----
Born on the Turtle
Mountain Reservation in North Dakota, Leonard Peltier's self-taught
style is an outgrowth of drawing and carving lessons he received as a
child from tribal elders. Leonard began working with pastels in 1983,
proving he had the talent to put what he saw on paper. His spirit
began to know a freedom never before experienced. Although limited by
the prison, Leonard has emerged as a master of Indigenous Art.
"There is a
commissary at Leavenworth Penitentiary where I can purchase limited
supplies. They have a small variety of materials available and most
are of poor quality. Sometimes I can order supplies through art
magazines or catalogs; however, prison approval is usually not given
for special orders."
reflects his beliefs and commitment to Native American culture. He
realizes the difficulty his people are having as they try in today's
society to live in the way the Great Spirit set forth for them. It is
his peoples' struggle to survive and the desire to portray their
cultural beauty that inspires him to paint.
In 1986, Leonard
suffered a stroke which left him about eighty per cent blind in his
left eye. "My eye problem has slowed me down considerably, but I
am still inspired. Having people buy my artwork and sharing my
paintings makes me feel real good."
Paintings are collected by such noted personalities as Oliver Stone,
Peter Coyote, Jane Fonda, Val Kilmer, Michael Apted, Shep Gordon,
Oliver Shanti and many international dignitaries and religious leaders.
The Writer ---- Prison
Writings: My Life Is My Sundance