|Leena Minifie is an artist, writer, curator and media producer who is both of British and Gitxaała decent. (Tsimshian). Leena grew up on the Douglas Channel near her traditional home territory of the Pacific Northwest coast. The temporal rainforest was her playground; grizzlies, black bears, wolves and deer were her neighbors. Leena studied media arts at Indigenous Media Arts Group in Vancouver under some of North America’s most influential Indigenous media artists such as Dana Claxton, Archer Pechawis, Cease Wyss and Loretta Todd. Leena completed a BFA in New Media and BA in Indigenous Liberal Studies in New Mexico. She now resides in Minneapolis, MN where she works for boutique digital communications firm Seiche. Her art making and curatorial work is situated at the intersection of art, culture, land and politics. She creates video, media, and interactive works. She produced three short films that have screened at film festivals internationally and premiered at the ImagineNative film festival in Toronto. Most recently the film, ?E?anx/The Cave, played at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in 2011 and her graduating piece “Sense of Home” picked up the 2012 Best New Media prize at ImagineNative Media Arts + Film Festival after screening at TIFF Bell Theatre. Her curated group exhibition “When Raven Became Spider” is touring across North America until 2020.|
|2016||When Raven Became Spider (editor and essay contributor) is an exhibition catalogue and a book of essays on superhero art by Indigenous artists. Essay entitled The Hidden Power of Transformation Stories and Super-Being Iconography.|
|2015||Denver Art Museum (Chapter) Life as Motion, Motion as Life: Expressions in Filmmaking, Dance, and New Media is on experimental Native film and new media. The book is titled, Art in Motion by Denver Art Museum, Ed. John Lukavic.|
|2014||Chicago Institute of Art, (Chapter) Indigenous Techne: Native New Media in North America. The book is titled, Figuring the Plural: Needs and Supports of Canadian and US Ethnocultural Arts Organizations. The book is based on comprehensive research of artist run centers and celebrates the work of the ethno-cultural sector of the arts community. Ed. Mina Para Matlon, Ingrid Van Haastrecht, Kaitlyn Wittig Mengüç.|
|2013||Web-book Creative Commons, (chapter) Idle No More and Organic Trending, The Most Amazing Online Organizing Guide Ever, Green Memes, Ed. Solomon Joe & Kelley Megan.|
|2016||Web of Change Conference, Esalen Institute California, Standing Rock & Progressive Movements.|
|2016||Dunlop Art Gallery. When Raven Became Spider exhibition opening lecture.|
|2013||Media Democracy 2013 Vancouver Public Library, portrayal of Idle No More in mainstream Media.|
|2013||Web of Change Conference, Austin Texas, Idle No More and World Progressive Movements.|
|2012||Art As Motion, Motion As Life, Denver Art Museum.|
|2004||Signal & Noise, Video In Studios, Vancouver BC panel on Interactive Media Works.|
|2012||Best New Media, Imaginative Film Festival|
|2010||Top Ten TIFF ?Eanx? The Cave (Short Film Producer)|
|2009||American Indian Film Festival, Best Live Short Subject, ?Eanx? The Cave|
|2002||Second place for best post-secondary dramatic short in the Cascadia Festival of Moving Images|
|2012/10/21||Sense of Home, ImagineNative Film + Media Arts Festival, Toronto, Ontario
Received Best New Media Award for interactive media
In Sense of Home I explore moving pictures combined with the audio of eight film slices. The work is reflective of the acoustic ecology of the environments portrayed. I create a presence of my home and landscapes of others through visual rhythms and sound. The video pieces are chosen by the viewer through the touchscreen, in this way the audience determines the composition of the piece. As each video has a different length of soundtrack it is able to be an original composition each and every time.
|2012/04||Sense of Home, Communikey Electronic and Digital Arts Festival 2012, ATLAS (Alliance for Technology, Learning, and Society) Institute, Boulder, Colorado|
|2012/04-05||Sense of Home, IAIA 2012 BFA Student Exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico|
|2011/05||Sense of Home, Currents New Media Festival, Santa Fe, New Mexico|
|2010/10||The Heist, ImagineNative Film + Media Arts Festival, Toronto, Ontario
Premier screening of The Heist, a seven-minute dance film that features the dance troupe House of La Douche. This film is a tale of four svelte and sassy cat burglars who hunt for the ultimate treasure, a diamond studded shoe.
|2008/10||Geeka (Water’s Edge), ImagineNative Film + Media Arts Festival, Toronto, Ontario
Premier screening of Geeka (Water’s Edge), a six-minute dance film that explores one Indigenous dancer as she interacts with the future when the most powerful rivers and pristine lakes run dry. Starring Melina Laboucan Massimo.
|2009/02||Manat’siwin, Weesageechak Begins to Dance Festival, Toronto, Ontario
Visuals for “Manat’siwin”, a twenty-minute inter-disciplinary performance piece combining modern and traditional dance accompanied by live music consisting of two-part female harmony, guitar, and various drums as well as live visuals reflecting the theme of how foreign diseases such as tuberculosis have affected our communities even to our present day.
|2008/02||Manat’siwin, Talking Stick Festival, Scotia Bank Dance Centre, Vancouver, BC|
|2004/11||That 70’s Ho. PUSH Performance Festival, Western Front, Vancouver BC
A performance art piece interpretation/rendition of Carolee Schneeman’s Interior Scroll for the PUSH performance arts festival.
|2004/10||New Forms Festival 2004: Technography. Firehall Arts Centre, Vancouver BC, Untitled interactive dance piece
Dance and Technology Art (DATA) – Choreographed and performed an untitled dance piece using MAX MSP for live projecting and playback of choreography. The event presented works by movement artists who integrate new media and information technology into live performances.
|2004/08||Reclaimed Footage, Redwire Exhibit, Round House, Vancouver BC
Reclaimed Footage is a new media piece consisting of 20-minutes of found-footage of residential school children in the 1940’s accompanied with live electronic music by Ryan Mitchell-Morrison.
|2004/07||Connected by Innate Rhythm, Dreamspeakers Film Festival, Edmonton Alberta
Produced a seven-minute video installation that compares contemporary forms of Indigenous dance and song to traditional music and are shows how they are inherently connected. Original score composed by the local independent artist Meek.
|2003/02||Connected by Innate Rhythm, IMAGeNation, Vancouver’s Aboriginal Film and Media Arts Festival|
|2002/09||Two Lines, Cascadia Festival of Moving Images, Vancouver BC
Two Lines, a short film which won best post-secondary dramatic short. Inspired by actual events, this film incorporates a post-digital take on the classical tale of “star-crossed lovers”. Bethany and Gabe, two high-schoolers meet over the internet with plans to commit a double suicide. However, once the two come face to face with each other and the fate they have chosen, they are surprised by what they see before them.
|2016/04 – 2020||When Spider Becomes Raven Exhibition Tour: 2016 – 2020
Dunlop Gallery, Regina SK April/16, Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa January/17, TIFF Gallery, Toronto Fall/17.
|2014/02||Distinguished Storytellers Festival 2014, Regina, SK
Director and Curator Sâkêwêwak Artists’ Collective’s One week of events and planning ten artists consisting of traditional storytellers, musicians and performers in over 6 venues.
|2013/09-10||Coming Into View, Sâkêwêwak Artists’ Collective, Regina SK
Director and Curator of Sâkêwêwak Artists’ Collective. Showcasing over forty Indigenous visual artists in three different galleries, plus two performance works by Joseph Sanchez from the Professional Native Indian Artists Inc.
|2008/11||Medianet’s Edges Film Festival & Showcase of Media Art Victoria, BC
Curated six films and videos for Aboriginal program for this evening screening
|2006/02||Film Programming Committee, 8th Annual IMAGeNation Film and Video Festival, Vancouver, BC|
|2005/02||Curator, 7th Annual IMAGeNation Film and Video Festival, Vancouver, BC
Curated a program of five films and videos for first Queer Aboriginal program at the festival (and in Canada) All films featuring two- spirited directors entitled BareSkins.
|2004/03||Curator, Signal & Noise Festival, Video In Studios, Vancouver BC
Curated the video and live music program Adults playing with Toys for festival of video and sound and spoke on a panel on interactive arts.
|2004/02||Film Programming Committee, 6th Annual IMAGeNation Film and Video Festival, Vancouver, BC|
|2013-14||Director, Sakewewak First Nations Artists Collective|
|2012||Digital Dome @IAIA summer internship developing board, policy, outreach and grants|
|2012||Art coordinator and event coordinator for 50th Year Anniversary Gala And Art Auction IAIA|
|2011||Historic Santa Fe Foundation, call out for applications, picking Artists in residence, organizing and doing public relations for internal gallery shows|
|2003-13||Decibel International Festival of Electronic Music Performance, Visual Art and New Media various positions|
|2004-06||Communikey Electronic Arts Festival, one year as featured artist and 2 years in volunteer positions|
|2001-05||Indigenous Media Arts Group, Programmer and Public Relations and Outreach|