Apparel Design, PhD Student
Leah Shenandoah is a Wolf Clan Member of the Onyo’ta:aká: – Oneida Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. She is an indigenous scholar, artist, activist and musician currently enrolled in her third year as an Apparel Design Ph.D. student at Cornell University. Shenandoah combines indigenous methodologies, material culture and activism to create a space of protection, comfort and healing through her work. Shenandoah received a Master’s of Fine Art from Rochester Institute of Technology in Metals and Jewelry and Bachelor’s of Science in Textiles from Syracuse University. Her M.F.A thesis “O’whahsa’ - Protection, Comfort and Healing” was a multimedia experience based on the Haudenosaunee legend of Skywoman, that consisted of: five textile, paint and steel sculptures, five sets of jewelry, five outfits and a 45-minute DJ set with 12 original songs written and performed by Shenandoah at the Hungerford Gallery in Rochester, NY. Shenandoah’s debut album, “Spectra” with producer JJ Boogie from Arrested Development, received a Native American Music Award for “Best Debut Album” and “Best Alternative Album” from the Syracuse Area Music Awards. Shenandoah’s art and jewelry have won awards from: Schemitzun Pow Wow, Eiteljorg Indian Market, & Ridgefield Fine Art Market. Her work has also been exhibited in national museums and exhibitions such as the “Changing Hands Exhibit” by the Museum of Art and Design, The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Iroquois Museum, Longyear Museum, Fenimore Art Museum, National Museum of the American Indian, Bausch and Lomb Gallery, Institute of American Indian Art Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Memorial Art Gallery, Lemoyne Art Gallery, Everson Museum of Art, Bevier Gallery, and the Alan Houzer Art Park. Shenandoah’s jewelry was showcased at the “Go Native Arts” fashion show with indigenous fashion designers Patricia Michaels and Dorothy Grant.