Mi’kmaq artist, Leonard Paul, was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1953. He attended Nova Scotia College of Art and Design 1971 to 1974. He later graduated from Acadia University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History. From 1980 – 1991 he served on the national First Nation committee known as Society of Canadian Artists of Native Ancestry (SCANA). Since 1994 Leonard has been the owner/President of Fox Trail Editions Inc. and operated his own Fox Trail Art Gallery. From 1980 – 1991 he served on the national First Nation committee known as Society of Canadian Artists of Native Ancestry (SCANA).
His artwork has touched the lives of many dignitaries: 1982, Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne of Great Britain, opened an exhibition of his work at the Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan. Canada’s Governor General, Edward Schreyer, participated in Paul’s national group exhibition in Ottawa on three separate occasions. In 1983, the Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations, Gerard Pelletier, opened an international exhibition at the United Nations in New York at which Mr Paul’s art was represented. In 1996 External Affairs and Aboriginal Business Canada selected his art business as a Canadian Representative at the World Trade Show TENDENCE ’93 in Frankfurt, Germany. One of Canada’s prominent free-lance journalists, Harry Bruce, wrote a photo – documentary feature of Paul’s career for Atlantic Salmon Journal, an international angling magazine. In 1991 Leonard received national exposure on television when he was selected as one of the primary artists for a film entitled Kwa’nute, produced by the National Film Board. In 1993 Leonard Paul’s years of dedication were recognized when he received the highest honour in the Visual Arts with the prestigious Canada’s Governor General Medal, presented by Her Royal Highness’ Representative, The Governor General of Canada, Raymond Hnatyshyn.
Recently, Leonard Paul and international singer, Buffy Sainte-Marie, joined Canadian acclaimed writer, David Bouchard, in producing his children’s book, LONG POWWOW NIGHTS. One book review in the Globe and Mail by Gregory Byron, had this to say, “Leonard Paul’s wonderful artwork is the major strength of Long Powwow Nights. Paul’s paintings of powwow dancers in full regalia are likely to draw the attention of the panel of judges who determine the Governor’s Literary Award for Illustration of Books for Children.”
In September 2013, Paul illustrated a very meaningful book for the Cree and the province of Manitoba. Written by William Dumas, a Cree Storyteller, and titled PISIM FINDS HER MISKANOW, the book is published by High Water Press and Portage and Main Press
Leonard Paul is currently working on a retrospective for 2019 that will tour three cities, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.