Her image virtually glows from a wall in the National Portrait Gallery, with a gaze at once innocent and knowing, resilient and radiant. In the photo, Wisconsin’s Elizah Leonard wears her Ho-Chunk regalia — earrings and a necklace beaded by her grandfather, a dress and shawl from the hands of her mother.
Surrounding Leonard’s likeness are shimmering beads, rhinestones and shells hand-stitched by the Madison-area photographer who created this prize-winning artwork, artist Tom Jones.
The picture of Leonard, part of a series by Jones titled “Strong Unrelenting Spirits,” captured second place in the triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, a prestigious national show for the Smithsonian, and is now on display in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., through Feb. 26. In 2023-24, it will tour the U.S.