Marla L. McLeod is an educator and interdisciplinary artist based in Boston, MA. She currently teaches drawing at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and she is a 2020 MFA graduate from Tufts University.
Her works in oil and charcoal on wood and canvas focus on portraiture, realism, identity and the Black body. She alters mediums and stylistic approaches with each portrait, creating a variety of interactions with the spaces in which they exist.
She points to the rough nature surrounding a sitter by engaging with the coarse texture of composite wood in Alabaster Box. She indicates alterations in time with a colored foreground and grayscale background in the traditional oil painting, Strange Fruit II, which also references the culturally familiar and significant song sung by Billie Holiday. Each portrait includes information about the individual within the process or materials used to create a dynamic interaction with each rendering. The final and most important variable in all of the portraits is confidence.