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Marla McLeod Awarded 2023 Aminah Robinson Residency

in Press Releases May 18, 2023 3 min read

Artist Marla McLeodCOLUMBUS, Ohio — The Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC), in partnership with the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA), is pleased to announce that Marla McLeod has been awarded the 2023 Aminah Robinson Residency.

Designed to honor Columbus artist Aminah Robinson, the residency is nationally focused and provides an African American professional visual artist residing in the United States the opportunity to live and work in Robinson’s restored Shepard neighborhood home, and to devote dedicated time to creating art within Robinson’s studio there.

Marla L. McLeod (she/her) received her BS in studio art from Southern Connecticut State University in 2014 and her MFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in 2020. She currently teaches at Boston College, Maine College of Art & Design and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In her work, McLeod explores Black identity and social constructs through her portrait paintings, textiles and sculptures. Her past exhibitions include installations at the deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum as a part of the 2022 New England Triennial, and the 2020 Area Code Art Fair held within the New England area. Her solo exhibitions include a 2022 show titled Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood at the Essex Art Center in Lowell, MA, and We the People (Our Love Will See Us Through) installed at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. She was awarded the Walter Feldman Fellowship from the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston as well as the Emerging Artist Award from the St. Botolph Club Foundation in 2021. McLeod has presented her work at several institutions and served as a juror for the Massachusetts Scholastic Awards from 2021-23. Read more about McLeod at

“I’m truly excited to be this year’s artist resident,” said McLeod. “This is a wonderful opportunity that will allow me to freely pour myself into my creative pursuits for an extended period of time. I look forward to using this time working with and getting to know the Columbus artist community as well as learning and sharing the history in my future works. As an artist of color, it can be exceptionally difficult to maintain the time and funding needed to create new works. I’m honored to have the support and cannot wait to see what new work we will dream up.”

Monica’s Mexican Folklorico by Marla McLeod

Monica’s Mexican Folklorico, textile garment/sculpture, 2021

Jurors for the 2023 Aminah Robinson Residency included:

  • Shannon Crane, Greater Columbus Arts Council board member
  • James Ferguson II, Apple Inc., Columbus Museum of Art board member
  • Debra Priestly, artist and professor of art, Queens College, City University of New York
  • Stephen Scott, nephew of Aminah Robinson
  • Anthony Peyton Young, 2022 Aminah Robinson Residency participant

In 2023, the 90-day residency is scheduled for Sept. 1 to Nov. 30 and will include a $15,000 unrestricted award; lodging and studio access are provided free as part of the residency. A community outreach activity is required and the artist will have the opportunity for a public presentation and/or exhibition.

The residency was launched in 2020 alongside a fellowship focused on African American professional visual artists residing in Franklin County. Past residents have included Johnathan Payne (2020) and Anthony Peyton Young (2022).

For questions about the residency, contact Vice President for Grants & Community Engagement Alison Barrett at or (614) 221-8406.

Mission of the Columbus Museum of Art: To create great experiences with great art for everyone.

Mission of the Greater Columbus Arts Council: To support and advance the arts and cultural fabric of Columbus.

The Greater Columbus Arts Council receives major financial support from the City of Columbus, Franklin County Commissioners, the Ohio Arts Council and The Ohio State University.

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CONTACT: Jami Goldstein
(614) 221-8492