Marla L. McLeod was born in 1981 in San Bernardino, CA. She received her B.S. in Studio Art form Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) in 2014. She graduated with her M.F.A. from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University (SMFA) in 2020. McLeod explores black identity and social constructs through her portrait paintings, textiles, and sculptures. Work from her MFA thesis featured on the MFA, Boston 2020 Takeover Fridays social media project, the 2020 Area Code Art Fair StoreFronts Projects, and she was featured as one of the Boston Globes “5 Outstanding Art School Grads”. In 2019 she received the Will and Elena Barnet Painting Award, a Tisch Library Graduate Research Fellowship, and presented at Black Portraitures, NYU. In the Summer of 2020, McLeod co-curated the Special Exhibitions section of the 2020 Area Code Art Fair and is currently an Adjunct Professor at SCSU and a Post-Graduate Teaching Fellow at the SMFA at Tufts University.