Melissa Leandro is an artist who works between the media of drawing, painting, and textiles. Leandro's woven and embroidered surfaces explore her composite cultural identity through means of intuitive mark-making. Reflecting on her past and present travels, she considers the impact of these environments on the fragmentation of identity and place.

Leandro was awarded the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship (2017) and EAGER Grant for research and collaboration (2016, Shapiro Center), both for her studio work at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). As well as a Luminarts Fellowship (2017) from the Luminarts Cultural Foundation, Union League of Chicago. Leandro has attended ACRE Residency,Wisconsin, Roger Brown House Residency, Michigan, The Weaving Mill, Chicago and TextielLab, The Netherlands. She holds a BFA and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a current BOLT resident at the Chicago Artist Coalition in Chicago.



During her W.A.R.P. residency, Melissa developed work for two exhibitions in 2017/18-- a solo show at Efrain Lopez Gallery in Chicago and Untitled Art Fair in Miami. She worked with her existing Jacquard-woven yardage: cutting, recombining, and layering fabric. She worked into this yardage with resist dye, reverse appliqué work, and digital embroidery, while continuing experimentation with drawing, painting, and cyanotype printing.


Melissa worked with Envision artists to create multiple small and large-scale cyanotypes on paper and fabric. Using materials and objects found in and around Westtown Center (knick knacks, wood shop and sewing tools, yarn, marbles, buttons), participants created collaborative compositions on light sensitive paper and fabric. The paper prints became material for a larger scale cyanotype collage, in which the collaborating artists worked together to create a new composition from the original cyanotype prints.