LeAndra Richardson, also known as LeAndra Crystal, was born in Brooklyn, New York. Close friends might jokingly, and lovingly, tell you she’s “from the world,” as she has lived in a variety of environments and has a global appeal. Her Jamaican familial ties, Brooklyn base and southern, Carolina charm blend perfectly to create a wellspring of diverse life experiences. Her wealth of experience is an apparent influence on her body of work as a fine/visual artist, photographer and apparel designer. Her work, across the board, is as multi-faceted, complex, quirky, engaging and, yet, mysterious as LeAndra herself. Aside from the aforementioned, LeAndra is also an actress, dancer, writer and singer.
Although LeAndra has resided in multiple areas of the country, she is deeply rooted in the south. Perhaps, one of greatest examples of which is her decision to name her visual art collection, “663 Main,” after the street in South Carolina where she lived and most often refers to as “home.” She recounts her family making the move to the south:
“When I was 2 years old, I told my family we would live in a yellow house. We rented a yellow house when we first moved to Charlotte, when I was 3 years old. Then years later, in 2003, we ended up in another yellow house, with teal green doors at 663 Main. It’s special because it’s the first house we bought as a family. It was a permanent residence to call home.”
LeAndra developed a deep love for art early in life, but entered college as a Biology major. It was during her freshman year that she decided to follow her heart’s desire and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Art from the historic Fisk University, in Nashville, Tennessee, where she currently resides. During her time at Fisk, she was able to strengthen and utilize her leadership skills, and put into practice her belief that women, all women, should feel empowered to be great. She was a charter member of the Exclusive Dance Troupe (EDT) during her freshman year. EDT made a significant impact at Fisk. It sent a positive message on body image, which no matter what shape, or size, young women can have athletic ability, agility and poise beyond what is stereo-typically perceived. This work in women’s empowerment would later continue in the development of LeAndra’s apparel line, “LYBY Movement” (Love You Be You), a series of women’s clothing with statements that speak life to all women. LeAndra also became member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Kappa Gamma Chapter, where she held such offices as Vice President and Treasurer. She helped initiate and implement several programs to enhance the campus’ social and academic environment.
Today, LeAndra serves as Vice-President of the board for the Tennessee Art League. She has work that can be seen in various locations in Nashville, including the Avon Williams Library and Twin Condominiums. She participates in various art shows within the Nashville community and surrounding areas.