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Melissa Raman Molitor, MA, ATR-BC, LCPC

Melissa is an Associate Professor, Adj. at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and a founding director of Studio 3, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing social-emotional learning and sociocultural awareness in young people through the arts.  She is the founder of the Evanston ASPA, an initiative created to increase the visibility and representation of the local Asian, South Asian, Pacific Islander American community and amplify the stories that center their history and lived experiences.  Melissa was awarded the 2021-2022 Curatorial Fellowship at the Evanston Art Center, and currently serves as Chair on the Evanston City Arts Council.  She also serves on the Evanston Public Library Racial Equity Task Force and is involved with the City of Evanston’s Participatory Budgeting Process.  She holds a BA in Psychology and a BFA with a concentration in ceramics and photography from the University of Michigan.  She received an MA in Art Therapy from SAIC and is a registered, board-certified art therapist and licensed clinical professional counselor.


Melissa’s art and professional practices coalesce in the creation of liminal spaces that employ art as a form of critical consciousness and healing justice.  Her art making involves the exploration of personal and collective identity through mixed media and fiber arts.  Informed by traditional art and ritual practices, her work explores the mapping of cross-cultural journeys and the process of creative placemaking.  Her therapeutic work draws on the power of art in fostering human connection and community care, and employing multimedia to engage people in discourse and action towards racial equity and social justice.


Melissa Raman Molitor

Founding Director

Angela Lyonsmith, DAT, ATR-BC, ATCS, LCPC

Dr. Angela Lyonsmith is the mom of three amazing humans, an artist, educator and art therapist. She is a founding director of Studio 3, an art therapist at the Mather, has worked as an art therapist and clinical supervisor for over two decades and taught in the graduate art therapy departments at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Assistant Professor, Adj., and Mount Mary University. She is passionate about the intersection of art making, community building and wellness. 


Angela owned and directed the development of Gather, a community art studio, gallery and creativity-focused play space in downtown Evanston, designed for newborns through 6 year olds and their caregivers to meaningfully engage in the arts and play.  She has served on advisory boards for the DuPage Children's Museum, Visibility Arts ProgramChildren's Research Triangle and was a founding board member for Evanston Made and C3, promoting the intersections between community, creativity and commerce. Angela provides consultation for art therapy program development in residential facilities and innovative community based settings; leads process art and community art experiences for makers of all ages through partnerships with local organizations; supports therapeutic arts paraprofessional trainings in East Africa for the development of ethical, responsible, culturally relevant therapeutic arts programs through Global Alliance for Africa and provides clinical supervision to art therapists across the Midwest and Southwestern United States.

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Angela Lyonsmith

Founding Director

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