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Photo by Lisa Wade

February 4–March 20, 2021

On view online and at JCAL

Miller Gallery by appointment only.

Make Your Own Sketchbook

Feb. 6, 2021, 4PM

See the recording on our Youtube

Artist Talk

March 18, 2021, 6PM

via JCAL Youtube - RSVP

Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL) is excited to partner with the Southeast Queens Artist Alliance (SEQAA) to present Process → Project: What Comes Out of Our Sketchbooks, curated by Rejin Leys and Damali Abrams.

In this exhibition, the curators invited members of SEQAA and guest artists from outside Southeast Queens to show pages from their sketchbooks and other works that show different aspects of the creative process. At a time when many people ask “How did we get here?” with regard to the current cultural moment, there is a general desire to analyze and retrace one’s steps. Though at the intimate scale of individual art-making, Leys and Abrams provide a platform for artists to reveal the building blocks and sometimes nonlinear routes that are travelled as they arrive at their final works.   

Curatorial Statement: "Sketchbooks provide a behind the scenes look at the artistic process. In their sketches, artists test out ideas, record observations, practice skills, and plan future projects. This exhibition will present sketches, both loose and bound, by working artists with diverse practices: writing, painting, drawing, photography, collage, assemblage, sculpture, and paper-making. The shared act of sketching unites them.

Opening an artist's sketchbook can become a journey inside the artist's mind. Often representing intimate encounters with their thinking process, this invitation to experience such uninhibited experimentation is usually limited to those close to the artist, if at all. Public access to sketchbooks often become available only after the artist has died. 


An exhibition of living artists’ sketchbooks provides perhaps more than a studio visit since multiple approaches to ideas are recorded that introduces the artist's practice and highlights the conscious work executed behind the scenes." 

Featured artists: Damali Abrams, Laura Alvarez, Natali Bravo-Barbee, Ify Chiejina, Cecile Chong, Sherese Francis, iliana emilia garcia, Janet Olivia Henry, Jacqueline Herranz Brooks, Heather Holden, Marvenia Knight, Naomi Kuo, Rejin Leys, Carla Lobmier, Angela Miskis, Shervone Neckles, Selime Okuyan, Shenna Vaughn, Elizabeth Velazquez, and Lisa Wade.

About SEQAA: "The Southeast Queens Artists Alliance is comprised of visual, literary, and multidisciplinary artists. Our mission is to nurture local talent and to support quality cultural programming by artists who want to share their work with people in the community and beyond. At the same time, we want to participate in the ongoing discussions in the neighborhood around development and gentrification, and the role of art and culture in our community." Learn more at

In-person visits to the gallery can be reserved on the following Saturdays, 12-3pm, with select artists present: Feb. 6th with Cecile Chong and Rejin Leys; Feb. 20th with Marvenia Knight; Feb. 27th with Elizabeth Velazquez; March 6th with Ify Chiejina; and March 20th with Rejin Leys. Other times can be reserved by special appointment. For more information and to RSVP, go to

Make Your Own Sketchbook:

A Workshop by Rejin Leys

Saturday, February 6, 2021, 4PM

Whether or not you’re a practicing artist, keeping a sketchbook can be a good way to encourage your creative thinking. During this one hour virtual workshop, learn how to make your own sketchbook, and try a few exercises to spark ideas and develop drawing and observational skills. Activity kits (helpful but not required) will be available at JCAL for the duration of the exhibit.

See the recording of the live-streamed workshop here, and share images of your own sketchbooks at #processtoproject.

Gallery Views

All installation photography by Zaid Islam unless otherwise indicated.

About the Artists

(718) 658-7400


161-04 Jamaica Ave,
Jamaica, NY 11432, USA


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