This expansive exhibition brings together 200+ diverse works by 60+ artists from around the world to explore the question: What does drawing mean to you?

On View September 16, 2020 - February 14, 2021

Explore the exhibition microsite at

SECCA proudly presents DRAWN: Concept & Craft, an expansive exhibition featuring more than 200 works by a wide array of artists including LeRoy Neiman, Kara Walker, Fab 5 Freddy, Kiki Smith, Paula Wilson and Buckminster Fuller. DRAWN brings together the diverse works of over 60 artists from around the world in an exhibition that provides a rare, revealing look into the creative process and artists' unique relationship with the art of drawing.

DRAWN is curated by project founder TOMAS VU and SECCA Curator WENDY EARLE with the assistance of BRIAN NOVATNY. DRAWN is made possible in part by the generous support of The LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation.


The concept of DRAWN began with the discovery of several sketchbooks that no one knew existed, excavated from the late LeRoy Neiman's New York studio after the artist's passing. The stark difference between the drawings covering the pages of a sketchbook compared to the characteristically jocular and proud imagery of Neiman's paintings is jarring. In these sketchbooks, gone are the bright and impressionistic illustrations of celebratory moments. Instead, we find weighty depictions of struggle and pain in the visages of Malcolm X, Cassius Clay and James Baldwin, revealing a completely diverging, hidden side of the famed artist.

This discovery led Tomas Vu, founder of DRAWN, to then ask, "how many more of these kinds of artists sketchbooks are out there? And, where does the artistic mind go in the absence of outside pressures, expectations, and interpretation?"

DRAWN expands the very idea of drawing. What began with the beautiful simplicity of two-dimensional works has now evolved to include animation, video projection, sculpture, collage, and cut-paper. "Every work of art in this exhibition is the artist's direct or indirect answer to the question of 'What does drawing mean to you?'" says SECCA Curator Wendy Earle. "For some it's about process, for others it's about form. Some artists are additive, and some are subtractive."


Since its inception in 2014, DRAWN has engaged audiences in galleries and museums around the world, from Beijing and Dali City to the Philippines and Serbia. The exhibition is unique in that each presenting institution curates local artists to present their work alongside the existing collection. What once started with a handful of artists has grown into a robust collection of more than 60 artists and 200 works.

"The history of Black Mountain College in North Carolina really drew me to the idea of exhibiting this show with the community at SECCA," says Tomas Vu. "One of my favorite artists in this show, Buckminister Fuller, emerged from combining craft and conceptual art in a way that speaks to the mission of Black Mountain and the work of the local artists in the show."

Curator Wendy Earle notes: "This is a timely show, with many works created in 2020 and in direct response to the rapidly changing world around us. Drawing is a fundamental part of art-making, and is a broad creative act rather than a specific medium." View the full list of exhibiting artists at