ProcessLAB: Paper Buck, Michelle Lopez, Sa’dia Rehman

November 9, 2023–March 17, 2024

A photograph of a gallery with many disparate wooden and metal sculptures and materials strewn about, some leaning against the walls and others in the middle of the floor. In the foreground is a steel armature with tilted legs and wires. Nearby is a television screen installed sideways on a wooden base. On its screen is a woman with black hair and hands clasped across her body. She is looking at the camera.
Installation view of “ProcessLAB: Paper Buck, Michelle Lopez, Sa’dia Rehman.” Photo credit: Carlos Avendaño.

Focusing on artistic process and the impulse to explore and experiment that typically happen privately inside an artist’s studio, ProcessLAB is designed to engage visitors in conversations about creative pursuits centered around artworks that are being developed in real time. The gallery features studio experiments, rough drafts, and multiple iterations of projects that each artist feels is ready for public interaction but have not yet found a final form.

Since its founding in 1977, The Fabric Workshop and Museum has been dedicated to supporting the artistic process, collaboration, and experimentation. For ProcessLAB, our staff of professional artists are working alongside Paper Buck, Michelle Lopez, and Sa’dia Rehman to help develop the projects, host public conversations and demonstrations about potential material explorations, directions, and, most importantly, ways to move each project forward.

Buck, Lopez, and Rehman are all engaged in their own artistic pursuits and have distinct practices, but their projects are united by central themes of environmental disaster, climate change, violence, isolation, and colonial ideologies. In ProcessLAB, the artists share an open-door space held for iterative thinking, exploring the relationships between ideas and materials, patience, magical thinking, and the role of community in creative pursuits.


The Fabric Workshop and Museum
1214 Arch Street, Philadelphia PA 19107

Second Floor Gallery

Plan Your Visit

This exhibition is included with free general admission.


About the Artist

Paper Buck (he/him) is an interdisciplinary visual artist, printmaker, and writer. His recent work is focused on place-centered research that critically explores white settler constructions of conservation, ecology, and the “American Landscape.”

Paper received his MFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 2020 and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and American Studies from Macalester College in 2008. His practice is informed by a background in community organizing that centers anti-racist education, decolonial movements, and transgender justice. He was formerly a leadership team member at the Transgender, Gender-Variant and Intersex Justice ProjectUnsettling Minnesota and the Catalyst Project.

Recent and upcoming exhibitions include: Form and Formless, Urban Glass, Brooklyn, NY; Cornucopia, Eastern Star Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Counterpressures, The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; State of Nature, Chautauqua Visual Arts, Chautauqua, NY; The Self, Realized: Queering the Art of Self-Portraiture, Brew House Association, Pittsburgh, PA; It’s A Long Story I’ll Save For Later, The Powder Room, Pittsburgh, PA; Today Descends From Yesterday, Turpentine Gallery, Oakland, CA; History in the Present, Historisches Rathaus, Dringenberg, Germany; Queer Prophesies, National Queer Arts Festival, San Francisco, CA. He currently lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.

Michelle Lopez (she/her) is an interdisciplinary sculptor and installation artist. Her work examines collapsed political and social structures by inverting cultural tropes through her process of building. Her research and exploitation of industrial materials within her work exposes the finite and sometimes invisible boundaries of our own embedded societal constructions. Lopez is a material manipulator, a conceptualist, a builder, who researches cultural phenomenon and its material to push it out to its Nth-degree. With that comes an inventive spirit by stretching the industrial processes of crafting consumerism in all of its many forms.

Lopez earned her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, NY and BA from Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, NY. Recent solo exhibitions include: Michelle Lopez: Ballast & Barricades (2020), Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) (2020), Philadelphia, PA;  House of Cards, (2018), Simon Preston, Gallery, New York, NY; Halyard (2016), Alt, Istanbul, Turkey; Angels, Flags, Bangs (2014),  and The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT, among others in Paris, New York, and Los Angeles. She has participated in  group exhibitions at Harvard Carpenter Center for the Arts, Cambridge, MA; Museum of Contemporary Art & Design (MCAD), Manila, Philippines; Bass Museum of Art, Miami, FL; and PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY among others. In 2019, Lopez was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Michelle Lopez has taught at UC Berkeley, Yale School of Art (Sculpture), SVA MFA, and now heads Sculpture & Installation in the Fine Arts Program at UPenn. Lopez is standing faculty in the Penn MFA program and based in Philadelphia. 

The artist Sa'dia Rehman poses for a picture. They have curly black hair and are wearing a royal blue cable-knit sweater vest over a black long-sleeve turtleneck.Sa’dia Rehman (they/them) is a multidisciplinary artist and educator. Their work explores structures of the family, the nation, and the border. They center familial history to expand on harm and survival.

In 2023, Rehman had their first major solo show at the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. In 2022 Rehman delivered a keynote address with Pulitzer Prize winning poet Natalie Diaz regarding the “Global Imagination of Racial Justice” at the University of California, Santa Barbara, CA. Rehman was selected and exhibited as an Artist to Watch in 2021 by and at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC. In the last five years, Rehman was awarded residencies at the Film/Video Studio at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; Art Omi, Ghent, NY; Abrons Art Center, New York, NY; Asian American Arts Alliance, New York, NY; Edward Albee Foundation, Montauk, NY; Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT; and NARS Foundation, New York, NY. Recently, their work was featured in the Brooklyn Rail, The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas, Colonize This! Young Women of Color On Today’s Feminism, Breakthru Radio and Hyperallergic.

About the Curator

ProcessLAB is organized by DJ Hellerman, Chief Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs