Exhibitions - Clayton Sisterhood Project

Laila Annmarie Stevens
Clayton Sisterhood Project

06.03.23 – 09.30.23

Photoville 2023

Geneva Adams (73) lies her hand on the shoulder of her daughter Jennifer Searls (51).

"Geneva & Jennifer," 2022 - Laila Annmarie Stevens

The Queens Museum is excited to partner with Photoville in presenting Laila Annmarie Stevens’ Clayton Sisterhood Project in Roy Wilkins Park located in Southeast, Queens, showcasing this photography project at its place of origin and departure.


In Laila Annmarie Stevens’ photo series, Clayton Sisterhood Project, she explores the continuing legacy built by her sisters and nieces, originally from South Jamaica, Queens, New York who moved to Clayton, North Carolina together. Inspired by the historical branches of trees on southern terrain and longing for ancestral remembrance through the traditional family album, Stevens utilizes the 1960s Black Power Movement principle of Self-Determination to preserve and document intergenerational Black Women across both states. 


Concentrating on intimate moments, the protagonists within this project allow us to enter the stories of their lives and their relationships with their families. North Carolina-based Black Feminist Poet Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs states “We knew we had to love the women we were and the women of our lineages, our grandmothers and great-grandmothers, the women we never got to hold, the people coming after us and ourselves and the bridge and an invitation to all of it.” Crossing the boundaries of documentary through a conceptual approach, this visual preservation of love in its varying forms seeks to ensure that the nature of our existence will prosper in the Black archive.


Presented for the 2023 Photoville Festival, this exhibition will remain on view through September 20th, 2023. The exhibition is located at the entrance to Roy Wilkins Park at the intersection of Merrick Blvd and Foch Blvd in St. Albans, Queens.



About the Artist:


Laila Annmarie Stevens (b. 2001) is a Black Queer Photographer and Visual Artist from Queens, NY. She received her BFA in Photography and Related Media at The Fashion Institute of Technology. Their portraiture is informed by their passion for honoring marginalized youth voices and embracing the fullness of Black life through the creation of a digital safe space. Their work could be described as a raw and intimate perspective. Through her early work in youth organizations, she’s incorporated image-making to envision a world of inclusion and power.


About the Partners:


Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions. By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, they join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation. Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.


NYC Parks is the steward of more than 30,000 acres of land — 14 percent of New York City — including more than 5,000 individual properties ranging from Coney Island Beach and Central Park to community gardens  and Greenstreets. We operate more than 800 athletic fields and nearly 1,000 playgrounds, 1,800 basketball courts, 550 tennis courts, 65 public pools, 51 recreational facilities, 15 nature centers, 14 golf courses, and 14 miles of beaches. We care for 1,200 monuments and 23 historic house museums. We look after 600,000 street trees, and two million more in parks. We are New York City’s principal providers of recreational and athletic facilities and programs. We are home to free concerts, world-class sports events, and cultural festivals.