Candace Hunter: The Alien- Nation and Sovereign States of Octavia E. Butler

Inspired by the Octavia Butler archive at The Huntington Library in San Marino, California, Candace Hunter has been building an expansive body of multimedia work to process the celebrated Black fiction author’s uncanny narratives since 2016. The new work presented at the Art Center is curated by Ciera McKissick and Allison Peters Quinn to create an exploratory installation of video, performance, collage, and painting that continues Hunter’s speculation on the future of human resilience in the wake of racial reckoning, climate change, and food scarcity. According to Hunter, the imaginings presented in this show,  “gives room to examine the idea of who is alien, who is owner, who belongs, and what does it take to belong when you look different.” Hunter created much of this work while in the Jackman Goldwasser studios in 2022 – 2023. 

  • November 13, 2023 – March 3, 2024
  • Kanter Family Foundation Gallery

About Candace Hunter

Candace Hunter, a native of Chicago, studied the plastic arts /performance arts at Barat College of the Sacred Heart and fine art at Mundelien College. A child of formally educated parents – a mother with wanderlust, a COBOL-speaking father – Candace traveled throughout Europe and northern Africa before the age of ten. Seeing the wee small girl in the enormous “Watchman” at the Louvre, the foot of the pyramids at Giza, and the ceiling of the Basilica in Rome at such an early age, cemented the idea of beauty, grandeur and of service.Hunter’s active practice, creates worlds in which she honors family, sacred text, justice and, water scarcity through a variety of media.

Often working in fully realized series, “Prayer Circles: Sacred Text and Abstract Thought” invited disparate communities to examine art together, “Dust in Their Veins” continues to enlighten audiences on water scarcity and its dire effects on women and children globally, “Hooded Truths” places the ubiquitous modern hoodie on many unspoken American truths, “So Be It. See To It” visually translates eight of Octavia E. Butler’s books, and lately, “Loss/Scape” – an attempt to create a visual understanding of loss, specifically the loss of human capital from the western shores of Africa from the early 1500’s through to 1860.

Hunter has been recognized by Diasporal Rhythms as one of their Honorees for the 2014-16 Cycle and most recently honored to be a 3Arts Award Recipient (2016).

Hunter’s work has been included in highly successful shows at the Nicole Gallery, a solo show at ETA Creative Arts Foundation, group shows at the Flat Iron Building, the National Black Fine Art Show, “Art of the Diaspora: the Dan Parker Collection”, showcased at the UNITY 2008 Journalists of Color National Conference, the 2008 Chicago Jazz Festival, “Women in the Course of their Daily Lives” at the Grace Institute in NYC, and the Midsummer Arts Faire (Quincy, IL) where she won first place in the Young Collector’s Gallery.

Hunter served as the Arts & Culture Editor for the N’DIGO newspaper for seven years and oft was an arts correspondent for WTTW- Channel 11 and as  an arts correspondent on WBEZ, the city’s public radio station. She is a sought after arts auctioneer and often sits on panels for the city and arts entities within the city.

Her work has been collected locally and nationally, including: The Interfaith Center of Manhattan, Church of the Three Crosses (Chgo), the SonEdna Foundation (MS), Nancy Giles (CBS Sunday Morning), Julian Roberts and Amina Dickerson, Dr. & Mrs. Lawrence Dorsey, Patric McCoy (Pres., Diasporal Rhythyms), Dan Parker (Author, “Art of the Diaspora”), Samm-Art Williams, Mr. & Mrs. Paul Carter Harrison, Ronne Hartfield, Kai El’Zabar, Alita Tucker, Arlene Crawford, and many others.