Artist Candace Hunter Opens Her Doors To You

Artist Candace Hunter, Chicago Defender's Arts & Culture editor opens her studio doors.
Artist Candace Hunter, Chicago Defender’s Arts & Culture editor opens her studio doors.

Artist Candace Hunter Opens Her Doors To You

“Like the air we breathe,” says Candace Hunter, “art belongs to all.” 

Candace Hunter, a native of Chicago, studied the plastic arts and performance arts at Barat and Mundelein Colleges in the Chicago area. College may have introduced her to methodology, genres  and taught her the details and specifics about the materials she’d later  use and apply  to her work  but her talent was natural.  She’s ‘an Artist’s artist.”Her work is always authentic and rooted in the tradition from which she evolves. As an African American woman her world reflects her experiences as well as those of The Race. Her work is beautiful, evocative and oftentimes controversial such as her recent series, Hooded Truths. The collection of paintings force you to look at the murders of young Black men  represented by the “hoodie” associated with Trayon Martin. ‘Hooded’ means covered, therefore hidden and so as we look at the many senseless murder of unarmed Black men by policemen where the truth has been hidden.  The Hooded Truths Collection is soul stirring and evokes, sadness, anger, empathy and compassion. It  inspires us to do something  to change the way Black men are seen and mistreated in the world. The images were transferred to T-shirts and are for sale.

Candace's 'Hooded Truths' Collection addresses very contemporary issues.
Candace’s ‘Hooded Truths’ Collection addresses very contemporary issues.


The MLK 'Hooded Truths' piece, by Candace Hunter
The MLK ‘Hooded Truths’ piece, by Candace Hunter

One of the unarmed  fall, 'Hooded Truths,'  by Candace Hunter
One of the unarmed fall, ‘Hooded Truths,’ by Candace Hunter


Black Man target, 'Hooded Truths,' by Candace Hunter.
Black Man target, ‘Hooded Truths,’ by Candace Hunter.

In her own words Candace says, “Much of my work is concerned with social inequality along both national and global fronts. My imagery explores historical moments. Moments that celebrate the beauty of a people or the necessary light upon violence against humanity, in its many forms, with special attention to the plight of women and children. Through research, I engage with the past and use my art to give a public and present voice to those whose voices have been silenced or just plainly, ignored. Although I am well known for my collage-based work, I implement a wide variety of media to manifest my work. My work is rarely conceived as a single piece, but is instead imagined as an entire body of work around a central theme, such as the 32 pieces in Hooded Truths (2014), which also includes installation and performance. In addition, I make use of text and performance in my work to strengthen the voice. My practice is socially engaged, personally, in my interaction and collaboration with other artists, and politically, in my activism through my work.”

Tea Time is available this weekend, by Candace Hunter
Tea Time is available this weekend, by Candace Hunter

Her early work was what she coined, “non-traditional batik”. Always affronted by the Euro-male created lines of the validity of “art” and understanding that batik was considered either a “folk” or “craft”, Hunter took it to another level that matched the parameters of the Western idea while leaning on the technique and creative force of the African perspective. 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 corner of the enormous “Night Watchman” at the Louvre, the foot of the pyramids and the ceiling of the Basilica in Rome at such an early age, cemented the idea of beauty, grandeur and of service. Hunter, in her work, has most often created a world in which she honors family, sacred text, or most recently, water scarcity. She often works in series, “Ethi-Oh-My!”, spoke to her love of Ethiopia and Selassie and “Prayer Circles: Sacred Text and Abstract Thought” invited disparate communities to examine art together. Recently Candace was the curator for The Chicago Defender’s (for which she is Arts & Culture editor)  Journey to Empowerment exhibition celebrating the iconic newspaper’s 110-year-anniversary at the Harold Washington Library. If you hurry you can still catch the exhibition which closes May 28, 2015.

Teatime series available this weekend at Studio open house, by Candace Hunter
Teatime series available this weekend at Studio open house, by Candace Hunter

Candace says there are things in the world that are bigger than the ground we stand on. Being an artist, she says, allows her to funnel those elements into doing good works. 

This weekend she invites you whether you’re seeking to purchase your first piece of original art or  to add to your current collection to come see and experience for yourself the joy of art.

To see more  art go to:

Artists Arthur Wright and Candace Hunter open their Studio to showcase new works this Saturday, May 16th from 3 until 7pm in the Historic Kenwood neighborhood.

The Art of Tea
@the Coach House Studio
4935 S. Drexel Boulevard
Chicago, IL



Candace Hunter (chlee) is most recently known for her work, Hooded Truths and the traveling installation, Dust in Their Veins, presently on view at the College of Charleston. Her work has shown extensively across the Midwest and is held in the collections of the Interfaith Center of New York, the Grace Institute and the Stritch School of Medicine as well as many private collections.

Arthur Wright’s work can be seen every time a Chicagoan goes down Cottage Grove in the Bronzeville neighborhood. His mural at 44th Street and Cottage celebrates the music and musicians of Bronzeville. His work was chosen as the design for the Jazz Institute (2014).


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