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Candace Hunter

USA

Candace Hunter (chlee) creates visual stories. Using traditional and reused materials, she offers new landscapes back to the viewer with a glimpse of history and admiration of the beautiful.

Work

Featured Work

Four Women

The Protest music of Ms. Nina Simone, the vision of Ms. Simone, the clear pain of Ms. Simone, enlivens my work and my intentions. Four collages in particular—Four Women—speak to four different archetypes of Black womanhood in America—how we got to be to who we are going to be: Aunt Sara, Saffronia, Sweet Thing, and last, but not least, Peaches! Each collage is 24” x 18” and each collage is held in private collections across the US.
—Candace Hunter (chlee)

Aunt Sara by Candace Hunter

Aunt Sara

Saffronia by Candace Hunter

Saffronia

Sweet Thing by Candace Hunter

Sweet Thing

Peaches by Candace Hunter

Peaches

Candace Hunter (clee)

Candace Hunter (clee)

Artist Statement

 

Since the beginning of Covid, I changed the product of what I do. Out of the necessity of three artists (partner, daughter, self) living within two and a half rooms, I carved out a small walled section in which I created work that could fit on a 32-inch-wide table. From that table I began what would eventually be over eighty collages titled Brown Limbed Girls. These girls graced billboards for the City of Chicago’s Covid Awareness program, were featured on public television, and shown in New Orleans and Oakland.

At first viewing, the “girls” seem all whimsy and at play. But they grew, as did their messages—like the 21st c. Pieta (published in Obsidian 46.2), which built upon the solemnity of Michelangelo’s Pietà and the solemnity that affected the country after the death of George Floyd.

Prior to the Brown Limbed Girls, I created fully intentioned shows, serving as artist and curator. Those shows have spoken to Water issues (Dust in Their Veins), Original American Injustices (Hooded Truths), and an honoring of the words of Octavia Butler with So Be It. See To It.

Now that the country is moving into a whole new epoch, my work will inevitably change again, but always carrying vestiges of my upbringing, my love of words, my love of James VanDerZee and Romare Bearden, and my love of all of the forms and ways and laughter of little Black girls.

Instagram: @cleeart

Candace Hunter (chlee) creates visual stories. Using traditional and reused materials, she offers new landscapes back to the viewer with a glimpse of history and admiration of the beautiful. During the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, she began to do two things—offer free art classes on Instagram and create what she now calls her Brown Limbed Girls. Hunter has produced multiple solo shows including: Dust in Their Veins; Hooded Truths; Loss/Scape, A Landscape of Loss; Prayer Circles: Sacred Text and Abstract Thought; and Familial Impressions: Six Generations of an American Family. A highly respected artist in the Midwest, chlee has most recently received the Elevate Climate Changemakers Award (2022), 3Arts Next Level Award (2021), the Tim and Helen Meier Family Foundation Award (2020), the 3Arts Award (2016), and honored by the Diasporal Rhythms Collective. She was also a featured speaker at the Midwest Women in Ecology Conference (2019).

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