Xenogenesis by Candace Hunter

News & Events

Collage exhibition presents speculative fictions of the future — and an invitation to create your own

Hampshire College Art Gallery’s spring exhibition, So be it. See to it., opens this week with a public reception on Wednesday, January 30, from 5 to 7 p.m.; an artist’s talk with Candace Hunter on Thursday January 31, from 5 to 6 p.m.; and a series of community workshops led by the artist.

So be it. See to it. takes its title from the words of science-fiction writer Octavia Butler. Butler’s Parable of the Sower (1993) was the Hampshire College Common Read for new students this year; the book seems prophetic more than two decades later during a contemporary moment wrought by political divisiveness, resurgent racism, and the devastation of climate change. The exhibition continues the Common Read conversation through the work of Candace Hunter, a Chicago-based mixed-media artist who says she has been inspired by Butler’s legacy. The exhibition presents more than 50 mixed-media collages set in dialogue with Butler’s novels in a form of visual storytelling that offers portals into other worlds — and our own.

An Octavia Butler reading room and a participatory collage-making space are also part of the exhibition, which invites visitors to spend time engaging with the artwork, reading Butler’s fiction (which deals with complex issues of race, sex, species, and power), and contributing to a community collage installation.  

So be it. See to it., which is on view Monday–Friday, 10.30 a.m.–4.30 p.m., and Sunday, 2–5 p.m., runs through March 17.

All events are free and open to the public and take place in the Hampshire College Art Gallery, ground floor of the Harold F. Johnson Library.

  • Opening reception: Wednesday, January 30, 5–7 p.m.
  • Artist’s Talk, by Candace Hunter: “Affirmations and Inspiration: The Chaos of Collage and Color in the Age of Romare Bearden and Octavia Butler,” Thursday, January 31, 5–6 p.m.
  • Community workshops: Phototransfer and Collage with Candace Hunter, Friday, February 1, 10 a.m. 1 p.m. (full; 2–5 p.m. (five spots available); Saturday, February 2, 2–5 p.m. (five spots available) *Space is limited. Please email gallery@hampshire.edu to reserve a spot.

Banner image: Candace Hunter, Is it a Ship, or is it Earth?, oil and paper on linen, 2016, part of the Xenogenesis series, 2016

Images below: 1 & 2 - Candace Hunter, from the series Fledgling, multimedia collage, 2016 / 3 - Candace Hunter, from the series Patternmaster, multimedia collage, 2016

Candace Hunter, from the series Fledgling, multimedia collage, 2016 Candace Hunter, from the series Fledgling, multimedia collage, 2016 Candace Hunter, from the series Patternmaster, multimedia collage, 2016
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