In Focus Lecture Series: In conversation with Shonna Pryor and Matt Morris


Promotional images for "In conversation with Shonna Pryor and Matt Morris"

On Sunday, February 19 at 3pm, join us for an in-person lecture, "In conversation with Shonna Pryor and Matt Morris."

This lecture is a part of the ongoing EAC series, "In Focus." "In Focus" features a variety of talks and presentations by ​artists, art professionals, historians and more!

Join artists Shonna Pryor and Matt Morris to discuss Pryor's EAC exhibition, Of Portals and Pathways II: Fiscal Frontiers.


Shonna Pryor is a conceptual artist, art programs producer, and an educator at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her interdisciplinary art practice is inspired by references to food theory and its peripheral objects and concepts as a lens through which to critically engage the politics of identity, memory, power, and play. Afrofuturist aesthetic underscores the visual language of these expressions via reclaimed objects, installation, painting and public programming. Pryor's work has been exhibited in major cities such as Chicago, Detroit and New York, with esteemed artist residencies at Hyde Park Art Center; High Concept Labs; and Chicago Council on Science and Technology, respectively. Her visual art and community-based collaborations with nationally recognized organizations and institutions have been instrumental in employing art to encourage young people towards S.T.E.A.M. futures, as applied to a just and equitable society.

Matt Morris is an artist, perfumer, and writer based in Chicago. Morris has presented artwork internationally including Andrew Kreps and Tiger Strikes Asteroid, New York; RUSCHMAN, Berlin, Germany; Netwerk Aalst, Aalst, Belgium; Krabbesholm Højskole, Skive, Denmark; The Suburban, Milwaukee, WI; DePaul Art Museum and Queer Thoughts, Chicago, IL; Mary + Leigh Block Museum of Art, Evanston, IL; Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmhurst, IL; and the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH. Morris contributes to, Art Papers, ARTnews, Flash Art, Fragrantica, Sculpture, The Seen, and X-TRA—additional writing appears in numerous exhibition catalogues and artist monographs. In 2021 chapters of Morris’ writing were included in the anthologies Olfactory Art and the Political in an Age of Resistance, Routledge; and Atem / Breath, De Gruyter, with Dr. Dorothée King. Morris is a transplant from southern Louisiana who holds a BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati and earned an MFA in Art Theory + Practice from Northwestern University, as well as a Certificate in Gender + Sexuality Studies. In 2017 Morris earned a Certification in Fairyology from Doreen Virtue, PhD. Morris is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Morris writes,

"Pryor animates the anthropological through experimental disordering of linear time: historical events, private familial touchstones, trauma, and irrepressible joy are clustered into conceptual ‘tableau vivant,’ acting out upon one another within pryor’s constructs and critical apparatuses. she elevates a strata of lived history often swept away from what is canonically preserved by pernicious systems of power. she collects trails of crumbs that amass into trenchant stories that allow the artist and her audiences to revisit passages of perseverance, ingenuity, and grace within the Black American experience.

food—bread, cheddar, and dough, for instance—is never exclusively metaphoric nor solely literal in pryor’s practice. at the nexus of family recipes, meals recollected, as well as more sweeping analyses of wealth distribution and access to the means to build sustainable approaches to living, the artist traces the material realities of what might be called provisions, nourishment, investment. an accounting of the spiritual, psychological, and social ramifications of feeding and being fed.

pryor’s inquiries press on the fraught pasts and multiple dazzling and disorienting futures of mutual care as a foundational political responsibility. in all seriousness and all playfulness, it’s great to be around what she does.

come see us feb 19!"

Matt Morris

contributing writer to, Art PapersARTnewsFlash ArtFragranticaSculptureThe Seen, and X-TRA