ON VIEW: February 19 – March 26, 2023

Shonna Pryor Header

Opening Reception: Sunday, February 19, 1-4pm.

The reception will also feature "In conversation with Shonna Pryor and Matt Morris" beginning at 3pm.

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.


I think of my found objects as reclaimed testimonials with previous lives. In their studio re-awakenings, these object griots become story catalysts, fundamentally engaging food-referencing concepts as a way-to-the-heart-through-the-belly of identity, memory, power and play…the food brings you to the meeting but the agency makes you stay. My creative practice aspires toward nourishing pathways that generate questions, broaden perspectives, and inspire action-to-positive-change both personally, as well as within broader social frameworks. It imagines the spirit of sentient webs of underground railroads linking the past/present/future of my ancestral collective conscious. These ideas, as serviced by select multidisciplinary media and making become conduits that toggle between the immediacy of the actual and the possibilities of the speculative…with a dash of Oshunna’s cayenne;)

The exhibition aligns with Black History Month, including a nod to the city of Evanston as the first to advance reparations to qualified descendants of enslaved black Americans.


This exhibition will be held in the Main Second Floor + Atrium Gallery of the Evanston Art Center (EAC). Masks are optional but strongly recommended for students, visitors and staff.

Gallery Hours

Monday–Thursday: 9am–6pm

Friday: 9am–5pm

Saturday–Sunday: 9am–4pm


Artwork sale proceeds benefit both the artist and the Evanston Art Center. If you are interested in purchasing artwork on display, please contact Audrey Avril, Manager of Exhibitions, at [email protected] or (847) 475-5300 x 107.

This project is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and EAC's general membership.

Artwork Shown (L to R, Clockwise): Shonna Pryor, Deliberation in Boogie Wonderland --  a photo reference, 2022.