The Future is Breath

83 3Arts supporters
$11,020 raised of $6,000 goal
0 Days 0:00:00 LEFT
Funded on June 01, 2023
    • 184% contributed

With this new and immersive art installation, I am celebrating the enormous vision of Speculative Fiction writer, Octavia E. Butler. Just as Octavia used writing to be able to see herself, her legacy in doing so has allowed so many brown faced girls the ability to see themselves in future spaces. She did this for me, and so, I am inviting you along to walk through and experience some of her worlds.

About This Project

I first read the novel Kindred in college. Here was a young, bright Black woman, an early career writer, who, in my imagination looked like me. She was me. Well, at least until she started time travelling. Octavia Butler allowed me into a world of fantasy and possibility and wonder which has always remained.

In 2018, with my solo show, SO BE IT. SEE TO IT, I visually retold seven of Butler’s novels through the medium of collage. The exhibition was first mounted as part of the Hotel Pfister’s Residency Program in Milwaukee and then at Hampshire College when Parable of the Sower was the campus read. I thought that I was finished with Octavia after that show, but clearly, Octavia was not finished with me.

This fall, I was offered a showing in the Kanter Gallery at the Hyde Park Art Center. But what would it be? As the entanglements of our lived world played out over a pandemic, over civil and social unrest, discord, and questionable politics, we all engaged in conversations of fairness, of leadership, of democracy, of food deserts, of inequalities, of “otherness.” Kinda like an Octavia Butler novel. So, there--she pulled me back in!

This exhibition, entitled The Alien-Nation and Sovereign States of Octavia E. Butler, will combine the imagined worlds of Butler’s Xenogenesis series and her Parables series along with my visual imagination. It will open to a diverse audience on November 11, 2023 and be on view until March 13, 2024 at the Hyde Park Art Center.

The installation will include film, sculptural elements, printmaking, collage, and a reading corner. It will ask you to question, it will offer you beauty, it will ask you to step inside of your own imagination. Step into The Future is Breath.

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $20
    Social media shoutout, plus a “welcome to the chlee club” (an exclusive group of chlee art supporters who get advance chlee art information). ($20.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    A signed “Octaviascape” notecard (suitable for framing!), plus social media shoutout and “welcome to the chlee club.” ($34.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100
    A lined, 8” x 8” journal with “Octaviascape” on the cover (120 pp, signed and numbered, limited edition of 50), plus your name listed in the legend, “welcome to the chlee club,” and social media shoutout. ($50.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $250
    Above, plus opportunity to list up to two names of your choosing in the “Octaviascape” limited edition journal. ($185.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500
    Exclusive invitation to an artist-guided walk-through of the exhibit and up to 3 friends, followed by tea service in Candace’s studio, plus the limited-edition journal, “welcome to the chlee club,” and social media shout-out. ($350.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $1000
    Exclusive invitation to the final dinner, “The Future is Breath,” held at the Hyde Park Art Center (early December, five spaces available), plus the limited-edition journal, “welcome to the chlee club,” and social media shout out. ($850.00 is tax deductible.)

Candace Hunter

Chandler Family Awardee

Candace Hunter (chlee) creates collage, paintings, installations and performance art. She tells stories. Through the use of appropriated materials from magazines, vintage maps, cloth, various re-used materials, she offers the new landscape of materials  back to the viewer with a …

View Candace Hunter's profile
  • Update 1: Six hours to go!
    Posted on May 31, 2023


    Hello My Darlings!

    We are close to the end of "The Future is Breath" campaign with a number above our "stretch" - 10,650.00!!!

    I am overwhelmed with gratitude and joy and realize that with your help, the show will be all that I have imagined.

    And possibly at 11:59, I can report yet another number!

    With massive amounts of love,



    Update 2: We did it!
    Posted on June 02, 2023


    Oh My Darlings, Oh My Dears!

    We did it. We met our initial goal (with a 2K hand up from 3Arts!) by the end of the second day of the campaign. We then exceeded the stretch goal ending up at $11,020. - more than double our goal! And because of you! So, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Now, I need to start thanking you properly. For a lot of you, there are rewards coming your way, but to fulfill them, I need to have your physical mailing address. So, if you would be so kind, would you send your physical mailing address to: The first level of rewards will go out in the mail starting next week.

    But - keep these dates: Opening November 11 and running through March 3. Please plan on being here for the work during these dates. Also, there are some exciting programs in concert with the exhibition. I will keep you up to date via these updates just for you.

    Love you. Seriously.


    Update 3: Octavia's Lilith!
    Posted on July 25, 2023


    "The Future is Breath"

    Hello My Lovely Octavia Family!

    Wanted to give you an update. The shooting of the film portion is complete! We were lucky to have on board the incredible Stephanie Graham as Director and Chris Rejano as Cinematographer. Our Lilith was Aiesha Wright. 

    I designed and built the set with the ever gracious Arthur Wright in three days. After rehearsals, a getting to know you dinner, working with a movement specialist - Kimosha Murphy - we shot on Saturday at the Hyde Park Art Center during it's "Center Days"!  Probably the busiset day at the Center all year.  We were able to allow interested parties and future filmmaers to watch some of the process and for several teens to ask questions of our Cinematographer. It was a great day for all.

    Next up? Editing. I am so excited,

    Thank you once again for being on this ride with me!!!

    Update 4: Octavia and Candace in Chicago magazine
    Posted on October 03, 2023


    Dear Hearts,

    Octavia and Candace are featured in the Chicago magazine "Best of Fall" issue as well as the Hyperallergenic Arts website. We are doing this!

    See you in November (or December or January or February or Fall!).

    Update 5: Octavia and New City
    Posted on October 31, 2023


    So, we had a two page feature in Chicago magazine early in the month and just yesterday, we got a two page spread in New City!!!

    The show will be open to the public November 11. Let me know when you might be coming.

    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

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make it work


3AP Presenting Partner:

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 Additional support provided by: 

Department of Cultural Affairs logo  Illinois Arts Council