papa preach goes norf

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Event Category: Events

  • Exhibition runs Nov. 11 through Dec. 18

    The Cherry Arts, Ithaca’s innovative multi-arts hub, is thrilled to announce a solo exhibition by Chicago-based artist avery r. young entitled papa preach goes norf.

    avery r. young is an award-winning poet, visual artist, and musician. His work has been featured in the Hip Hop Theatre Festival, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the American Jazz Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago, and he has been an Artist-In-Residence at the University of Chicago. young’s poetry has been published in numerous anthologies (Theaster Gates called him “one of the most important thinkers on the Black experience”) and his most recent album tubman. was called “brilliant” and “supremely funky” by Black Grooves. He is currently developing a new opera, safronia, commissioned by the Lyric Opera of Chicago to premiere in 2024.

    papa preach goes norf is a collection of interdisciplinary media works surrounding the story of safronia. Based on real events, safronia imagines young’s great-grandfather Baar (pronounced bear) Jacob Booker, and his forced  migration [relocation] to Illinois from the distillery and land Baar owned in Money, Mississippi. The exhibition gifts Baar with an advertisement campaign for his brand of hooch, and uses hypnagogic visual text to guide him on his journey north.

    The opening reception for papa preach goes norf will take place Friday Nov 11 from 5-8pm and will include a live musical performance by avery r. young, with dance by young’s collaborator Mekeba Malik. Reservations will be required for the performance portion of this free event and can be made at

    The exhibition papa preach goes norf is the first of four 2022-23 Cherry Gallery exhibitions to be generously funded by Cornell University’s Migrations Initiative.

    The Cherry Arts Inc. is a multi-arts hub that supports a wide range of artists and community in our Cherry Gallery, Camilla Schade studio, and flexible Cherry Artspace on the Cayuga inlet in West End Ithaca, NY.

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