Cherry Gallery

Nov 11 2022- Feb 19, 2023

*closed for Holiday Break, December 23rd-January 13th*

papa preach goes norf is a collection of interdisciplinary media works surrounding the story of safronia, a new opera commissioned by the Lyric Opera of Chicago to be created by avery r. young.

Based on real events, safronia imagines young’s great-grandfather Baar Jacob Booker, and his forced migration to Illinois from the distillery and land Baar owned in Money, Mississippi.

papa preach goes norf features deeply moving works of video, photography, poetry, and installation, gifting Baar (pronounced bear) with an advertisement campaign for his brand of hooch, and using hypnagogic visual text to guide him on his journey north.

About the Artist

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.

photo credit: Sulyiman Stokes

Cherry Gallery, 130 Cherry St, rear entrance

Hours Sat-Sun 12-4pm

Opening reception Fri Nov 11 from 5-8pm.

Reception will include a live musical performance by avery r. young, with dance by Mekeba Malik.

Reservations are required for the performance portion of this free event. Please RSVP!