Cass Davis


MFA 2017
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

questionsfromthesoil (at)

Cass Davis is a Chicago-based artist with an MFA (2017) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Fiber and Material Studies.

Through performance, video, installation and sculpture, Cass Davis’ work examines their own Midwestern Evangelical upbringing. Davis is interested in understanding relationships between redemption, resurrection, embodied trauma, and the failure of the American dream. Their work exhumes the violence embedded within white supremacy and patriarchal domination. Inversely, they are enchanted by the power of spiritual ecstasy and how the reclamation of ritual might offer the queer and marginalized body a transcendent experience. 

Davis’ work also reimagines rural materials like corn and hay, and spaces like the revival or parade —and expands the archival and photographic into embodied form. Through the hand-sewn, hand-woven, and hand-printed, Davis’ process embodies the obsessive devotion of the Believer. 

Davis’ solo shows include Out of Time at Engage Projects, HEARTLAND at G-CADD St. Louis, No Body on Earth But Yours with the Chicago Underground Film Festival, and Of Roses and Jessamine at SUGS gallery, Chicago. Davis has shown in group exhibitions and screenings at the Bemis Center in Omaha, NE, York St. John University, UK, Tile Blush in Miami, FL, The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, The American Medium in NYC, Terrain Biennial, Mana Contemporary, Chicago Home Theater Festival, Sullivan Galleries, and the Silent Funny in Chicago, IL. They have been awarded the Praxis Fiber Arts Residency, HATCH Residency, Oxbow Artist's MFA Residency, Roger Brown Artist's Residency, and the IOTO Summer Residency, Shapiro Center Eager Research Grant, the World Less Traveled Grant, Dean’s Merit Scholarship, and have been lecturing faculty in Fiber and Material Studies at SAIC.