Shanna Zentner

Not Just Another Pretty Face 2019

Program Overview


Shanna Zentner

At the core of my practice is an interest in narratives of the unknowable. I draw inspiration from religious and scientific illustrations and creation histories. I engage with narrative in painting, drawing, and writing fiction through a combination of material experimentation and storytelling. I aim to query the ways that our cultural understanding of the political is framed through the unknowable by creating stories about what it means to know; drawing attention to the relationship between knowledge and illusion. I draw from the mythemes of alienation, divination, and mutation as they are commonly engaged in science fiction; respectively, as means to examine the fear of the other, the forces beyond our control, and how we define the human. These mythemes emerge in politics via conspiracy, where we encounter archetypes like truthers, birthers, and hackers. Through the recombination of such mythological imagery, my work examines the optics of our cultural world-building.

Through participation in Not Just Another Pretty Face, my hope would be to explore mythologies—personal, political, or both—with a collaborator. I am interested in (but not limited to) possibilities including writing a graphic story together or designing a painting, installation, or mural together. I have some background with scientific illustration, so I am familiar with thinking through creative projects with people who think very differently from myself.







For more information or to commission a unique work of art through Not Just Another Pretty Face, contact Maria Nelson at or 773.324.5520 x1014.