In the heart of Oakland, California, Monica Canilao spends her days stitching, painting, printing, and breathing life into the refuse that dominates our time and place. Moving across media, sometimes with friends and sometimes alone, Canilao makes a delicate visual record of the personal and communal. She received a BFA from California College of Arts and Crafts and has shown in galleries, community spaces, abandoned places and … worldwide.
"Art is a way to communicate and engage with others transcending distance, time, or place. My images and installations, like the communities and experiences they draw upon, become symbiotic. My life and art are modes of intentional living borrowing from native traditions and contemporary subcultures. You take care of one another. You draw strength and nourishment from your roots. You use and appreciate what you have. "- Monica Canilao
Here is the conversation with the Monica Canilao:
More from the artist:
"The only constant in my life has been that I've always wanted to be creating, building, drawing, altering. My art practice is a way to generate a personal and living history. My community and collaborators, my roots and their nearly lost traditions, my neighborhood and its trash piles are all integral, necessary parts of my life and art. The way I go through the world, the beauty of people’s effort throughout time, and their subsequent decay end up in my pieces. I look as much to the loving meticulousness of handicrafts as to the techniques of high art. Taking something as ordinary as wood pulp or cloth and passing thread through it can make common things beautiful and useful." - Monica Canilao