Monica Canilao

EXHIBITION DATES: 04/12/2018 - 08/09/2019


currently Based: SAN FRANCISCO





Living in the heart of Oakland, Monica spends her days stitching, painting, printing, and building and breathing life into the refuse that dominates her surroundings. Moving across different media, sometimes with friends and sometimes alone, Monica is involved in creating a delicate visual record of her personal and communal space. She received a BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts, and her work has been shown both in internationally and nationally: at The Luggage Store Gallery (San Francisco), Inner State Gallery (Michigan), Chandran Gallery (SF), Black Rat Press (London), Subliminal Projects (LA), and at KRETS (Sweden).

She has also done large-scale public art installations at Miami Art Basel. Her work has been displayed in
community spaces and abandoned places worldwide. She currently has exhibits up at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art &History and at New Image Art. Monica, along with Xara Thustra, will be painting the entryway to the Great Hall at Oakland Museum in March. 

Creating art is a way to generate a personal and living history.
— Monica Canilao

My community and collaborators, my descendants and their all but lost traditions, as well as my neighborhood and its trash piles, are all integral to my life and art.

My pieces incorporate my worldview as well as the beauty found in what people have left behind over time and its subsequent decay. I rely as much on the loving and careful meticulousness employed in making handicrafts as on the techniques of high art. Taking something as ordinary as wood pulp or cloth and passing thread through it can result in an object that is beautiful and useful.

Art for me is about making living sacred.
— Monica Canilao

TIMELAPSE: Monica canilao @836M