Bio:

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.

Artist statement:

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.

From boats to portraits, everything I make I use to reimagine the meaning of home, the power of collectivity and the imprint history has left on me. By using images that are rooted in commonalities of personal history, I attempt to create a visual vernacular that resonates beyond verbal and individual differences. These works bear an encoded meaning with the intent to trigger some lost need, a feral want for human connection, and collaboration with others and the living world.  The more I experience, the deeper I dig, the more I realize is possible and that means I can’t always predict where I am headed.

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.
I focus on the points of sincerity that stand out and go on to create new stories built around these truths. These reworkings of history and newborn mythology are shaped and guided by my experience in the moments of their creation. The value of these pieces is found not in the final form or in their ability to be sold. It is what they give me in the process of making. For me, making art is about making living sacred.



2003
October 17- The Bent Show, Lobot Gallery, Oakland, CA
November 20- Group Show, Needles and Pens, San Francisco, CA

2004
October 30- Seven Deadly Sins, Onsix Gallery, San Francisco, CA
November 10- Congratulations: collaboration with Jamie Nelson, Burning Tree Cafe, Oakland,CA

2005
January 7- Sacred Geometry, Onsix Gallery, San Francisco, CA
January 28- Interwoven, Onsix Gallery, San Francisco, CA
February 9- Group Show, Chow Restaurant. San Francisco, CA
February 16- Ocean Crossing:Osaka Print Exchange, Oliver Art Center, Oakland, CA
February 16- Ghosts and Monsters, Nexus Gallery, Berkeley,CA
February 23- This Is Home <solo show>, Isabel Percy West Gallery, Oakland, CA
March 18- Bucky Printers, Boontling Gallery, Oakland, CA
April 23- Group Show, Kyle's house, Berkeley, CA
May 14- Every Dog Has It's Day, Red Ink Studios, San Francisco, CA
July 15- Underground, Counter Pulse, San Francisco, CA
July 16- None The Less, Needles and Pens, San Francisco, CA
July 22- Comfort, Mission 17 Gallery, San Francisco, CA
September 9- Laberinth, Red Ink Studios/ Onsix Gallery, San Francisco
September 17- Mission Art Walk: 14th Street Mural Project, Needles and Pens, SF

2006
February 9- Sold Out, White Walls Gallery, San Francisco, CA
February 10- Interwoven, Onsix Gallery, San Francisco, CA
February 15- Osaka Print Exchange, Oliver Art Center, Oakland, CA
June 2 - Ethsix Magazine Launch & Art Exhibition, AR Space, San Francisco, CA
July 6 - Well Hung, White Walls Gallery, San Francisco, CA
July 20 - The Sleeping Habits of Strangers, Cell Space, San Francisco, CA
August 2 - Best of The Bay Show, Onsix Gallery, San Francisco, CA
September 15 - Labyrinth, Red Ink Studios & Onsix, San Francisco, CA
September 25 - Work up at Homemade Cafe, Oakland, CA
October 13 - We Will All Be Well- A Benifit, Space Gallery, San Francisco, CA
October 19 - Oakland: West Side Story, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF, CA
December 1 - The Girls Room, Jen Beckman Gallery, New York, NY
December 2 - The Dispossessed: Solo Show, Needles and Pens, San Francisco, CA
December 14 - Dirty Hands, Cinders Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
December 16 - Gratitude Nights, Benefit, 111 Townsend, SF
December 29 - Destroy Everything Dam, Stuhltrager Gallery, Brooklyn, Ny

2007
February 1 - Illustrious, Compound Gallery, Portland, OR
March 9 - Femmes Forces, Ai Gallery, Chicago, IL
April 15 - Less is More, 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CA
May 11 - Group show, Galleria De La Raza, San Francisco, CA
May 21 - Ethsix Magazine Launch, Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
June 8 - porch Show, Cinders Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
July 19 - Mauled by Tigers Benefit art show, Chicago, IL
July 5 - Benefit show for The Autopsy, Melbourne, Australia
July 27 - Show with The Polariod Kid, Paper Boat Gallery, Milwaukee, WI
August 2 - Fecal Face Art Party, 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CA
September 28 - Downy Bird Art Kingdom Book Release, Onsix Gallery, SF, CA
October 4 - Ethsix Magazine release, 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CA
October 25 - Heap with Swoon + David Ellis, Black Rat Press, London, England
Oct 19 - Jan 13 - Convergence: CCAC Alumni, Oakland Airport, Oakland, CA
November 17 - Pachanga, Galeria de la Raza, San Francisco, CA

2008
February 2 -Group Exchange show, 96 Gillespi, London, England 
March 25 - Feral, with Swoon, The Luggage Store Gallery, San Fancisco, CA
March 7 - Balls Out Show, Grass Hut, Portland, OR
April 5 - Hope Springs Eternal,Needles and Pens. San Francisco, CA
May 9 - Combine, BLVD Gallery. Seattle, WA
August 1 - One long funeral song with Kyle Ranson, Space 1026. Philadelphia, PA
August 9 -'There: new art from oakland' di Rosa Preserve, Napa, CA
September 4 - All cut up @ Roebling Hall. New York, NY
September 7 - mural with David Ellis- unveiling @ Deitch Porjects. Long Island City, NYC
October 2 - LOCALS ONLY @ RVCA. San Francisco, California
October 11 - Art Makes Eye Contact @ Secret Project Robot. Brooklyn, New York
Ocotber 23 - Contain @ Anonymous Gallery. New York, New York
November 29 - Bobby Hutton Memorial Benefit @ The Luggage Store Gallery. San francisco, CA
december 5 - spirit animals/ animal spirit @ sweet hickory. Bloomington, Indiana

2009
February 28 - collaborative show with Hardland + Hartland @ Art of this.MPLS, MN
March 5-8th - Benefit Exhibition for SWOON’s Swimming Cities of Serenissima @ Fountain Art Fair, NYC
March 14- benefit auction #2 for swimming cities @ Secret Project RobotBrooklyn
March 28- Deeper Visions II @ Shelter Surf Shop, Long beach, CA September 11, September 11 - Hot & Cold Zine release and exhibition @ Baer Ridgeway, SF
October 8 - CCA 2009 Illustration Dept Faculty & Alumni Show CCAC. SF, CA
October 15 - Distance Don't Matter: Show with Swoon + others Conrad Carlson, Ben Wolfe, Greg Henderson and Ryan Doyle @ Space. Portland, Maine
November 6 - Gen n @ MACLA. San Jose, CA
November 14 - Juxtapoz 15th Anniversary show @ Factory Palace Arts. LA, CA
November 20 - PANKABESTIA: Punk Beasts of the Swimming Cities of Serenissima @ Annonymous Gallery. New York, New York

2010
April 30 - 'We are dust', solo show @ Cinders, Brooklyn, NYC
Fall 2011- Paper quilt, collaboration with Alexis Mackenzie @ The Berkeley Art Center. Berkeley, CA

Fellowships and Awards-

February 2011- Eureka Fellowship through the Fleishacker Foundation