For the past several years, the buzz about Oakland’s gallery scene has been growing. Downtown Oakland has fast become a hub for art and culture, along with great food and drinks, and is often a destination for art lovers on the first Friday of each month. Among the highlights in downtown Oakland is Chandra Cerrito Contemporary, a gallery and curatorial project space that exhibits both regional and national artists. Chandra Cerrito Contemporary will be participating in the first edition of If So, What? with a solo exhibition by San Francisco-based artist Amy Ho. Check out our interview below with Chandra Cerrito.
If So, What?: How did Chandra Cerrito Contemporary come about, and what was your vision for the gallery?
Chandra Cerrito: Established in 2007 as a curatorial project space in Oakland’s Art + Garage District, Chandra Cerrito Contemporary (CCC) features exhibitions and site-specific installations by exceptional regional and national artists. The gallery highlights work with conceptual strength, refined craftsmanship, contemporary vision, and art historical relevance. Artist talks led by curators, critics, and other arts professionals foster community dialogue and education. In 2017, CCC launched Peripheral Visions, a unique residency program that provides a platform for artists and curators of wide-ranging backgrounds and perspectives to present meaningful and compelling projects that incorporate the gallery’s physical space and engage its community.
ISW: You will be presenting a solo exhibition by Amy M. Ho. Can you tell us a little bit about her work and why you feel like she will be a good fit for If So, What?
CC: We are thrilled to present a solo exhibition of light-based works by local artist Amy M. Ho. Amy's immersive video projection installations and more intimate light box artworks investigate psychological aspects of space. Amy is known for a pared down aesthetic – representing physical space through its essential forms – and for experiential installations akin to architectural-scale environments. Her seamless and sophisticated incorporation of technology within fine art complements the innovative vision of If So, What?
ISW: How did you approach curating your booth for If So, What? differently than you might for another event or fair?
CC: For If So, What? we have decided to present a solo exhibition by a local artist who is celebrated for work that incorporates technology. As opposed to other fairs in which we might curate works by multiple artists within the booth, we are excited to take this as an opportunity to offer an experiential installation by an exceptional up-and-coming artist.
Amy Ho's work is inherently encompassing and engaging. Her installations encourage slowing down and paying attention in order to observe subtleties of both what is being viewed and one's own kinesthetic and psychological responses.
ISW: What is exciting to you about If So, What?
CC: We are excited about the international scope, curated installations, interesting discussion series, and music program that are part of If So, What?.
ISW: What do you have coming up at the gallery that visitors to If So, What? should know about?
CC: Chandra Cerrito Contemporary will be presenting Kintsugi, a solo exhibition by Esther Traugot curated by Virginia Tominia, which opens on May 4, 2018. For this new body of work Traugot looks to the Japanese practice of kintsugi by applying ‘golden repairs’ to natural specimens including an elk antler, deer skeleton, moth, river stones, and goose egg shells. She yokes, softens, and venerates broken and dismissed natural objects, delicately repairing or blanketing them with tiny, gold-colored crochet stitches. Her interventions reveal both the essence and presence of the object.
ISW: Very cool! We can’t wait to check it out!