Monica Canilao: The Light Within

Released Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Light Within, by Monica Canilao.
15% of the sale of this print goes to Victory Junction.

Monica Canilao's interest in the ideas of home, community, and the passage of time are sewn delicately together in her large paper and fabric structures, installations and sculptures. She uses found objects, paper, printing, and fiber to juxtapose the profundity of simply having a home with the ephemeral nature of spaces, community, and life itself. The beautiful privilege of a home, while fortified by a supportive community, is often examined near the hum of the electrical wires or the headlights of bulldozers making way for 'development'. But Monica keeps things simple: she understands that even the most fleeting moments can be the most poignant ones, and so she is fearless in her use of disintegrating materials such as paper, fiber, love, and hope.

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About the print:
The Light Within is a painting made inside of a very old mirror that shattered one day. The girl within it sits outside the confines of the school and runs off to be free out in the world, to learn at her own pace. Her hoop skirt and clothing are collaged from old wallpaper. Outside she can daydream.

This print is available in multiple sizes. It was digitally signed by the artist. The 8x10 and 11x14 prints are numbered by The Working Proof. Learn more here.


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What has inspired you recently?
I have been traveling between projects for months now. Where I am becomes my home and my days are driven by the work at hand. I have been in Detroit making costumes and props for a film called "Orion", and have been translating the essence of my being into the film's world. I am inspired by working with other driven people on projects that push and challenge me.

Why did you choose to pair Victory Junction with your print?
I chose Victory Junction because children deserve amazing adventures and exposure to nature.  It shapes who they become and expands their ability to dream bigger when things are rough for them. As a teacher, it is obvious how much special attention helps kids grow stronger, especially those with illness.

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How have you seen art transform the world around you?
I think art is a tool which allows people to externalize what is inside of them, to connect to one another, to build community, and to make the world a brighter place to exist in. In Detroit I have watched artwork bring life back into neighborhoods past the point of saving. I have seen community projects break language, race, and age barriers and connect people through a common goal - wanting things to be better and more beautiful. I have seen people's perspectives on living broaden and be altered by exposing them to new ways of creative reuse. I have taught children art and see how much it benefits their communication skills, self expression, and confidence.

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