MT-featured artist wins East Bay props

July 21, 2011
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The cover of this week's East Bay Express

You may recall Bay Area artist and Powerhouse contributor Monica Canilao — she was recently featured in the Metro Times cover story “The party at the end of the world.” The 27-year-old artist brought a number of Bay Area artists to Detroit last year to help Canilao transform an abandoned house — along with such other internationally recognized artists as Callie Swoon, Ben Wolf and Richard Colman — into a piece of art. The crew she brought included artist and metal fabricator Ryan C. Doyle, who then fell in love with the city and set up shop in the back of Russell Industrial Center to build his art cars.

Well, the intrepid Canilao has just garnered some new honors. Oakland’s alt-weekly, the East Bay Express, has named her Best Artist, saying Canilao “creates the kind of distinctive art that is so enrapturing in its aesthetic that it kind of makes you wish the real world could look the way she must view it. … In recent years, her talent has been widely recognized in glossy magazines and at faraway galleries — recently she’s been in Michigan using discarded goods to transform a dilapidated Detroit house into a sort of walk-in wonderland — but the heart behind her art remains in Oakland.”

Congratulations, Canilao. (Although we’d like to think a bit of your heart will always be here.)

Harrison Bartlett (left) and Monica Canilao (right) in front of a massive "chandelier" they created for their Powerhouse project in Detroit. (Photo by Travis R. Wright)