Cherisse Alcantara (b. Philippines) is a Filipina-American painter who lives and works in San Francisco. She received her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (2021) and BA in Art Practice from the University of California-Berkeley (2013). She has shown locally and nationally. Her recent awards include the PAFA Murray Dessner Memorial Travel Award, Jentel residency, the Hopper Prize, and the 2022 Balay Kreative Grant. She examines her surroundings and the constructed world in search of a deeper connection with reality and the everyday through painting. Focusing on the ordinary and ephemeral moments presented in a new light, she engages with color, formal relationships, and representation, while meditating on transience, dwelling, and finding belonging in her luminous paintings.
With a focus on the ordinary and ephemeral moments presented in a new light, I examine my surroundings and the constructed world in search for a deeper connection with reality and the everyday through painting. My practice allows me to find duration as I pay closer attention to the spaces I navigate or inhabit while meditating on transience, dwelling, and finding belonging. I am also drawn to my encounters with natural elements like plants and trees. I have an affinity and a fascination with the natural world and moments that remind me of the presence of time, for they give me grounding and teach me to care. It is my way of responding to the hyperactivity, fragmented attention, and constant consumption I experience within this contemporary moment. In my past works, I reimagine familiar landscapes, including tree groves and caverns, as mental and mysterious spaces. The works become visual interpretations that explore light, luminosity, the expressive possibilities of color, shapes, formal relationships, and the identities and particularities of my subjects.
Balay Kreative Grant Project (Fall 2022)
I created six paintings during my residency in the SOMA Pilipinas cultural district of San Francisco. These works explore my encounters and affinity with natural elements like plants and trees within these constructed environments. They meditate on transience, dwelling, finding belonging, ephemeral moments within the ordinary, and personal and cultural memory. Through parks and public spaces, I reflect upon the history and the continued presence of the Filipinx community in SOMA Pilipinas and the South of Market neighborhood. I continue to examine my relationship with reality and my surroundings while presenting the everyday in a new light.