Cherisse Alcantara (b. Philippines) is a Filipina-American painter based in San Francisco. Her art is a meditation on place and the need to dwell longer. While engaging with the observed world and the formal language of painting, she conjures imaginary spaces that are anchored in the familiar and reimagines the spaces of everyday. Inspired by the areas she inhabits or navigates, including the built environment and nearby landscapes, she explores light, luminosity, color, abstract design, and representation. She reflects upon the urban and human-made world in her current series.

She received her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (2021) and her B.A. Art Practice from the University of California-Berkeley (2013). She has shown locally and nationally including at Vessel Gallery (Oakland, CA), Pence Gallery (Davis, CA), Arc Gallery (San Francisco), Piedmont Center for the Arts, Site: Brooklyn Gallery, Berkeley Art Center, and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum. Her recent awards include the Murray Dessner Memorial Travel Award upon her MFA graduation, a residency at Jentel in 2019, and the Hopper Prize as a finalist in 2021. She received the 2022 Kreative Growth Grant from Balay Kreative, a Filipinx arts center in the SOMA Pilipinas district of San Francisco, where she is currently a resident artist. Her project, which explores the urban landscape and significant sites in the SOMA Pilipinas and South of Market neighborhood, will be presented during Undiscovered SF this coming October, 2022.

I seek to spend time with and hold on to places a little longer through my practice. It becomes a meditation on place and the need to dwell longer. Living in our hyperactive society, I feel estranged from space and time. Additionally, having come from a fragmented personal and cultural background, my experiences of home and place are of loss and disconnect.

My paintings are anchored in the familiar and reimagine the spaces of everyday. While engaging with the observed world and the formal language of painting, I conjure imaginary spaces. I reflect upon the objects and areas I navigate or inhabit, including my home and neighborhood, the built environment, and nearby landscapes. I am exploring the urban and built world in my current series while thinking about modern existence, including the new developments, and public and private spaces.

The identities and specificities of my subjects, their underlying structure, abstract design, and positive and negative spaces within shapes and colors are captivating. Drawn to light, luminosity, and vivid colors that recall our technological culture, I work with thinly layered paint and iridescent pigments to create luminous surfaces. Light and shadow and construction and deconstruction within the natural and human-made environment are recurring themes that remind me of the presence of time.