Monica Canilao compiles a living history by weaving her personal experiences with physical remnants of past lives. Through meticulous painting, cutting, building, sewing, and layering, Canilao uses recycled materials to transform forgotten objects and familiar imagery into a personal vernacular of newborn mythology. Inspired from native traditions and contemporary subcultures alike, she explores interconnections between: the past and present; the personal and communal; the commonplace and the sacred. In 2005 she received her BFA from California College of Arts and Crafts and has shown internationally in galleries, community spaces, and abandoned places. In 2013 Canilao was awarded the Eureka Fellowship by The Fleishhacker Foundation. She has been teaching for over ten years, heading classes at The Berkeley Museum and The San Francisco Day School. Constantly in motion, Canilao moves between her studio in Oakland, her ‘Treasure Nest’ art house in Detroit and wherever else she is invited to create. Canilao’s recent projects include installations at Subliminal projects in Los Angeles, collaborative underwater work with Swoon at Miami Art Basel, an installation at The Seafoam Palace of Art & Amusement in Detroit, and installations on the Navajo Nation as part of the Painted Desert Project. Monica is currently working on a collaborative project for Outsider Books with photographer Aaron Huey called Shelter that will layer Huey’s imagery with her own through a variety of media.
Leonard Knight (1931-2014) was a contemporary artist who spent the last 28 years of his life building Salvation Mountain, a literal man-made mountain near California’s Salton Sea. What started as a small monument made of dirt and cement became a sprawling adobe and hay-bale complex including peripheral found-object structures, as well as art cars and sculptures that crept across the landscape. Leonard coated everything in his signature patchwork of stripes and color blocks, pouring over half a million gallons of donated latex paint onto his creation. His sole purpose in his work was to spread the message that “God is Love.” Today the monumental environment he built, recognized by congress as a “national treasure,” is one of the most important examples of Outsider art in the world. Knight is the subject of Outsider’s upcoming Where the Heaven Flowers Grow, the trade and limited editions of which include reproductions of his art objects.
Stanley Good Voice Elk (b. 1959) is an Oglala Lakota Heyoka (Sacred Clown), living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Stanley draws and paints the visions he has in ceremonies and dreams in his small home in the village of Oglala. The drawings are made on any paper he can find, often the lined paper his children use for school, or other scarp paper he finds. The drawings refer to the future, the spirits he speaks to, and many are literal maps of the passage ways he takes through the spirit world. In that place he sees the mask he must wear, how to perform healings, and warnings for the future. Through these visions and healings he helps to guide his people through the struggles of Reservation life as they walk between worlds. Stanley contributed 16 drawing and oral histories about his visions as part of the collaborative Super Limited Edition of Mitakuye Oyasin: All My Relations.
Travis Lone Hill (b. 1984) is an artist living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. During a prolonged stay at the South Dakota State penitentiary Travis created pen and ink drawings on the back of his prison paperwork and on the cardboard inside of kleenex boxes. For Outsider’s release of the collaborative Super Limited Edition of Mitakuye Oyasin: All My Relations, Travis contributed 7 drawings that were each reproduced in a limited edition of 50.
Aaron Huey (b. 1975) is a contemporary photographer based in Seattle, WA. He is known for a wide range of photographic projects including his 2002 solo walk across America, his 2010 image based TED talk (on Native American Treaty rights), his collaborations with street artist Shepard Fairey, and his feature work for National Geographic magazine. The sold out first edition of his book Mitakuye Oyasin won the Best Photography Book Award at the 2014 Independent Publisher Awards. For his photography of Leonard Knight and Salvation mountain Huey was awarded the VQR prize for photography in 2013.