Spaces From Yesterday: The Garage

August 5-September 29, 2016

 Amy M. Ho,  The Garage , 2016

Amy M. Ho, The Garage, 2016

By Amy M. Ho
with Bobby Dean Evans, Jr.

Spaces from Yesterday is a collaborative project between Bay Area-based artist Amy M. Ho and incarcerated artists from San Quentin State Prison. The project explores memory, imagination, and the experience of space. 

Based on the inmate artists’ illustrations of places significant to them before prison, Ho will create a series of large-scale video and architectural installations that transform their memories into real spaces and environments. Visitors will be able to walk around as well as enter the built environment. The installations will not be recreations of the spaces exactly as they existed, but instead will explore the experience of remembering space.

The first of five installations, The Garage, will debut at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary. The installation is based on the garage workspace at the childhood home of Bobby Dean Evans, Jr., a place where he could retreat from the world and focus on creative endeavors such as woodworking and working on his car and motorcycle. His memories of the garage are filled with a sense of hope and infinite possibility that embodied that time in his life. Ho’s version of this space will pay tribute to Evans’s story and experiences, bringing to life a memorythat has served as a place of refuge and peace.

Ho describes an important part of her experience at San Quentin has been listening to a plethora of stories that the inmates recount from their lives before prison. “Decades old, these memories intertwine with imagination and stay alive in their minds as sacred ties to the outside world.” 

Ho plans to exhibit subsequent installations from the series at future venues, to be announced. The artist gratefully acknowledges the support of Zellerbach Family Foundation, Oakland Stock, William James Association, and San Quentin State Prison.

Amy M. Ho earned an MFA from Mills College in Oakland. She received both a BA and BS from the University of California, Berkeley. She has exhibited her work in Japan, the Czech Republic, and in the U.S., primarily throughout the Bay Area, including at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Asian Art Museum, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, the Bedford Gallery, and many others. This is Ho’s fourth exhibition at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary.

Bobby Dean Evans Jr. grew up in Winton, California and creates mixed media art and origami. He is a contributor to “Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline,” published by the Harvard Editorial Review.  Evans is currently incarcerated at the Deuel Vocational Institute in Tracy, California.

Click here to see the installation of The Garage at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary

Click here to hear Amy discuss the project