Cece Carpio Artist Statement
As an immigrant woman in this country, the Black Liberation Movement has paved the path for the Third World diaspora to be here. Oakland, the home that birthed the Black Panther Party, holds a legacy that has been an inspiration to many of us in our own fight for equity. It is important for us to show our stand of solidarity to defend Black Lives in our communities.
I called up artist friends along with our collective, Trust Your Struggle, to paint boarded-up businesses downtown to create images of unity and solidarity. “We Got Us” is one of a dozen murals we painted in the course of two weeks during the racial reckoning and uprising in the summer of 2020. This mural was created with Robert Liu-Trujillo, Nisha Kaur Sethi, and Priya Handa and Trust Your Struggle Collective.
Downtown Oakland became an outdoor exhibition–the plywood boards on business window fronts were the best canvasses to show solidarity with the Black community. If we create images that bring attention to what needs to be changed and the world we want to see, those images will be soaked in people’s consciousness.
As artists, this is how we protest. This is how we know how to give radical love for the Black communities whose call for racial justice is directly tied to ours, acknowledging that their fight paved the way for us to be here to fight. These are all works in progress, as we are in progress to dismantle white supremacy. We want to show that we’re stronger together and that we are here to fight.
In solidarity and through this fire, we will rise.
Cece Carpio Biography
Using acrylic, ink, aerosol and installations, Cece Carpio tells stories of immigration, ancestry, collective movements, and our stories of resilience. She documents evolving traditions through combining folkloric forms, bold portraits and natural elements with urban art techniques.
Living and working in the Bay Area, she is inspired by the cultural potency of communities of color and of the prominent history of social movements that have become influential expressions for the rest of the world to see. The unique and complex narratives in the Bay have been at the forefront of creativity, invigorating popular culture and allowing communities to imagine and create another world possible. She paints everyday people who have been invincible to share their thriving presence and show the dignity and power of their existence. As a visual storyteller, Cece paints to lift up her communities, share their stories and provoke the power of their imagination.
Cece has produced and exhibited work throughout the globe. She has been awarded the Rockwood Institute Fellowship, NYFA Immigrant Artist Fellowship, a teaching residency at Café R.E.D & La Botica Espacio Cultural at Xela, Guatemala, an artist residency with KulArts at SOMA and Asian Art Museum in SF and a recent honoree with YBCA 100 2020.
She has been commissioned by the City of Oakland, YBCA, UC Berkeley, and OMCA. She served as a Public Art Advisor for the City of Oakland, and is currently working as the Galleries Manager for the San Francisco Arts Commission
She can often be found with her collective, Trust Your Struggle, teaching, and traveling around the world in pursuit of the perfect wall.