18 March 2012

Artist Bio

Amanda Jane Eicher, b. 1976, Washington, Pennsylvania
lives and works in San Francisco, CA

In my practice of community-based and relational artwork, I am examining how individuals and groups activate and come to terms with social, cultural, and personal change and exchange.

I came to California in 1999 looking for an environment in which to explore collaboration, generosity in artwork, and cultural exchange. In 2001, with Andrew McKinley, owner of Adobe Bookshop, we opened The Back Room Gallery, a project space gallery within the bookshop which I curated for three years and which went on to become one of ArtForum's picks of 2010. 
Upon leaving the gallery, I became a participant and ultimately the lead artist for The Colima Project in El Salvador, an art and development artist residency and short-term study abroad program through San Francisco State University. 
This program has now become a project of METAS, a weekend enrichment program at Contra Costa College, through the La Raza studies department where I teach, for families to gain cultural proficiency and academic and employment competency for success.
I also teach courses in art and social practice in the Art Practice Department at UC Berkeley, where I received my MFA in 2010.

Throughout my career as a teacher and a student, I have worked with collaborative projects such as the art and food collective OPENrestaurant; The Citizens Laboratory, a group of artists addressing art's role in civic and public life; and cultural exchange projects such as Tillers of the Horizon, a research fellowship in Rwanda looking at women's approaches to community-building and design; and B'Dom, a CEC Artslink residency in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan where we designed art programs and a studio for children at B'Art, a contemporary arts center in Bishkek. 
I am currently developing projects as a member of the curatorial board at Southern Exposure, as well as continuing collaborations with OPENrestaurant, with the UC Futures Working Group of the UC Faculty and Botkyrka Residency Center outside of Stockholm, Sweden. 

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