Amanda Eicher
Graduate Student

Contact information


Group: Department of Art Practice

Web site:

Personal statement

Within the world of art there are certain disciplines of production that have long been established and legitimized as valid art practices that have not anchored themselves among popular culture. When confronted with the Social Practice based work of artist Amanda Jane Eicher most people are forced to let go of their traditional ideas of what art is, and its intentions. In addition, when looking at Eicher's work the viewer is faced with a practice that provokes one to think of not only the different roles that artists embody but also one is triggered to deal with topics that aren't just related to art, but how the work also relates to ideas of activism, education, research, social responsibility, cultural dynamics, migration, the local and the global, collaboration and ethics, just to name a few.

For the past 7 years Eicher has been part of the San Francisco State University-based Colima Project, a community arts program based in the country of El Salvador and for five of those years Eicher has been the project coordinator and instructor for the pertaining course at SFSU. For a month each summer Eicher has taken a group of multi-disciplinary students from SFSU to the small community of Colima to engage with its residents in whatever way they see their discipline fitting to the community's voiced needs. The results are organic projects that engage the viewer in a meta-narrative that comes out of workshops, dialogue and close listening.

In the summer of 2009 some of the projects culminated in the production of the first map created by residents of Colima; a cookbook project based on health and local gastronomical traditions; the learning, teaching and sharing of folk dance; and a mural centering on local environmental conservation issues; as well a road sign to warn speeding drivers of pedestrians. This deeply personal and continuous engagement with the community of Colima is central in understanding Eicher’s commitment in creating relationships between the local and the global or as Eicher would put it herself,  “I think my love for this way of working comes from an interest in amalgamations and all other kinds of mixing, in which contrasting influences and ideas create a little chaos and a lot of power for generating new possibilities”. The truly beautiful that is inherent in Eicher's work is precisely the "new" or endless "possibilities" that can manifest themselves not through preconceived ideas and actions of the artist(s) or Art itself, but from a impetus of truthful story telling and a sincere love for engaging people and community.

(Text by Plinio Hernandez, MFA Class of 2011)