Hello, I am

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aka Francesca Mateo

(she/her)

Accolades

2021
Kapwa Gardens Mural Resident for Balay Kreative, a Fil-Am Arts Hub in SoMa Pilipinas, San Francisco's Pilipino Cultural Heritage District.

2018-2020
Filipinx Teaching Artist Fellow for Root Division, teaching her own curriculum to the youth of Galing Bata. Galing Bata serves the youth of SoMa Pilipinas.

2016
Awarded "Most Original Research" for thesis Challenging Colonial Mentality with Philippine Art when earning her Master of Arts in International Studies at the University of San Francisco

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I'm an artist, educator, founder of community-first clothing brand @empireintheair, contributor to Philippines livelihood program @grow.ph by @projectpearls, and fly Pinay from all over San Francisco Bay Area aka Ohlone Land.

Whether teaching or creating, my work is intersectional in its roots to nature, feminism, and the dismantling of colonial mindsets. My art practice includes watercolor and digital illustration, mixed media, and fashion. You can catch me teaching art, decolonization for Fil-Ams, or how to use art as a tool for decolonizing to youth and adults.

When not teaching or creating, I'm coordinating events with the @empireintheair team that serve as platforms for other artists and small businesses throughout the Bay while collaborating with local organizations as well.

And... when not doing any of the above... I'm either running, hiking, eating Hot Cheetos, happy crying over vegan Filipino food, or being bothered by my spouse @chrissnguyen

Alongside ChiChai's personal practice, she currently works for different non-profit organizations

Fashion Design Instructor for the free after-school program Youth Art Exchange  for San Francisco public high school students

Project PEARLS Co-Founder and Product Designer for GROW, the livelihood program of Project PEARLS in the Philippines aimed to empower women living in extreme poverty.

Let's Collab

Want to invite ChiChai as a teacher or speaker? Interested in inquiring a custom artwork? Simply want to say hello and tell her if you're an air, fire, earth, or water bender? Fill out this form and she will get back to you in 1-3 days.

In case you're wondering, she considers herself a firebender.

Thank you for reaching out! I will get back to you shortly.