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Amato, Cheselyn

Born in 1958 in South Orange, NJ with NYC at her core, Amato attended Brown University where she earned a BA in Visual Art with studies in comparative religion in 1980. She moved to Hoboken and worked at the Marilyn Pearl Gallery on 57th Street in Manhattan. She then attended Tyler School of Art of Temple University where she earned an MFA in Painting, Drawing and New Forms. Amato moved to Chicago in 1984 where she taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for nearly twenty years, and since 2006, she has been living and working in Davis, California near Sacramento and San Francisco.

Cheselyn Amato is an interdisciplinary visual artist/poet and transformation experience instigator/designer for sublimity, awe and delight. She has exhibited in the contemporary Jewish museum circuit including the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco as well as The Jewish Museum in NYC and the Spertus Museum of Judaica in Chicago with work in both permanent collections. Amato envisaged Portion/Parashat Nitzavim for the Women of the Book International Women’s Torah Project that was presented at the 2015 Jerusalem Biennale. She is currently a member of AXIS Gallery and resident artist at the Verge Center of the Arts in Sacramento.

Her work is included in the book, 500 Judaica, and has been incorporated in the cover design of several books including Promised Lands published by Brandeis University Press. She is currently working on a poetry volume entitled Gates to Ecstasy. Adding to her toolbox, Cheselyn is currently a spiritual care specialist in training at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. She is also a Certified Lifecycle Celebrant creating and facilitating ceremonies for every kind of transition and transformation under the sun and moon.

“Everything I make is designed as a trigger or context for the experience of enchantment, wonderment, awe, and delight in the face of ever-present uncertainty. And, I work across dimensions with whatever media that can most strongly hold and carry my intentions as I go along. I am celebrating the power of positive thinking and feeling, and offering an invitation to active commitment to discerning and reaching for each our own fullest human potential. Everything that we really need is always with us!”

Selected Exhibitions


All The Love, East Gallery, AXIS Gallery, Sacramento, CA

Uncontrollable Beauty | An Odyssey, AXIS Gallery, Sacramento, CA


The Jerusalem Biennale, “Women of the Book Project,” Jerusalem, Israel

Swag with Love, AXIS Gallery, Sacramento, CA


The Pink Show, Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento, CA


Metaxu: Circumstantial Evidence, Chochmat Halev Gallery, Berkeley, CA

Visual Discourses on the Abrahamic Religions, Islamic Cultural Center, Oakland, CA


Flatlanders on the Slant, Nelson Gallery, UC Davis, CA

The End, Tangent Gallery, Sacramento, CA

Diverse Visions of Harmony, Islamic Cultural Center, Oakland, CA


Discourses in Color, Geometry, Swags, and Swoons, Sierra College, Rocklin, CA

Sanctuaries in Time, JWAN, Kraft Center, Columbia University, NYC


Dura Europos Project, Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA (Jewish Art Salon)

Generation D: Identities, Flomenhaft Gallery, NYC (Jewish Art Salon)

Seduced by the Sacred. JCC/Charter Oak, Hartford, CT (Jewish Art Salon)

The Fear Show, Tangent Gallery, Sacramento, CA

Liberation Garden: Healing and Redemption After Slavery, Afikomen Judaica, Berkeley, CA


Reinventing Ritual, The Jewish Museum, NY, NY

What Does It Say To You?, Spertus Museum, Chicago, IL

The Dorothy Saxe Invitational: 80 Artists at the Passover Table, The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA


The New Authentics, Spertus Museum, Chicago, IL

Flatlanders: Regional Roundup II, Nelson Gallery, UC Davis, CA


Studio 18 Gallery, New York, NY


The Hidden Garden, The Gershman JCC, Philadelphia, PA, curated by Miriam Seidel


Ner Tamid, Curators’ Choice, Spertus Museum of Judaica, Chicago, IL

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