Cheselyn Amato is an interdisciplinary visual artist, experiential designer, sanctity-imbued space/place designer, and a sound and spoken-text improvisational performer committed to the celebration and healing of self, others, humanity, the world, and the cosmos. She makes work to constantly rediscover love and loving and to keep the embers of transformational possibility stoked. All the work is made as cue, prop and instigator of the experience of presence and sanctity amidst the contradiction and suffering that also attends to the human experience. She works across visual disciplines including two- and three-dimensional phenomena as well as time arts (sound, movement, color and light effects, projection and video) to effect living circumstances where the ordinary and the extraordinary may interact.

Cheselyn describes herself as an individual, a Vietnam-era/civil rights movement American, a fruits-of-feminism woman, a Post-Holocaust Jewess, a mother, daughter, sister, friend, artist, poet, teacher, celebrant, spiritual care provider, and global citizen. She asks: What is a way of being to fulfill all these callings?  To find specific identity, to cultivate full consciousness, to fulfill obligations, to enjoy the delights of life, and to endure the toils of the everyday? Cheselyn’s work reflects and chronicles her lifelong spiritual, aesthetic and humanitarian journey to serve as best as she may as a light worker and doula for personal, social, societal and global transformation and for the triumph of love, beauty, justice and abundance.

For twenty-five years, her work has been informed by and committed to spirituality and has culled from Judaism and Kabbalah, the mystical way of Torah as well as a breadth of other global spiritual traditions and practices.  She is essentially interested in creating circumstances or occasions for the acknowledgment, celebration, and fullest exercising of human being – an opportunity to stand in awe with dignity and grace.  As much as she builds these circumstances, she also uses them, both the process and the place.  She recognizes herself fundamentally as a contemporary temple builder and ritual maker.  Out of the need to reconstruct herself in this universe comes the desire to stand in a temple in which she feels truly comfortable while honoring all that she inherits.

Cheselyn is a South Orange, New Jersey girl with NYC at her core. She earned her BA in studio art and comparative religious studies at Brown University and an MFA in drawing, painting and new genres at Tyler School of Art of Temple University. She spent twenty years in Chicago where she taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for two decades before moving to Northern California in 2006 where she lived in Davis for fifteen years, raised two wonderful sons, and taught at UC Davis, California College of the Art, the Art Institutes of California, and in several California Communities Colleges. From 2016-2019, Cheselyn engaged in adding to her light worker toolkit; she received clinical pastoral training at UC Davis and UC San Francisco Medical Centers while earning a Masters of Theological Studies in Spirituality, Healing, Art, and Social Transformation at PSR/GTU in Berkeley. In 2021, Cheselyn moved to San Rafael to be in closer proximity to San Francisco, the ocean, and for her current position as hospice spiritual support accompanist at By the Bay Health, serving Marin County, after two years serving as Bereavement Specialist at Yolo Hospice in Davis. She is also a Certified Lifecycle Celebrant creating and facilitating rituals and ceremonies for every kind of transition and transformation under the sun and moon and stars on this dear planet called Earth within one galaxy now imagined amongst billions. And, oh, how marvelous and awesome!

Cheselyn exhibits internationally including the Jewish Museum in NYC, the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, and Spertus Institute of Judaica in Chicago with works in the JM and Spertus collections, and the Jerusalem Biennale (2015 and 2021). Cheselyn is a member of the Jewish Art Salon based in NYC. She has been participating in interfaith group exhibitions, most recently, Genesis: The Beginning of Creativity, presented in three-venues concurrently in NYC: the Interfaith Center, Riverside Church and the Jewish Theological Seminary. Cheselyn has been invited by the Foundation for Spirituality and the Arts to be an artist-in-residence in the Fall 2024 in Charleston, SC, home to the oldest synagogue in the US. Cheselyn will be orchestrating a community-wide experience as embodiment, invitation, and facilitation of interconnectivity and connection across the many sectors of the Charleston community and as a model for social engagement in general as it may be so!