With the vision of empowering artists through greater exposure in the marketplace, April Gee's Petite Galleria offers carefully curated, individual, handcrafted art. April seeks people whose art embodies that passionate maker spirit, so it is unsurprising that her work at Petite Galleria empowers April to pursue her own passion: making music as Containher.
“Music is about transcending and evolving and hoping to share a beautiful thing that all people can connect with,” April explains. Her new album will unfold in a series of music videos, the first of which is completed. In this first of the series, The Seams, April as Containher paints a soundscape of haunting vocals mixed with the dreamy stylings of indie-electro-pop that takes the listener to places found only in the imagination. While April writes, performs, and produces the music herself, this latest work has allowed her to take up the mantle of art director and work alongside expert filmmaker Jeremiah Hutchens. The video they have crafted weaves a stunning fantasy with the help of Alan Chen, a member of the string trio that plays on the album-cum-soundtrack, and dancers Ryan Walker and Naomi Sailors from The New Ballet School, as choreographed by Dalia Rawson Hughes. The evocative and magical sets are the work of Asiel Design. Hair, makeup, and costuming elements were provided by artist-stylist Ming Schipper, whose work is featured also at Petite Galleria. The result of talented friends from different disciplines coming together to create art, this project serves as a perfect example of April’s mission for San Jose.
April is a multifaceted, highly connected artist evangelist who encourages people to explore their own artistic voices and, in so doing, fosters creativity in her hometown. She believes that momentum is brewing within artistic “beacons” of the community and that bringing those beacons together makes for a stronger community. She asks artists to reach out, to get to know each other, to create lasting ties between disciplines. “There is a need to connect, to get to know what resources and amazing people are out there,” April urges. “To thrive, fellow artists need to realize they are all part of a greater family in San Jose—and in the world.”
Along with connecting artists from different disciplines, April wants see more venues in which artists can congregate. “We need to make room for everyone to create. Having a consistent physical space will allow everyone to rise together,” she explains. “These kinds of spaces work when everyone is welcome, and the more diversity the better.” As part of her mission to empower artists, April wants also to remind them to have fun. “We toil in our creative sectors and there’s a bit of competitiveness, which is fine as long as we all realize that we’re all part of one family and that we can have fun together,” she says. “We should be driven by our wildest dreams. That’s the kind of city I want to live in.”
The new album is pure April, celebrating creative diversity and artistic collaboration, creating a space for local artists who shine in their own disciplines—but who don’t typically work with each other—to come together to create something entirely new. These are high-concept stories, painstakingly scripted, filled with the creative synergy of artisans of music, dance, the visual arts. April is crowdsourcing the funding for the video series, hoping in this way as well to draw the community even more closely into the creative process.
That creative process, that creative impulse, imbues all that April does. With her work in music and video, with her passion for creative diversity and collaboration, with her curation of the art of many makers, April herself is one of those artistic beacons, helping to strengthen the community of makers here in San Jose. If you ever find yourself on Jackson Street, stop by Petite Galleria and say hello. Who knows? You might find your next treasure waiting for you there—or be inspired to create something of your own.
205 B Jackson Street,
San Jose Ca. 95112
social media: containhermusic
Article originally appeared in Issue 9.0 "Celebrate"