/ De Pree Art Gallery

Roberto Torres Mata and CultureWorks

  • Several pairs of eyes with noses drawn with sketchy black lines, with an orange and red background of Spanish words that overlap each other
  • Profile shot of a teenager kneeling next to a long banner, leaning over to screenprint onto the banner, with others in the background also printing on the banner.
  • Pink, orange, and yellow background of layered markings with black and blue words on top, in Spanish and English
  • Profile shot of Roberto Torres Mata standing at a table preparing to screenprint

January 26–February 23, 2023

Movement with the marks
roberto torres mata

First-generation artist Roberto Torres Mata uses multimedia methods to delve into the many facets of human migration. Movement with the Marks explores the complex societal forces and emotional experiences encountered by migrants. With Torres Mata’s intricate use of layering, “each work can speak through color and embody the triumph of overcoming the obstacles migrants face.” Pairing his screenprints with sculptural staffs, this body of work compels viewers to “understand what it means to be human and become more empathetic.”

Torres Mata is currently based in Wisconsin, where he earned his M.A. and MFA in printmaking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work is in both university and private collections, and has been exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Figge Art Museum, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, and more.

Mark Making: creating community through screenprinting
cultureworks & hope college student exhibition

The prints in this exhibition were created by students from Hope College and local high schools in a workshop hosted by CultureWorks and led by Roberto Torres Mata. Throughout the workshop, the students considered themes of identity and culture, ideas brought up by Torres Mata’s own artwork. Students worked with spontaneity, creating their images directly on the screens. This improvisational method of markmaking resulted in evocative, many-layered prints that ask viewers to consider their own perceptions of community.

This workshop and exhibition were made possible with the help of a Mellon Foundation Community-Based Initiative grant. Many thanks to the Mellon Foundation and CultureWorks for their support and collaboration.

Photographs courtesy of Roberto Torres Mata and Suzy Parker.

Read the Full Press Release