A pair of exhibitions with a focus on screen printing, community, human migration and displacement will open in the De Pree Art Center and Gallery at Hope College on Thursday, Jan. 26.

The solo exhibition “Movement with the Marks” will feature work by Roberto Torres Mata. A student, group exhibition titled “Mark Making: Creating Community Through Screenprinting” will include prints produced during a workshop led by Torres Mata in October 2022 involving students from the local non-profit CultureWorks and Hope College. The workshop was made possible by the Mellon Foundation in collaboration with CultureWorks and the college’s Department of Art and Art History.

Torres Mata will deliver an artist’s talk on Thursday, Jan. 26, at 5:30 p.m. in Cook Auditorium in the De Pree Art Center, with an opening reception immediately following in the gallery.  The exhibitions run through Thursday, Feb. 23.

The public is invited to the exhibitions, artist’s talk and reception. Admission is free.

Roberto Torres Mata is an artist from Huntington Beach, California, and Rockford, Illinois, currently located in Madison, Wisconsin. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, and has been published by Capital Times, OnWisconsin, ToneMadison, and Artdaily. He has exhibited work at the Figge Art Museum, at the Quad Cities, Illinois, and Zhou B Art Center at Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for his master’s degree and Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking, and earned his bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Western Illinois University of Macomb Illinois. He is a current recipient of the Education Graduate Research Scholars fellow and a recent recipient of the Chazen Prize. 

He has said of his art, “Seeking a broad look at human migration through movement and the rapid rise of displacement, I find the overlay of colors a sense of confusion through repetitive patterns and textures that are distinct from each other. The body of work captures a sense of emotional distress with thoughts using markings expressing moments of unpredictability, loss, and hope. I use screen printing as a fast-paced approach to creating multiple possibilities that differ from one another but retain an identity with people who are seeking a new life or home in a different country.

“Throughout my process, I take into consideration understanding and confronting the dynamics that are root caused by climate change, poverty, corruption, and lack of opportunities. My response takes to heart the physicality in describing and presenting objects at the moment that are happening and brings them closer so each work can speak through color and embody the triumph of overcoming the obstacles migrants face. They survive by challenging us to understand what it means to be human and become more empathetic.”

The De Pree Gallery is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Those without a Hope College ID, which is necessary to gain access through the front door, should call the Department of Art and Art History at 616-395-7500 to gain entry.

The De Pree Art Center and Gallery is located at 275 Columbia Ave., between 10th and 13th streets