Local artist makes 12-foot print with AACC students


Photo by Misha Shipman

Marta Perez-Garcia works with printmaking professor Chris Mona and AACC students to create the print.

Sam Gauntt, Associate Editor

A local artist is collaborating with AACC printmaking students to create a 12-foot wide print to display in the Cade gallery during October.

Marta Pérez-García, a Washington-based artist, began work on the print two years ago to memorialize domestic violence victims who died in Puerto Rico during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My thought was, I’ve been working with gender violence … for a long time,” Pérez-García said. “And I realized to be home, you know, for us is to be safe. But not for these women. To be home for these women is to be with the aggressor. … So, for me, it’s very important that these women are remembered by their names.” 

Pérez-García said a friend gave her “a huge piece of linoleum” to make the print, but it was not the kind of material used for printmaking. 

Printmaking professor Chris Mona offered to help Pérez-García get the piece ready for printing. Printmaking students at the college assisted with the project and carried out the preparations and the printing itself. 

“Your first, kind of, impression or encounter of it is that it’s beautiful,” Mona said. “And so that’s your first impression is, like, really being drawn in by the beautiful character of it. And there’s so much going on, it takes a while to kind of understand the imagery, and that kind of starts to emerge, the longer you spend time with it. And so I think that’s where the power of the piece comes from.”

The pattern for the print is carved onto a large sheet of cork. The sheet is then covered with ink to transfer the pattern onto paper. 

Pérez-García said rising rates of domestic violence in Puerto Rico during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic inspired her to make the print. The print contains the names of approximately 50 women who were killed. 

Lithography student Cathy Sheahan said the quality of the piece improved with each subsequent printing. 

“Each one is better than the next because we’ve learned so much,” Sheahan said. 

Patrick Deming, a retiree who takes classes at AACC, said the project is very interesting. 

“It makes you feel like you’re doing something positive for a very sad situation,” Deming said. 

Pérez-García said the print’s size reflects the seriousness of the issue, and she hopes the piece inspires people to take action against domestic violence.

“I hope people just look at it … and stop and think about not just what’s happening, but what are we doing,” Pérez-García said. “Because it’s … not enough to just be like ‘Oh, I’m sorry.’ You have to get involved somehow. So I think that the size has to do with that.”