I create art for love, peace and joy because I wholeheartedly believe that all human beings need art and creativity in our lives as a way to more fully express and enjoy our humanity. Whether it is in the form of appreciating a work of art and experiencing what it evokes, or in the process of creating with mind, heart and hands, we all need a space of joy and fulfillment, healing and renewal. Art, in any form, provides that space.
Tanya Torres is an artist and writer living and working in New York City, who also spends time in Puerto Rico and New Mexico. She was born in New York City of Puerto Rican parents and grew up in Puerto Rico. She came back to live in New York City at age 15.
After completing a B.A. in Art Education at the City College of New York, she was offered a scholarship to pursue and M.F.A. (Printmaking with a minor in Painting) at the same institution.
In 2000 she created the artistic space Mixta Gallery in El Barrio, East Harlem, the community where she has lived since 1997.
Her artwork has been presented at the United Nations Organization, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library, the Museum of the 19th Century Dominican Family in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), the Porta Coeli Museum of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture), and the Prague Congress Centre in the Czech Republic, among other cultural institutions.
She has published the handmade poetry books Caguana (1994), Laberinto (1995), Bestiario mío (2001), I Can Certainly Survive (2002), Cuerpo de batalla/Battle Body(2004), and Sagrario (Shrine) (2007). In 2010, she published a handmade, handwritten edition of the book Canción de la Magdalena with a song by Raquel Z. Rivera. In 2007, she published Cuerpo de paz: Repercusiones de la batalla (Peace Body: The Aftermath of the Battle) about life after cancer. Most recently, she published an edition of 50 miniature books of Destellos de Sofía, a book of mystical poetry completed in August 2011, and a pendant miniature book edition with the English translation, Sophia's Light in 2014.
In 2002, El Diario/La Prensa selected her as one of the 50 Women of the Year. In 2003, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College (NY) invited her to be part of the project “Puerto Rican Writers: History and Context”, which provides a space in the general archive to preserve and share her documents.
She has read stories for children at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and taken her projects and exhibitions to places such as Batey Palmarejo in Dominican Republic and Comunidades Especiales in Puerto Rico.
From 2007-2010, she was Artist-in-Residence at P.S. 57 in East Harlem, New York City, where she created 3 mosaic murals and 6 poetry murals. More recently, she installed a series of digital paintings commissioned by the East Harlem Bilingual Head Start and inspired by its mission to create healthy eating habits in young children and their families. The head start also commissioned and houses several of her mosaics.
In 2012, her exhibition Heaven and Earth traveled to Prague and was exhibited at the Prague Congress Centre.
Tanya currently works from her studio in the same neighborhood where she lives and travels with her art wherever she is invited.
Her work celebrates life and nature.
Some other things:
Former Guide for angelesymilagros.about.com
Contributing writer for EmptyEasel.com
Contributing writer and illustrator for SageWoman Magazine (Winter 2012-Crafty Goddess)