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Mary (Mack) Tremonte is an artist-educator-DJ rooted in Pittsburgh, PA, and currently living in Toronto, ON where she is pursuing an Interdisciplinary MFA at OCAD University. She is a member of Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative. Her vibrant silkscreen prints explore queer animal sexualities, amplified possibilities, and signifiers. Current projects include the design and distribution of bandanas and embroidered badges, referencing scouting and gay hanky code. As a DJ and party organizer she strives to create temporary safe spaces for expression, as well as to raise funds and awareness for grassroots causes. She is consumed with printmaking, totally teens, collaboration, communication and the politics of social space, particularly the danceparty.
The piece: Respect was created when I visited Thea Gahr at her family’s nature reserve, where I finally got an idea for the print. I was inspired by the natural beauty of the land and by an in depth discussion Thea and I were having: “At the core of the issue is respect. It’s a lack of respect for women and our bodies.” What if I just do a really brazen, beautiful drawing of a flower with the word “RESPECT”? Thea pushed me to try something different in my practice, so I decided to go hard and create a CMYK silkscreen print, a process I have taught to others but never applied to my own work. At the last minute I used a metallic gold instead of black to really push the print into a reverent, fancy zone. When it came to the text on the print, I wanted to add more information about the core tenants of reproductive justice, which included knowledge, access, privacy, and the power that is a result of being equipped with these tools.