Her Dad Makes Art About Immigration, Borders and Sanctuary Cities

Her Dad Makes Art About Immigration, Borders and Sanctuary Cities

02.16.19
Mila De La Torre, left, and her dad Sergio De La Torre hold up a poster from his project, "Sanctuary Print Shop," on Feb. 2, 2019, in Oakland, California. (Photo: YR Media)
02.16.19

Artists Sergio De La Torre and Chris Treggiari have been printing posters to raise awareness about what a sanctuary city is and how immigration policies affect communities.

Watch De La Torre’s daughter, Mila De La Torre, interview him about his art and a project called the “Sanctuary Print Shop.”

The project kicked off in 2009, when De La Torre interviewed immigrants and researched immigration policy, creating an installation at a gallery in San Francisco’s Mission District.

In 2017, the project morphed into the “Sanctuary Print Shop” — a three-month poster printing effort at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Audience members responded to immigration-related questions De La Torre and Treggiari printed on posters, and some of the audience’s answers themselves became phrases for posters.

Since then, De La Torre and Treggiari have held more than a dozen poster-printing events around California and beyond. And the artists have expanded the scope of the project to include full-blown billboards that they’ve erected in San Francisco, displaying phrases first seen on the posters, including “This is a sanctuary” and “The country of the immigrant is here.”

A billboard created by Sergio De La Torre and Chris Treggiari seen in San Francisco’s Mission District. (Photo courtesy Sergio De La Torre)

There are more murals coming soon.

In his studio, Mila asked her dad why the project feels more relevant now than it did 10 years ago and learned how to make some posters herself.

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