In the back of the Artworks building, on the right up 18 steps, sits a small art studio covered from head to toe in abstract paints. The collection of art hangs on every wall, covering every piece of wallpaper. Tamara Torres, a contemporary multimedia artist, sits crossed-legged with a collection of six different paints behind her. 

Torres is a contemporary artist in Trenton who specializes in multimedia collage, abstract art, and photography. Her art career began when she was young with a 35-millimeter Pentax camera. “So I started taking pictures. I was starting to do photography when…a friend of mine gave me a 35 millimeter Pentax. And I just became obsessed with being able to look through a camera and see…a different world almost capturing moments,” Torres said.

She talked about how she fell in love capturing moments on her porch in Trenton. “There were times I remember when I was little,” Torres explained. “I would sit on the porch… and I’ll just go, click, click… then, there was no filming it, but I felt like I was capturing these little snapshots of different moments.”

Torres explained that she grew up moving around Trenton, going from one neighborhood to another. “Then after that, I kind of started doing collaging a little bit…in a way, I think that collaging for me is like a way of ripping up things from parts of your life or parts of stories or parts of paint and then putting one thing together like combining one image or one story together, and fixing it,” Torres said. 

Torres began with photography and collaging, and mainly used her abstract painting as a way to outline and craft her collages. The painting she created would go into the dumpster after she was finished with them. “A couple of garbagemen in Trenton own my paintings, I don’t know where they are, but they took the painting and they put him in the back of the truck, and I was like okay,” Torres said.  As she progressed in her career, she learned the value of her art, especially her abstract art.

As she has grown, her work has evolved with her. “Just started getting into the different artists that I was falling in love with the idea that you can create a world, create emotions by just using paints and not having to physically create a world.” 

Torres’ art can be found at Artworks and she will also be doing an exhibition next spring at Kean University.