Makers We Love: Mary Tremonte of Mary Mack Prints

Makers We Love: Mary Tremonte of Mary Mack Prints

Mary Tremonte, Mary Mack Prints

tell us about your brand 

As an artist, DJ, educator, and owner of a creative business, I value connection. I strive to create objects and experiences that facilitate visibility and meaningful connection with one another. For over a decade I have been designing and printing bandanas that feature urban mammals and birds with which many humans find affinity, that are also a riff on gay hanky code. You can flag your affinities and hopefully find others who share them. My embroidered queer scout badges continue this means of signaling our identities and proclivities to one another. I came of age in the punk and zine culture of the mid-90's, pen paling and making and trading zines and mix tapes as part of riot grrrl and d.i.y. punk, and continue to exercise those roots of media as means for us to find one another, to connect and resist isolation. This feels ever relevant in these times of physical distancing. Screenprinting and risograph printing are the main mediums with which I create my work, and drawing with brush and ink is at the root of most of my designs.

what is your story?

I have lived in Pittsburgh on and off for over 25 years, first moving here to attend CMU in the late 90's. I quickly gravitated towards printmaking and gender studies, two themes that are at the core of much of the work I make today. I'm a founding member of Justseeds Artists' Cooperative, a decentralized group of over 40 artists who create prints and graphics in tandem with movements for social and environmental justice. We have been a coop since 2007, and our shipping headquarters for our online shop has been here in Pittsburgh since 2010. I love working cooperatively and collectively. A current collaborative passion is Queer Ecology Hanky Project, an ever-growing exhibit of over 120 artist-made bandanas on the theme of queer ecology, co-organized with Pittsburgh-based artist Vanessa Adams. We had a huge exhibit with lots of programming at Irma Freeman Center in February 2020 (the Sappho Hanky Code dance party was the last that many of us attended), and are showing it at Zygote Press in Cleveland May 13-June 25. We will feature a queer print and zine fair on June 18 and an outdoor closing dance party on June 25. I hope some Pittsburgh folks can make it out! Vanessa and I recently completed Exuberant Possibilities, an artist book expanding upon art and ideas of the project, while running a thematic residency at Eureka House in Kingston, NY. It is available through our project website and Brooklyn. When not making art and scheming projects and travel, I enjoy long rambles in the woods foraging for mushrooms with my dreamy dog Perla. 


Observatory Hill

what product do our customers need to know about and why?

Squirrel Stationery. I have long been a fan of collecting and using vintage and Japanese stationery (it's always the first stop I make at Creative Reuse!) and I find it the perfect item to make with a risograph. The process is somewhere between printing by hand and machine, and I love the bright colors and intricate details that I can achieve. I also carry possum, raccoon, and chanterelle stationery in my own online shop, and created special limited edition stationery sets of morels and ephemerals for Fallingwater's Gift Shop as part of the FPMP initiative.

in three words, why do you love pittsburgh?

Rust. Resilience. Community.

how can we learn more about your business? @marymackprints on instagram, also @justseeds @hankysituation

Mary Mack Wear on Etsy

Recent and Upcoming:
Now available at Fallingwater Museum Shop
Dirt Tales vol 1: Soil Health and Community HealthDirt Tales vol. 2: Soil Contamination and Remediation
available now at Grow Pittsburgh's Garden Resource Center and Justseeds
Exuberant Possibilities: Queer Ecology Hanky Project 
artist book available now at Booklyn and QEHP site
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