R Cigarro, R Barril - Marta Sanchez (NEW)
R Cigarro, R Barril
About the Work

From the Artist

R Cigarro, R Barril is a collaborative piece combining my Train Yard series with [the words of] Texas Chicana poet Norma E. Cantú.

While my work is focusing on the train yard across from my parents' house, Norma is basing her experience from memories of her grandfather who worked for Southern Pacific in the same San Antonio train yard. 

We both agree on its urban beauty and historical merit for the Mexican migration and experience. Not only do the Mexicans work in the train yards but they also live in the cargo cars.

Independent Mexican and Latin Texan-Mexican circuses traveled by way of the train yards. These circuses were called "Carpas" and traveled and lived through the train yards. Their acts varied from circus acts to social/political vaudeville acts. 

This print incorporates the history and poetry of the Texas train yards. Norma's poem reads as a spiral around the image:

R Cigarro R Barril
Que recio corren los carros del ferro carril
Waiting for the train, lives come to lives
Train follow tracks leading to ends and beginnings 
As we come and go from here to there and from there and here
We  know life as a railroad track leading to ends and beginnings 
R con cigarro R con barril 
Que recio corren los carros del ferro barril
Coming and going
La vida es un tren y los pasajeros viajan siguiendo su destino
Camarón que se duerme se lo lleva la corriente
The engine hums a lullaby, the reassuring whistle in the night
R con cigarro R con barril
Que recio corren los carros, los carros del ferro carril

— Norma E. Cantú (2002)

—From Brandywine Workshop and Archives records

My work has been an ongoing narrative of past experiences, memories, and modern day concerns. I combine art and philanthropy, creating art whose sole purpose is to be used for the greater good. I started out creating Cascarones due to my longing for family; it turned into a sharing the folkloric art of Cascarones to assist others. The aspect of text on traditional retablos allowed me to venture to connect with contemporary Latina writers in the Americas. The collaboration with Norma E. Cantu titled “Transcendental Train Yards” offered entry to another realm, creating  parallel example of the sensibility of the visual narrative and the literary narrative in a serigraph suite of prints. Outside of working on the Mexican experience with the train yards I also have another project on recording my family history. 

The catalyst of all my work is the desire to bookmark events and people that may not otherwise be noticed. For that reason I continue this direction as I focus on a secondary project that I feel has not reached its full potential. 
—From Brandywine Workshop and Archives records

As a child I believed that art held a daily purpose for everyone. It not only helped my grandmother worship and communicate to God and her many saints but also uplifted all of us with spiritual images and taught morals based on the narratives of the images. Art that is purposely meant to bless others is what I want to share in this exhibition. 

My work has always been connected to creating images that could be purposeful. I have been interested in art that uplifted people by noting them and their lives through a Mexican retablo format, documenting people and actions that would otherwise go unnoticed. 
—From Brandywine Workshop and Archives records

About the Artist

Printmaker and painter Marta Sanchez was born in San Antonio, TX. She earned a BFA from the University of Texas, Austin, and an MFA from the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University, Philadelphia.

Sanchez is deeply ins...

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R Cigarro, R Barril

Marta Sanchez

Latin American

Offset Lithograph




30" x 21.5"

Edition Size

46 prints in this edition


Robert "Bob" Franklin


Brandywine Workshop and Archives


Philadelphia, PA