Making an Impression

Amaya Lounibos Explores Home and Inclusivity with Painting and Printmaking

In the vibrant art scene of the San Francisco Bay Area, Chilean-American artist Amaya Lounibos Hartard stands out as an emerging voice; her work is infused with themes of home, childhood, and the complexities of her identity as a queer, biracial woman. Formerly a member of Petaluma’s Magic Shop Studio Collective, she is pursuing her BFA in printmaking and painting at CSU Long Beach in the fall. Through her artwork, the 21-year-old painter and printmaker invites viewers into her personal world with the goal of creating space for underrepresented voices in the art world.

Made Local: You’ve been prolific this year with four group shows, along with your first solo exhibition, Chilenita y Gringa, at Petaluma’s Slough City Gallery. Tell us what inspires your work.

Amaya Lounibos: All of my work is inspired by my experiences. Growing up, I didn’t know what “biracial” or being biracial really meant. As a kid, you just assume “Oh, I’m half of this! And half of that”, and as simple as that sounds, it really means so much more. It’s always jumping between two cultures, countries, languages, and identities, and accepting that you won’t be accepted anywhere. I make work about what it means to be me: a queer biracial woman. I explore these tumultuous feelings about my split identity through the use of double self portraiture, representing my two identities, and exploring themes of home, childhood, identity, family and the discomfort of existing. In my work, I question the idea of home and what that means. Every time I ask these questions, I come back to the ocean. My attachment to the ocean has come through many of my pieces, appearing as a setting or as various objects, such as fish and the conch shell.

ML: What draws you to printmaking and painting in particular as your mediums?

AL: Painting was the first medium I gravitated towards because it seemed like the obvious choice and because, of course, it was the medium Frida (Kahlo) worked in. I made paintings until 2022, when I took my first printmaking class and it took over my entire personality. I love printmaking more than anything. I love how versatile it is; how the word printmaking encompasses relief printing, woodblock, intaglio, lithography, screenprinting and more. I love how it’s designed to make multiples, allowing multiple people to enjoy the same piece! I love the process of carving my little blocks and watching them develop over time. My relief prints always surprise me, while also translating my idea exactly how I wanted to see it. But what I love most of all is the printmaking community! I love that everyone has to work in a collective space in order to access the printmaking presses, so we all see what each other is working on and help each other out, and get excited about the same, silly, niche-est printmaking things.

ML: One of your goals as an artist is to make space for those who are under-represented in fine art spaces. How do you work towards this?

AL: At the end of the day, Art is for The People. Unless you go to a private school, the resources for artistic programs are incredibly limited. When there are huge disparities like the ones we are seeing in the art world, it’s inevitable that a divide is created where representation is lacking or nonexistent. When we learn about art history, women artists are forgotten. Disabled, queer, trans and people of color have been consistently kept out of art spaces. As artists, we all have to put in the work together to make art accessible again and to amplify the voices of underrepresented artists.

Personally, a few ways I have begun to work towards making art accessible and making space for under-represented people in the arts is by advocating for funding for the arts, especially in music programs for the Petaluma City Schools; making my own work, which highlights the queer biracial experience; and curating and putting together Liberation!, my first curated group show in June 2024 at Slough City Gallery, featured queer, transgender and nonbinary artists in honor of the queer liberation movement.

ML: How has growing up in Sonoma County influenced your identity as an artist and your work?

AL: Often, in my work, the setting or imagery will come from the ocean or beach. Growing up in Sonoma County, my parents took my brother and me to the beach and the river. My dad taught us how to swim in the currents. Everytime we go to Chile, we make an effort to go to the beach. The ocean is the one thing that connects both of my homes, in Chile and California, and in a sense, the ocean itself feels like home.

ML: What are you working on right now?

AL: Right now, I am making new prints! I am working larger on 18″x24” linoleum relief prints, exploring textures and, of course, self portraiture. I’m interested in the idea of transformation, and in these pieces, we will see the figures’ skin transform into different materials like lace, crochet, plants and maybe even water.  |  IG @amayalounibos  |  707-870-9945

Prints and stickers are available at

Slough City Studios

409 Petaluma Boulevard South, Suite C, Petaluma

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