Meet the Artist: Gina Santora, Ridge + Roots

Gs Art 2
An homage to transformative experiences through printmaking.

By Kelli Comer

Nature provides us with a stunning canvas to gain inspiration from, and local printmaker Gina Santora uses it to her advantage when creating her uniquely beautiful, original prints.

A rock-climbing and national park enthusiast, Gina captures small moments and little details of the giant, magnificent world around us via her travels with her partner. “Like many printmakers before me, I also pull from social justice themes,” Gina says.

She strives to capture the human spirit and condition, which is heavily fueled by her work as a counselor and art therapist at a men’s addiction treatment center.

“The name Ridge + Roots comes from this concept: ‘Ridge’ representing the adventures and the heights we climb, while ‘Roots’ depicts the grounding and growth within ourselves,” explains Gina. “I truly believe we should leave the world better than we found it, and Ridge + Roots is my way of spreading compassion and inspiring adventure, whether than be on a long, winding trail or deep within ourselves.”

Gina’s process begins by drawing a design, transferring it to a block carving surface and carving it by hand using U- or V-shaped gouges to create the image. She then carves away the negative space. Depending on the size of the block and the intricacy of the design, each block can take between five to 20 hours to carve. Next, Gina inks the block and prints on her chosen surface, such as paper for wall art or fabric for bags and shirts.

“Art is very much engrained in my daily life, worldview and is my form of self-care,” Gina notes. “I began my adult life as an art teacher and returned back to school for my Master’s in Counseling and Art Therapy.”

Gina sold her work online for several years before starting Ridge + Roots in 2019 as a passion project, when she re-emerged in the world of printmaking after a long hiatus. “I currently host an online printmaking challenge twice a year to share the love of print and bring the community together. Printmaking has such a rich history and continues to be a transformative medium for me, so I also teach Introduction to Printmaking at Peninsula Art Academy and sell printmaking sets to help people dive into the world of print,” she says.

Gina Santora

“At the end of the day, I want my art to reflect my beliefs of being a good human, seeking out opportunities for kindness and positivity, while also satisfying my sense of adventure,” smiles Gina.

To reach Gina, you can email her at To learn more about the artist, her work and to shop online, visit Follow Gina on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok @RidgeAndRoots.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment