Tanya Torres was born in New York City of Puerto Rican parents. She studied at the University of Puerto Rico, the University of Alcal· de Henares in Spain, and The City College of New York, where she obtained a B.A. in Art Education, and an M.F.A. in Printmaking.
After spending several years working as an editor and writer of educational textbooks, and later on buying a small building in El Barrio (East Harlem), in 1999 she created Mixta Gallery, a free artistic space where she organized art exhibitions, poetry readings, art workshops and classes. Her work as an artist and cultural organizer through Mixta Gallery and Siempre Newspaper has been recognized in magazines and newspapers such as AHA Magazine, El Diario/La Prensa and Hoy Newspaper. In 2002, she was selected as one of the 50 Women of the Year by El Diario/La Prensa.