Lead Artist: Michelle Angela Ortiz
Michelle Angela Ortiz is a visual artist/ skilled muralist/ community arts educator who uses her art as a vehicle to represent people and communities whose histories are often lost or co-opted. Through painting, printmaking, and community arts practices, she creates a safe space for dialogue around some of the most profound issues communities and individuals may face. Her work tells stories using richly crafted and emotive imagery to claim and transform “blighted” spaces into a visual affirmation that reveals the strength and spirit of the community.
For over ten years, Ortiz continues to be an active educator in using the arts as a tool for communication to bridge communities. As a highly skilled muralist, Ortiz has designed and created over 30 large-scale public works nationally (PA, NJ, MS, NY). Ortiz continues to make her mark with communities abroad. Since 2008, Ortiz has led community building and art for social change public art projects through the United States Embassy as a Cultural Envoy in Suva, Fiji, Juarez and Chihuahua City, Mexico, Vitoria, Spain and Buenos Aires, Argentina. She also has led independent public art projects in Ecuador, Costa Rica and Puebla, Mexico.
In addition to her community arts work, she maintains her commitment to her own studio practice. She has exhibited her paintings and prints in numerous galleries and museums such as: Delaware Art Museum, George Washington Carver Center, The African American Museum, The Painted Bride, Ice Box Gallery, Penn State HUB Gallery and the Goldey Paley Gallery. She has work in permanent and private collections abroad such as the Rohm and Haas Company, Galeria Tonatzin (San Juan Bautista, CA) and Xicanoindio Gallery (Mesa, AZ).