Published in Moore Distinguished Careers, No. 39, Spring 2012
Michelle Ortiz ’00 will be Moore’s Commencement Speaker on Sunday May 13, 2012. Ortiz has pursued a diverse and widely recognized career as a visual artist and arts educator. Ortiz has a BFA from Moore College of Art and Design and was a fine art major. She also holds a Master’s from Rosemont College.
Ortiz has designed and created more than 30 large-scale public works nationally and internationally. She was named a fellow of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture Fund for the Arts (2011), received a Leeway Foundation Transformation Award (2008), and was awarded a Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant (2005).
As an arts educator, Ortiz uses the arts as a tool for communication to bridge communities. Since 2008, she has led international artist residencies through the US Embassy. She has trained local artists in public art techniques in Juarez and Chihuahua City, Mexico and Suva, Fiji.
Ortiz works with various nonprofit arts organizations in Philadelphia. In 2007, she joined the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation where she has developed programs and workshops to support the professional development of teaching artists. She is also an active member of “Las Gallas” a Philadelphia-based multi-disciplinary art collective that gathers to share stories, inspire dialogue and debate about ideas of family, traditions, religion, education and gender roles.
Ortiz was named one of the 2011 Delaware Valley’s 50 Most Influential Latinos. Latina Style Magazine, a national magazine dedicated to the needs and concerns of the contemporary Latina professional working woman, featured Ortiz in the Arts and Culture section of their November 2012 issue.
Ortiz also maintains a busy studio practice and last year had a solo exhibition at the McKinney Gallery, West Chester University, West Chester, PA.