Michelle Angela Ortiz

Visual Artist/ Community Arts Educator
Michelle Angela Ortiz
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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.

Currently through her work, she strives to counteract mainstream narratives that criminalize immigrants and devalue the contributions of communities of color in the fabric of our society. The common themes of immigration, socio-economic inequalities, and erased histories are present in my work as a way to record, reclaim, and elevate these stories that connect us to our humanity.

For over eighteen 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 50 large-scale public works nationally and internationally. Since 2008, Ortiz has led community building and art for social change public art projects both independently in Costa Rica and Ecuador and as a United States Cultural Envoy in Fiji, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Venezuela, Honduras, and Cuba.

Ortiz is a recent Rauschenberg Foundation Artist as Activist Fellow, a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist National Fellow, and a Santa Fe Art Institute Equal Justice Resident Artist. In 2016, she received the Americans for the Arts' Public Art Year in Review Award which honors outstanding public arts projects in the nation.