Michelle Angela Ortiz

2018 PEW FELLOW
Updated
18 Jun 2018

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Michelle Angela Ortiz, Flores de Libertad, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by De Nichols.

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Michelle Angela Ortiz, Living Walls, The City Speaks project. Photo courtesy of the artist.

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Michelle Angela Ortiz, We Are Human Beings. Photo by Steve Weinik, courtesy of the artist.

“My intention for my work is to move the image beyond the expected, to create a platform that amplifies and energizes the existing power and voices of the community.”

Michelle Angela Ortiz is a visual artist whose socially engaged practice examines issues of immigration, socio-economic inequalities, and human rights, in an effort to “record, reclaim, and elevate…stories that connect us to our humanity,” she explains. She has designed and created over 50 large-scale public artworks nationally and internationally. Her most recent projects include Seguimos Caminando (We Keep Walking), a series of animated projections displayed on Philadelphia City Hall that honored mothers detained at Berks County Family Detention Center, a family prison in Pennsylvania; and Familias Separadas (Separated Families), a set of temporary, site-specific public works highlighting the experiences of deported families living in Philadelphia. Since 2008, Ortiz has led community building and art for social change public art projects, both independently in Costa Rica and Ecuador and through the United States Embassy as a Cultural Envoy in Fiji, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Venezuela, and Honduras. She is a 2018 Rauschenberg Foundation Artist as Activist Fellow, a 2018 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist National Fellow, and a 2011 Fellow of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture Fund for the Arts. She holds a Masters in the Science of Arts and Cultural Management from Rosemont College.