March 16, 2011
[This is the eighth installment of our ¡Philly Te Ama! Video Series that spotlights noteworthy Latinos with a connection to Philadelphia in order to learn more about why they love it here.]
Philadelphia is arguably the mural capital of the world with more than 3,000 murals plastered in different neighborhoods throughout the entire city. All representing different cultures and stories, these works of art are part of what makes this city so special. Today we spotlight one of these muralists who dedicates her work to not just her personal story, but to her family and culture as well.
Born in South Philly to Colombian and Puerto Rican parents, Michelle Angela Ortiz is a visual artist who seeks to capture lost legacies, personal stories and silenced voices in her work.
Ortiz has designed and created more than 30 large scale public works nationally and internationally (Fiji, Mexico, Ecuador, Costa Rica) and is a recipient of the Leeway Foundation Art & Change Grant (2006) and Transformation Award (2008.)
In the video below, Ortiz talks about how the Mural Arts Program has changed the way people view the city and her own work. Ortiz also motivates young Latino(a)s to become artists and discusses how that’s achievable in our city of brotherly love.
Michelle is also a founding member of Las Gallas, which means “female roosters” in Spanish. Las Gallas is a bold arts collaborative that combines the talents of its four members in the arenas of theater, visual arts, dance, film, poetry, spoken word and literature to inspire dialogue and debate on the topics of family, religion, education, gender roles and traditions.
Next week we’ll have another video installment of Philly Te Ama®. And remember to follow @PhillyTeAma on Twitter to connect every day with vibrant Latino culture and events in Philadelphia.