In her first solo exhibition in Taller Puertorriqueño Lorenzo Homar Gallery, Michelle Angela Ortiz presents Quizás Mañana (Maybe Tomorrow), a show that examines the power of familial connection, place, and story. This exhibition features a new installation, light boxes, and paintings that speak of “visual artifacts,” items that she sees imbued by the characteristics of the person who used them.
Ortiz’s work in the show expresses the pain and the hopes that are carried from one generation in a family to the other. It discusses the anguish of loss and the reconciliation that is brought about through memory. Her work through light hints at the promise that the future will bring. It also discusses the bonds of motherhood that is passed to daughters.
The title of the exhibition is a reference to the phrase “Quizás Mañana Nuestro Llanto Queda Atrás” from the song “Amor Adios” a song that her father used to sing. It is a ballad of longing and a wish that the person returns to a better time without suffering. It was the song that he sang to his father who lived a difficult life.
A first generation Philadelphian, Michelle Angela Ortiz is a visual artist, skilled muralist, and community arts educator. Her art depicts 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 affecting individuals and communities alike.
For over fifteen years, Ortiz continues to be an active educator in using the arts as a tool for communication to bridge communities. As a 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 through the United States Embassy as a Cultural Envoy in Fiji, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Venezuela, and Honduras. In 2016, she completed the first U.S. State funded public art project since the re-opening of the United States Embassy in Havana, Cuba.
In 2017, Ortiz was awarded the Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellowship, which recognizes artists across the country who utilize their art form for positive impact on communities small and large. She is a fellow of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture Fund for the Arts, recipient of the Leeway Foundation Transformation Award and Art & Change Grant.