Patty Ortiz

patty squared

Artist Statement

The arc of my experience has led me through all facets of art production. In the course of that trajectory I have made art, managed and curated art. I am intrigued with the relationship, interaction and dynamic of group activity. Managing people in a project is like a chemistry experiment. Things happen. The results may be largely predictable and observably concrete yet somehow mysteriously abstract. My current series, “Work Won’t Kill You” demonstrates through actual practice that art is intrinsically a social object. Place the activities of a workgroup in an aesthetic context sets in motion an engaging dynamic between observer and observed that results in a shared aesthetic experience.


Patty Ortiz, born in San Antonio, Texas, received her BFA from the University of Texas in Austin and her MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio.  As an artist in the 1980s and 1990s, Ortiz exhibited her work throughout the United States and internationally including Mexico City, Chile, and Amsterdam. She received a “New Forms Regional Initiative Grant”, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Inter-Arts Program and the Rockefeller Foundation and a CoVision Project Grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts. As a public artist, Ortiz received many public and private commissions including from the City of Boulder, The Jeppeson Corporation in Frankfort Germany, and Denver International Airport. Ortiz exhibited her work internationally including the Salon de Artes Plasticas in Mexico City; Tryon Center in Charlotte, North Carolina; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Valdivia, Chile; Troppen Museum in Amsterdam; La Raza Galleria Posada in Sacramento, California; Galeria Otra Vez in Los Angeles and the San Bernardino County Museum in California. 

As an arts administrator, Ortiz worked as Program Director of the Artists In Residence Program through a contract with the Colorado Council on the Arts for ten years. During this time, she developed programs that include several statewide initiatives and national models in the area of teacher training and art infusion programs. In 1999, Ortiz served as director of programs of the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver, working in the areas of exhibitions, education, development and strategic planning.  In 2005, Ortiz was appointed executive director of the Museo de las Américas. In this position, she curated exhibitions addressing historical and contemporary shifts in Latino artistic practice. Other achievements include a scholarship in 2006 from the Stanford School of Business to attend the Executive Leadership Program and in 2007 she received the Livingston Fellowship Award from the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, which honors leaders in the non-profit sector. In 2009 Ortiz was appointed Executive Director and chief curator of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. In 2014, she retired from arts management and has worked as an independent curator and artist. In March 2015, Ortiz exhibited her first intervention project, WWKY in a vacant storefront on South Alamo St., San Antonio, Texas and in May 2015, curated the exhibition, Flatlander, at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, Colorado. In 2016 she was selected to be included in the 2016 SALTQuarters Residency Program in Syracuse, NY and in the Ucross Residency program in Wyoming.