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Oscar Ortiz OSCAR ORTIZ::

b. 1964. Manhattan, NY, USA


Dowd Theater, Group Show, Art Walk, Monroe, NC 2023

El Barrio's Artspace PS109, NY, NY, Group Show "Seeing Voices de Visiones Boricuas" 2021

Marshville Museum and Cultural Center, NC Solo Show 2017

Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC Group Show 2013

Monroe Art Walk, Monroe, NC Group Show 2012

Museum of Art, University of North Carolina, Durham, NC Group Show 2012

Monroe Art Walk, Monroe, NC Group Show 2010

The Alcove Gallery, Monroe, NC Solo Show 2009

Monroe Art Walk, Monroe, NC Group Show 2009

Art Not Terminal Gallery, Seattle, Washington Group Show June, 2009




Norwood Publishers, USA ongoing collaboration for calendar images

2005 Puerto Rican Professional Association of South Florida Business Guide, FL, cover illustration

Fundacion Puertorriquena de Wisconsin y el Equipo Del Projecto de La Danza en Milwaukee, WI, promotional illustration

Esmaco Printers, PR, fully illustrated 2005 promotional calendar

2012 Arte Publico, illustrations for picture book "The Poet Upstairs" by Judith Cofer Ortiz

National Geographic Learning


Detailed Bio:

Oscar Ortiz is a New York born Puerto Rican artist that currently lives in a rural suburb of North Carolina.

Following is his story.


His childhood memories in Puerto Rico, where he grew up, includes images of him running under a pouring rain to the local convenience store to buy from Don Serafín (Mr. Serafín) slices of meat wrapping paper for a cent each. The skinny boned old man would slowly rip one by one, rolled them in a scroll and tied them up with a string. Little Oscar, a rheumatic fever and heart murmur sufferer, would run home drenched but joyful to sketch super heroes cartoons in the few spared dry sheets.

As a youngster, he was requested often by his teachers to get involved in art projects for the school. He would spend hours and hours creating illustrations to be used as teaching aids. The pure joy of creating and making others happy through his paintings and drawings was what satisfied him the most. Nevertheless, the artistic creativity of the promising artist went dormant for almost thirty years!


In the summer of 2000 while walking with his wife downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, they decided to take a peek at a Comic Book Artists convention. As soon as they walked into the building, everything went mute for Oscar but the scratching sound of the pencils against the papers. Hundreds and hundreds of professional artists sketching left to right. He walked slowly through each booth, his heart pounding furiously. Finally, he looked at Wina to say, "I was meant for this. This is what I AM, an artist." "Then you MUST do this!" was her stern answer. This conversation was taking place in front of the 'Art Instruction Schools' booth. Mr. Ballard, a gray hair debonair gentleman, perhaps a mind reader, approached the couple to ask, "Do you draw?" "Well, I do have a couple of sketches at home." Oscar responded. Mr. Ballard and Oscar arranged to meet at his house for an evaluation of his talents. "You can certainly draw, but you'll benefit to learn illustration techniques through the school." Wina encouraged him to take them even though he was hesitant about the validity of learning mechanical illustrative techniques. His doubts were unfounded as each month afterwards he could see his draftsmanship abilities getting sharper and sharper.

Soon one of his illustrations made it to the local newspaper followed by a figurative realistic exhibition.

Wina had always been the pivotal hinge in his artistic career. One fine day he recalls clearly that she told him "Honey, I love your pencil drawings, but I'm sick and tired of black and white! I would like to see some colors for a change, you know. You are never going to make a living out of art unless you finally PAINT!"

Oscar had always looked at painting as a sacred terrain only available for the real gifted ones. Not anymore. His wife was right. So painting he did. From there on Oscar took upon himself to be as educated as possible in fine art and to learn from the real professionals. This entailed visiting working artists in their studios locally and abroad, starting and keeping communication with them through emails and constantly asking technical questions. He supported this self-imposed education with the reading of hundreds of books of different mediums and subscribing to several magazines.

In only two years after actively painting with no academic training through an atelier or personal coaching Oscar was commissioned his first piece. After that, he knew there was no going back. Several exhibitions and commissions followed that first one, selling more than 10 pieces in less than 6 months, and as the cliche goes, "the rest is history".

As of today Oscar Ortiz is a well-respected all around artist that intelligently has carved a niche in the international art market. He has been praised for his mature and controlled tropical color palette.

On 2012 he illustrated the awarded children's book entitled "The Poet Upstairs", published by Arte Público.