Ortiz's departure is shocking, and it even took the Museo's staff by surprise. A key figure in the Denver art world for almost thirty years, Ortiz has been a practicing artist here since 1980 and earned a number of public commissions, including "Experimental Aviation," the 146 suspended steel planes (inspired by paper ones) that hang over the escalators in the Jeppesen Terminal at DIA, and "Leap of Faith," at Speer Boulevard and Elitch Circle, a pair of gate standards surmounted by silhouettes of children.
Ortiz has also been an arts administrator, and from 1999 to 2005, she served as the director of programs and the education specialist at what was then called the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver. She left MCA/D to take the reins of the Museo, where she has distinguished herself with interesting programming, including the current offering, Fine Line, made up of contemporary work by Latin American artists.
In consideration of the pending regime change, this exhibit, meant to come down at the end of next month, has been extended into the summer.
Luckily for Ortiz, it's onward and upward. She's to become the director of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio, Texas, her home town, and where her extended family still lives. It's a great opportunity for her, but she'll sure be missed by her many fans here.