A Conversation about Art and Craft…as Process, not as Product
Creative Lives Lecture Series, III
Tuesday, November 11
Robert Ortiz Studio
207C S. Cross Street, Chestertown
Cost: $15 Members; $20 Nonmembers
Bob writes, “I’m the son of two Latin Americans who met in New York City. My mother and father were factory workers who taught me the value and dignity of work and making useful things. At age 5, I studied piano and classical music for 8 years. I left home at 14, joined a Catholic Religious Order and lived, with and learned from, men whose life was dedicated to teaching and being of service. I left that order when I was 21. For the next 14 years, I taught high school (5 years), earned my living as a performing musician as a singer songwriter (5 years) and worked with emotionally disturbed adolescents(4 years.) A look inside a book store window led me to woodworking where I have been for the past 29 years.
“I’m self taught. I worked for two furniture makers for two years and then opened my own shop in 1987. For the first 10 years I made other people’s designs hoping that I would finally get to the point where I could design and make my own pieces. For the past 14 years that is what I have able to do.
“Whenever I’m asked how long it took me to make a piece I always give two answers, one of them being “my entire life.” I do believe that my work is a product of all my experiences and the different roads that I have walked.
“For what it’s worth,
- In 2000 I won a best body of work at the Academy Art Museum Craft Show.
- In 2002 I won the Fine Woodworking Best New Artist Award at the Philadelphia Furniture Show
- In 2003 Best in Show at the Academy Art Museum Craft Show
- In 2008 Schiffer Publishing published a book on one of my furniture pieces, Creating a Fine Art Entry Table.”