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Tony Ortega holds an MFA in drawing and painting from the University of Colorado and is currently an associate professor for Regis University. He is the recipient of the coveted Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts (1999) and the Mayor's Award for Excellence in the Arts (1998).

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I spiritually, emotionally and physically live among the clash of two cultures-one Mexican and one American. This issue is my daily problem. I have to cross a border-not the Mexican and U.S border created for the separation of two nation states, but the border between two cultures. Here in Denver, the northern frontier of Aztlan, the northern outpost of Latin American, lays my journey from south to north. I have to deal with a dominant culture whose history is from east to west. On my journey, I have to think from: Spanish to English, community to capitalism, and family to individuality and back again. My journey is not unique as many Latinos also go through this clash of cultures.  

 

Through my work, I offer a multifaceted view that incorporates the history, traditions, and culture of Chicanos in the US. In the postmodern age, my visual language speaks to the issues of migration, shifting demographics, draws from pop culture and seeks to present truth at a more local, personal level.