Lisbeth Ortiz, a local artist and MECA’s coordinator of visual arts programming, has been announced as the official Latin Grammy Artist. (That means her painting,Latin Grammy Night in Tejas
, will be used as the official image on the cover of the invitations, posters, program book, etc.)
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Latin Grammy Night in Tejas shows a skyline of Houston made up of musical instruments done in deep, rich blues and vibrant reds and yellows. “I work for MECA and my office faces downtown,” Ortiz told Hair Balls. “So, when I got a call asking me to participate in the contest, I immediately thought of the Houston skyline. I turned all the buildings into instruments typically used in Latin music, like the conga, the maracas, and the accordion. I did the sky as Starry Night swirls and had the full moon with the profile of a rabbit, which is an Aztec legend.”
Ortiz was born in Mexico City and moved to Houston, eventually attending the High School for Visual and Performing Arts. From there she went to the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. She was there for the 9/11 attacks, which she says greatly influenced her work. “My first solo show was a month later. It became the first of many “Día de los Muertos” exhibitions,” Ortiz has said.
Winning the Latin Grammy Artist title, Ortiz says, “is an enormous opportunity. I didn’t really understand it until I was there at the press conference and Lila Downs was commenting on how nice my dress is and I’m like, ‘But you’re Lila Downs! I love you.’ That’s when it all started to hit me. It’s been a very happy surprise. I’m very honored and thrilled that my work has been chosen to represent Houston.”
The 9th Annual Latin Grammy Awards is set for November 13 at the Toyota Center. Watch Rocks Off, the Houston Press music blog, for more information. — Olivia Flores Alvarez