Houstonian Displays Roots Of Her Heart

Gels, nails, wire, gold leaf, chalk pastel, glass beads and oil on wood are just some of the things you'll see incorporated in local artist Lizbeth Ortiz's art work in her solo exhibition "Raíces de mi Corazón," ("Roots of my Heart" in English) that opened last night at Talento Bilingüe de Houston.

It's Ortiz's first show since being named the official artist of the 2008 Annual Latin Grammy Awards and dedicating the past year to her artwork.

"I have a hard time parting with my work. They're like your kids. But it's time for them to move out and get a job and it helps you create something new in it's place," explains Ortiz.

Ortiz is a master of texture and vivid color. Her influences range from Frida Khalo to Vicent van Gogh and can be plainly seen in the prominent swirls and bold colors found in both "La Reina de Corazones" and "Madre Naturaleza."

In all her work, a spiritual and cultural theme from her Mexican-American upbringing is evident and the 38 pieces spanning from 2003-2009 are a visual journey through the time spent living in Mexico City, Miami, New York City and Houston.

Another prominent feature of her work -- nails. There are 30 pounds of nails alone in the "Corazón De Oró" piece that give it the allusion of a pulsating organ. If you look closely, you'll also see her use of nails in the cactus of "Zapata y Adelita."

"They're all different kind of nails. I think what they're a representation of life's lessons. I wanted to illustrate all that with the different sizes, different colors," said Ortiz, "I feel like they're the perfect exclamation mark for feelings. They can be rays but they can also become a barrier, a defense mechanism."

More than 100 folks came out for the exhibition.

"What I really love most about Lizbeth's work is that it's so lively. It's very vivacious and colorful and you can tell there's just a lot she puts into it. A lot of the stuff that she does, especially with the metals and the gels, it just adds so much more to a piece," said Julie Zarate, another prominent local artist that is an admirer of Ortiz's work.

The show is open through February 26, 2010. Be sure you don't miss it.

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