Disabled Artist Naomi Ortiz Re-Imagining Worlds: Latinx Spaces Profile

Disabled Artist Naomi Ortiz Re-Imaging Worlds Image description: Canvas is split between a night scene and day scene of the desert. Naomi's arm is painted between the two. a vein reaches from the desert floor goes into her arm and another from the moon goes into her arm. mountains and desert cacti are pictured on both sides and the sun and moon are in the shape of a human heart.
Painting by Naomi Ortiz

“Ortiz offers that being spiritually grounded means returning again and again to her body and to land. The nonhuman realm is critical to her artistic practice, helping her ask the question: who are my helpers that are nonhuman? Whether it’s the technology of Dragon Dictate, the acrylic paint, or the cilantro in her garden, this question is consistent in her exploration of care. Ortiz writes and paints about her relationships of support with the plants, the seasons, and the desert landscape around her. Her work is dependent upon these non-human relationships, forging new pathways to a grounded spiritual state. “There is a safety that I feel with land that I don’t always feel with people,” she says. “Land is honest, but it can feel chaotic, too.” As she expresses through her writing and artwork, spiritual care work widens the frame for what might be relationally possible.”

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