Woodmere Art Museum announces Michelle Angela Ortiz and José Ortiz-Pagán, jurors of the 80th Annual Juried Exhibition

Visual Arts
Woodmere Art Museum announces Michelle Angela Ortiz and José Ortiz-Pagán,
jurors of the 80th Annual Juried Exhibition

Image: The Woodmere Annual: 77th Juried Exhibition, 2018, juried by Syd Carpenter




Philadelphia, PA (May 9, 2022) – Woodmere Art Museum is pleased to announce its Annual Juried Exhibition, on view June 4 through August 28, 2022. The 80th annual juried exhibition, juried by Michelle Angela Ortiz and José Ortiz-Pagán, will showcase art that reflects themes of migration.

Migration is the act of moving from one place to another. We move in different ways between man-made borders, physical and ancestral spaces, and our memories. The exhibition will feature over 40 works of art in a variety of mediums, including video, photography, collage, sculpture, and more. Together, these works seek to challenge viewers’ notions of place, belonging, and identity.

“The selections in this year’s exhibition address the Great Migration, the African American experience, modes of migration, the ways people seek refuge and safety, the search for a better opportunity, and even just reconnecting with a family that is here and there,” juror Michelle Angela Ortiz explains.

José Ortiz-Pagán continues: “Michelle and I wanted to see migration from a very humane point of view… I think the show provides an opportunity to expand the context in which we are living. Under the previous and current administrations, there is mistreatment of migrant communities, not to mention all the disparities that their policies have supported in terms of viability for a better quality of life that will affect us probably for the next couple of decades.”

“I think these works will challenge the concept of what it means to be American,” Michelle Angela Ortiz concludes.

For 80 years, Woodmere has offered an annual exhibition which champions the contemporary art scene of Philadelphia. Presented alongside works by Ortiz and Ortiz-Pagán, the exhibition features a wide range of contemporary work by artists living within 50 miles of the museum.

Participating artists include: Maryanna Buschini, Joe Castro, Debora Dias, Mikel Elam, Harvey Finkle, Jeff Gola, Michael Grimaldi, Jacob Hammes, Hee Sook Kim, Maci Kociszewski, Marlis Kraft, Susan Lowry, Emilio Maldonado, Michael D. McGeehan, Thomas McKinney, Michael Mergen, Marge Miccio, Nicole Michaud, Deirdre Murphy, Chau Nguyen, Yangbin Park, Ginny Perry, Jonathan Pinkett, Rashidah Salam, Marta Sanchez, Edna Santiago, Hinda Schuman, Sarah Steinwachs, Maria Ah Hyun Stracke, John Stritzinger, Jacqueline Unanue, Cristhian Varela, Idalia Vasquez-Achury, Shira Walinsky, and Yolanda Ward.

About the Jurors

Michelle Angela Ortiz
 is a visual artist, muralist, community arts educator, and filmmaker who uses her art to represent people and communities whose histories are often lost or co-opted. Through community arts practices, painting, documentaries, and public art installations, she creates a safe space for dialogue around some of the most profound issues communities and individuals may face. Her work tells stories using richly crafted and emotive imagery to claim and transform spaces into a visual affirmation that reveals the strength and spirit of the community.

Over the past twenty years, Ortiz has designed and created more than fifty large-scale public works nationally and internationally. Since 2008, Ortiz has led art for social change public art projects in Costa Rica and Ecuador and as a cultural envoy through the US Embassy in Fiji, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Venezuela, Honduras, and Cuba.

Ortiz is a 2021 Art Is Essential grantee, an Art for Justice Fund grantee, a Pew Fellow, a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artist as Activist Fellow, and a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist National Fellow. In 2016, she received the Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network Year in Review Award, which honors outstanding public art projects in the nation.

José Ortiz-Pagán is a multidisciplinary artist and cultural organizer. His practice focuses on local communities, negotiating their cultural presence in the context of the transitional and migratory. In his work, he uses rituals, games, gatherings, and objects as tools for discussion. Ortiz-Pagán is the recipient of an Art Works grant from the Philadelphia Foundation and the Forman Arts Initiative, which recognizes the work of community-based artists. As a curator, he has been responsible for projects that include Portales (Portals), a survey of work of Samuel Lind that focuses on the juncture between the artist’s spiritual framework and how it impacted the local culture of his community in Loíza, Puerto Rico.

Ortiz-Pagán’s work has been featured in the Trienal Poli/gráfica in San Juan, Puerto Rico; the International Biennial Print Exhibit in Taiwan ROC, and the Bronx Latin American Art Biennial, among other exhibitions.

About Woodmere Art Museum
Housed in a 19th-century stone mansion on six acres in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, Woodmere offers a unique museum experience that centers on the art and artists of Philadelphia. Vibrant exhibitions explore the achievements and social ideas of Philadelphia’s artists in the broader context of American art; Woodmere prioritizes diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in its collecting, programming, and admission policies. Throughout the year, Woodmere offers family events, tours, gallery talks, lectures, panel discussions, studio art classes, film, and music performances. Woodmere brings the experience of art and nature together with a growing collection of sculpture installations across our six green acres.

The core of Woodmere’s collection is the gift of Charles Knox Smith (1845 – 1916). Born of modest means, Smith built his fortune in the mining industry, and he became a city leader and passionate art collector. In 1898, he purchased the Woodmere estate with the grand ambition of creating a museum of the fine arts immersed in the green beauty of Chestnut Hill. He expanded and transformed his home into a showcase for his art collection as a gift to the people of Philadelphia. Smith focused much of his collecting on Philadelphia’s artists, but his Hudson River paintings remain on view as the best in Philadelphia to this day. For almost forty years up to 1978, the artist Edith Emerson was Woodmere’s director, and she established a focus on women artists, especially collecting those in the circle of her life partner, Violet Oakley.

Woodmere is located at 9201 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia PA, 19118. Open to the public Wednesday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Admission is $10; FREE on Sunday. For more information: woodmereartmuseum.org.


Note to Editors and Writers:

  • There will be an opening reception at Woodmere Art Museum on Saturday, June 4, 2022, from 12-4 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
Media Contacts
Lourdes Miller, Blue Medium Inc.

Daniella Snyder
Communications Manager, Woodmere Art Museum