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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

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  • “Desert Palms”Desert Palms

    Watercolor, 9x12" Nov 2015

Erico Ortiz

  • Art
  • Music
  • Drama
I am an Art Professional I am a Music Professional I am a Theatre Professional

artist bio

Erico Ortiz was born in Cayey, Puerto Rico, in 1955. He earned his undergraduate degree at Marquette University (Spanish Education) and a Masters Degree from UW-Milwaukee (Administrative Leadership). Erico taught Spanish for ten years and then became a school administrator, having worked at several Milwaukee Public Schools until retiring in 2011. He has worked with several community theatre companies, both on stage and behind the scenes, something he still enjoys today. He plays guitar and can be found Sunday mornings directing the Spanish choir at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Parish in Milwaukee.

As of March, 2014, Erico is owner/founder of Inspiration Studios, a new performance venue and art gallery which emerged from the conversion of a beautiful funeral home in West Allis. Located at 1500 S. 73rd Street, Inspiration Studios is home to the Village Playhouse (theatre company) and is enjoying the success of being the only live theatre and art gallery in West Allis. Concerts, plays, and many art exhibits have become the norm at I.S.

artist statement

In 1998, a study leave immersed me in art education courses at UW-Milwaukee. While this was not the traditional studio coursework that a budding artist would undertake, I learned the value of critical thinking and problem-solving as they relate to educating students in the arts. After years of rather crude and amateur artistic endeavors, my recent retirement from the Milwaukee Public Schools provided the opportunity I needed to explore visual arts as never before. I began to paint! And I began to look for those moments in time that would create lasting memories in my mind. I realized that inspiration was all around me—in people and places, sights and sounds, music and movies.

As part of my creative process, I determine the idea for a project. The first challenge, that of mixing and blending of colors to achieve a certain effect on a canvas, is a challenge I truly enjoy. Sometimes that selection process takes on a life of its own... and I'm forced to abandon my initial intention to give way to a new creative thought. Still honing skills and techniques, I am often thrilled (and sometimes pleasantly surprised!) by the resulting color compositions and the overall product.

What began as a hobby has become a way of viewing the world and expressing my mind’s eye on canvas. I invite you to view my artwork on my new web page: (click the Google link under my photo) and offer any feedback that you can. I'm constantly learning and welcome your thoughts. As you will see, I am still finding my way. -Erico


“Inspiration is all around us.”