NCArts has announced the hiring of its new executive director, Larry Ortiz.
“We have been methodically and thoughtfully growing our organization, and the next step in our process was to find a leader who can manage our projects and activities, reach out to the arts community and take us to the next level. We believe Larry is that person,” NCArts President Jon Blinder said in a Friday news release.
Ortiz opened his first gallery in the Lake Tahoe region when he was just 21 years old, and since then, he has devoted his professional life to the arts, the release states. Over the years, he has installed more than 200 exhibitions and has presented more than 150 performances by musicians, actors, poets and dancers.
Ortiz was a founding member and executive director of The Arts Council of Placer County (now PlacerArts), where he was responsible for the establishment of the Autumn Studio Tour, the Auburn Art Walk, Music in the Park, Arts in the Schools and a gallery space for visual and performing artists. He was involved in the development of various programs, grant writing, supervising staff, maintaining and monitoring budgets and building relationships among government agencies, artists, board members and art patrons.
He also formed County and State Partnerships for support and fundraising, growing the annual budget of Placer Arts from $12,000 to $110,000, according to the news release. By increasing the community exposure to the arts, its membership grew annually, as did its organizational stability as a viable art center.
“I am excited to work with the board of NCArts and the diverse and dynamic art agencies of Grass Valley, Nevada City and throughout the county,” Ortiz stated in the release. “I look forward to the challenges that we face to advance the cultural, social and economic life of our community.”
Ortiz is also an accomplished ceramic artist and the owner of ClayArts, a teaching and production studio located in the lower level of the ARTS Building in Auburn. There he creates his own art work, teaches ceramics, trains and supervises lab assistants and prepares his students for an annual studio show. Through this business, he has interacted with organizations such as Placer County Office of Education, Home School, Placer Adult Ed. Horizon Schools and PlacerArts to support the continued education of adults and children.
Since 1995, he has been an adjunct faculty member in the Sierra College Liberal Arts Department at the Rocklin campus. He has also taught at UC Davis School of Design, CSU Sacramento and Sierra Nevada College. He received both his BA and MFA from CSU Sacramento.
Ortiz and his wife, Stephanie Ortiz, who serves as the executive dean of Sierra College’s Nevada County campus, currently reside in Grass Valley.
Effective Nov. 1, Larry will have an office at the ASiF Studios Building at 940 Idaho Maryland Road in Grass Valley. He can be reached at (530) 277-0130 and at email@example.com. NCArts was awarded a grant from the California Arts Council State-Local Partnership program that contributes to the executive director salary and office expenses.