Tony Ortega

Tony Ortega holds an MFA in drawing and painting from the University of Colorado. He is the recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. Tony is known for his vibrant, colorful artwork and his lifelong goal is to contribute to a better understanding of the experiences, culture and history of Latinos through his art. He has taught art for over 20 years. His teaching philosophy is based in classroom learning and application to the art world. He teaches his students the formal skills of drawing, printing and painting, which includes color theory, composition and the use of materials. He teaches his students that art is a visual tool for the communication of ideas. He hopes to generate excitement and curiosity in his students that will foster their interest in the art world and their individual development.

To find out more about Tony, click on the following links:
YouTube video by the Arvada Center
YouTube video (in Spanish) from Denver Arts Week 2011


Visit the Artist’s Website

Tony Ortega is available for full or part-time residencies.


Videos Click to play

Book a Program with this Artist

Explore: Creative Aging, Cultural Arts, Digital Arts, Professional Development, Visual Arts, Drawing, Folk, Latino, Masks, Mixed Media, Murals, Painting, Printmaking, iPad


Individual workshop and performance prices are determined by each artist. Please contact us for performance and workshop pricing for a particular artist. Visit our Pricing page for other pricing information.

  • Media and Techniques

    Workshop or Residency for grades K through 12th

    We will focus on four areas of iPad video creating and video capturing. Workshop includes gif searches, editing, adjusting, and contrast stylizing. The students will also learn which apps give the best presentation, texture and intrigue they desire. School must provide iPads for this workshop.

  • Basic iPad Workshop

    Workshop or Residency for grades K through 12th

    Discover the creative power and amazing artistic potential of your classroom iPads. Make the most of your iPad’s unbelievable abilities to create and edit video images. Art should reflect our time as demonstrated by new technology, application of materials and current events. New technology is fundamentally restructuring the way artists research, design, compose and create art. Artists, art students and art teachers need to learn how to create digitally by using 21st century technologies. The iPad is at the forefront of becoming one of the most innovative and dynamic tools in art studio classroom. School must provide iPads for this workshop.

  • Recycled Paper Mache Animalitos

    Workshop or Residency for grades Pre-K through 12th

    These imaginative animals are called Alebrijes (ali-bre-haze). In Oaxaca, Mexico they are created from Copal wood which is native to that part of Mexico. These fanciful creations are made by assembling wood scraps and taking the same care in painting the details. The first Alebrijes, where created by Pedro Linares of Oaxaca, Mexico. After dreaming about the creatures while sick in the 1930s, he began to create what he saw in cardboard and papier-mâché.

    Students will create an Animalitos/Alebrijes fantastic creature by using recycled materials (plastic fruit containers, toilet paper rolls and egg cartons), tape, hot glue guns, gesso and acrylic paint. Pick out scraps of recycle materials to assemble the animalitos. Be creative and try different shapes (abstract and geometric) and directions (horizontal, vertical and diagonal) to create a sense of movement and balance. The animalito can include body, legs, head, antenna, antlers, wings, feet etc. Glue the recycled pieces together using tape and hot glue. After the students has glued the recycled materials together, paper Mache the surface with news paper. The last step includes painting with acrylic paint on your Animalitos in the style of Oaxaca artists with solid opaque under colors and pattern in the surface.

  • Mural Project

    Residency for grades K through 12th

    Tony Ortega has completed dozens of community murals over the past 20 years. The mural reflects the needs, hopes and dreams of the community who creates them. They are part of a community arts movement which emerges as an alternative art education program by ordinary people as they reach out to their community. The mural process encourages participants of different ages and socioeconomic backgrounds to collaborate, develop friendships, and learn from each other while developing their art skills. The community mural making process includes the two following areas:

    Design and Layout of the mural
    A. Discussion about location, size and subject of the mural
    B. Requirements of time, resources and materials
    C. Two sketches of proposed mural
    D. Preparing surface of mural (gesso/primer)
    E. Layout of final mural as a cartoon or on surface

    Contact time with students/community artist
    A. Teaching and guiding student in the painting process
    B. Working with groups of 4 to 5 students in timed rotations
    C. Painting process includes the following:
    1. Under painting
    2. Dry brush
    3. Pointillism and pattern painting
    4. Outlining and final touch up
    5. Varnish application

  • Various Mediums Workshop

    Workshop or Residency for grades K through 12th

    Tony will complete a workshop with students about one of the following mediums and topics: watercolor, pastel, acrylic, monotypes, and day of the dead.