Charmaine Ortiz is a visual artist based out of Carolina Beach, North Carolina. She received the Combined Honors Fellowship earning her MFA in Painting and an MA in Art History from Savannah College of Art and Design. She has earned other merit awards including SCAD’s Encore Award as well as fellowships and residency grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. She has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally and has also presented her art historical research at Universities across North Carolina and Georgia. Her work was most recently accepted into The Drawing Center (NY) Viewing Program.
She works with graphite and challenges its capabilities through varied fields and applications, including object making. By working on paper she maintains the historical apparatus specific to drawing while setting up new contrasts and formal problems. These challenges are intended to expand the drawing material by placing it into relevant dialogues shared with contemporary abstract painting. In order to expand this traditional drawing medium she makes her own graphite pencils from raw materials. In her processes she also mines the history of graphite to remove, preserve, and represent vital information such as graphite’s geographical discovery, its historical past, present and future uses (real and fabricated). This data dictates the specific material choices and the compositional arrangements she utilizes. Through process and material interactions between objects and structures she celebrates graphite’s materiality, its history, and its personal nature.