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Artist Cruz Ortiz Opens Virtual Gallery of San Antonio Missions Oil Paintings

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Artist Cruz Ortiz may be leaving the Alamo City for his hometown of Houston, but he certainly made an impression while he was here. Indeed, 10 new impressions of San Antonio's historic Spanish Missions are now available for viewing in Ortiz's virtual gallery.

"Documenting an Old Empire: the San Antonio Missions en plein air" is the result of Ortiz's time in the San Antonio Missions Artist-in-Residence Program. Those last French words of the exhibit title signify that Ortiz painted the pieces entirely outside while looking at his subjects — in this case, antique colonial edifices.

It's fitting to see the dignified old structures expressed in Ortiz's vivid style, steeped in the bi-cultural landscape of South Texas he experienced while growing up with itinerant missionary parents.

If Ortiz's art lives anywhere, it's at a perpetual crossroads of pop and class. Other recent developments in his career range from a design for Lone Star's first Mexican Style Lager to the acquisition of his portrait of Tomás Ybarra-Frausto by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

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