Many people in our community recognize Ben Ortiz's name and face because he's one of Bridgeport's favorite sons.
An art collector since childhood, he was among the first to bring a focus on Latino art in Bridgeport. Now an independent curator, Ben worked for eight years as assistant curator and a registrar at the Barnum Museum, eight years as curator of the Housatonic Museum of Art at HCC, and five years as curator of art and collections at the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport.
Tonight, Sept. 22, is a very special evening for Ortiz, and for the HCC museum where he once worked. Honoring the life of his late brother, John Ortiz, who died in 2008, Ortiz is is donating a sizeable part of his private collection to HCC.
An opening reception will be held tonight for the resulting exhibition, “Body and Soul.’’ (Facebook event page here.)
Fifty pieces, including prints, paintings, photographs and sculpture, are a gift from Ortiz and his partner, Victor P. Torchia Jr.
“The Ben Ortiz and Victor Torchia, Jr. art collection includes an array of incredible works by American and international artists,’’ museum spokeswoman Laura Roberts told the Connecticut Post. “The pieces are diverse in representation of art periods, art movements, mediums and techniques.’’
The David Childs Jazz Trio will perform at the opening reception on Thursday, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the museum, 900 Lafayette Boulevard. The exhibit will remain on display through Oct. 23.