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Learn About Latin American Art At 'Body & Soul' Gallery Talk In Bridgeport

"Erotica IX" by Julio Cesar Pena Peralta. A master printmaker from Cuba, Pena Peralta’s work reminds us of our own mortality, and the certainty of death. Photo Credit: contributed
"Headstand, Muscle Beach" by Larry Silver. The photograph was taken in 1954, just when Muscle Beach achieved world renown and sparked a health and fitness movement that remains popular today. Photo Credit: contributed
"Tormented Man" by Leonard Baskin, from the portfolio “Fifteen Woodcuts," 1953. Photo Credit: contributed

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- The Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport will host a talk with Ben Ortiz, curator of the museum's newest exhibition "Body & Soul," on Thursday.

The talk is open to all and those who attend will engage directly with the works of art, and Ortiz will discuss his passion for collecting art and tell stories behind each work.

The "Body & Soul" exhibition is a collection of prints, paintings, photographs and sculpture with an emphasis on works by Latin American art.

Local, regional and national artists are also represented in this compilation of 50 works of figurative art representing diverse art periods, art movements, mediums and techniques.

The collection was donated to the museum by Ortiz and Victor P. Torchia in honor of Ortiz’s brother, John Eloy Ortiz (1966-2008), who would have celebrated his 50th birthday this year.

The exhibition will remain open through Sunday, Oct. 23.

Ortiz attended Housatonic Community College and previously held the position as curator at the Housatonic Museum of Art.

During his tenure as curator, he recognized the rapid growth of the Hispanic population in Bridgeport and celebrated their contributions to the arts, according to a release from the Housatonic Museum of Art.

His lifelong passion for collecting art began at age 12, when he was drawn to purchase an etching on paper at a Bridgeport tag sale for 50 cents.

The work turned out to be created by Edith Nankivell (1896-1962), an American etcher and painter who exhibited in New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Boston during the 1930s and 1940s, and the piece will be included in the exhibition.

The Housatonic Museum of Art (HMA) is home to one of the premier college art collections in the United States. Its collection offers students and the community alike the opportunity to view works that span the history of art from the ancient to the contemporary.

Unique to the Housatonic Community College campus, this permanent collection is on continuous display throughout the 300,000-square-foot facility, offering a rare opportunity for both art enthusiasts and casual observers to view and interact with the art on a daily basis.

Thursday's event will begin at 5 p.m.

Visit to learn more.

The Housatonic Museum of Art is at 900 Lafayette Blvd., Bridgeport.

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