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Eclectic Exhibition Opening At Housatonic Museum Of Art In Bridgeport

"Headstand, Muscle Beach" by Larry Silver will be on view at Housatonic Museum of Art. Photo Credit: Contributed image
"Tormented Man" by Leonard Baskin, from the portfolio “Fifteen Woodcuts, 1953," will be on view at Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Contributed image
"Erotica IX" by Julio Cesar Pena Peralta will be on view at Housatonic Museum of Art. Photo Credit: Contributed image

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — An eclectic collection of prints, paintings, photographs and sculpture make up “Body & Soul,” a new exhibition opening next month at the Housatonic Museum of Art.

Curated by Ben Ortiz, the show features work from the Ben Ortiz and Victor P. Torchia Jr. Collection. While diverse, the 50 pieces strive to tell stories of independence, discovery, achievement, loss, love and hope.

The collection is a gift to the museum, in memory of Ortiz’ brother, the late John Eloy Ortiz, who would have turned 50 this year.

“We are honored to receive the ‘Body & Soul’ collection,” said Robbin Zella, the museum’s executive director and curator. “These pieces explore figurative art in rich diversity. Through their varied expressions of the individual, these artists raise questions about who we are and how we view each other.”

The exhibition opens with a free, public reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22 featuring a performance by the David Childs Jazz Trio. The exhibit will be on view through Oct. 23.

The Ben Ortiz and Victor Torchia Jr. art collection includes an array of works by American and international artists. The pieces are diverse in representation of art periods, art movements, mediums and techniques.

Ben Ortiz attended Housatonic Community College and previously held the position of curator at the Housatonic Museum of Art. During his tenure, he recognized the rapid growth of the Hispanic population in Bridgeport and celebrated their contributions to the arts.

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; the piece will be included in the exhibition.

The Housatonic Museum of Art is home to one of the premier college art collections in the United States. Its collection offers students and the community 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 both art enthusiasts and casual observers to view and interact with the art on a daily basis.

For more information on the exhibition or the museum, visit .

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