Monique Ortiz

What is your background? 

I’ve lived on the Big Island since I was 4 years old. I grew up in a very creative household that allowed me to be expressive and experiment with various kinds of art, music, and performance. As a young adult I participated in the annual Young At Art show, and various theater productions upstairs at the center. I attended Hilo High School where I was able to take various art classes but my passion lies in photography, printmaking, textiles and collage. I obtained a Liberal Arts degree from the Hawaii Community College and a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

What motivates you to be on the Board of EHCC? 

Once I finished college, I struggled with trying to find a place where I could utilize my degree and interest in art, especially since being a “professional artist” was not something I aspired to do; I just wanted to be around it and part of a creative, supportive space. Joining the board and being at the center almost everyday gave me a sense of place and identity that I didn’t think was possible, especially living in Hilo. It's easy to think a place like this exist somewhere else, but being a part of this dedicated team gives me the motivation and enthusiasm to create something here; for my home.