Colombian artist Felipe Ortiz focuses on the practice of painting, from traditional easel painting to murals and public installations. In 2009, he earned a BFA in 2D Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Felipe has participated in numerous art exhibits of private and public collections, including the Fuller Craft Museum, Punto Urban Art Museum, and the corporate loan collection at DeCordova Museum. His installations have been featured in the Knight Foundation’s Horizontes Project, Northeastern University’s public art collection. Fundación Culata’s Muro al Barrio, and the Ministry of Culture in Cali, Colombia. Felipe has been awarded Mass MoCA’s 2018 Assets for Artists Grant and the Cambridge Innovation Center’s 2016 Artist in Residence.

Felipe has also participated in various public art projects at local and international levels. In 2016, he founded the Fresco Exchange, a group invested in the creative and cultural exchange for artists across countries. This collaborative project supports artists through traveling art exhibits, public art interventions, workshops, and community engagement. The core mission is to share ideas between creative economies and exchange best practices in the arts. Traveling experiences help shape this project while gaining knowledge and criteria of the art world. Felipe maintains his studio practice and helps coordinate public art projects moving forward.

King Avenue PLUS is a Flint neighborhood organization composed of those who touch King Avenue or have an interest in revitalizing this neighborhood.  Dr. King was a man of vision for positive change and peace and our most prominent street is named for him.  King Avenue PLUS plans and works for Flint’s King Avenue to become a street that is valued and attractive for neighbors and those passing through.  Initiatives and on-going programs include the development of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Garden – 10 vacant lots owned by the Genesee County Land Bank and private owners – re-developed and maintained as multiple gardens and peaceful space between W. Genesee and W. McClellan on M. L. King Avenue. This mural in the former Detroit Street Business District will be  a significant and visible part of the recovery and marketing in the  King Avenue Business District.  The mural and its granting partners, Keep Genesee County Beautiful, Keep America Beautiful and the “working partners,” The Flint Public Art Project, and Artist Kevin Burdick, represent a project that is  community – driven and community valued.  Thanks to all.

Keep America Beautiful, in partnership with Diageo, released a Community Improvement Grant opportunity to its affiliate network that was to be used to support the efforts of volunteers, residents, community groups, and business owners/employees to prevent litter, promote recycling, and beautify areas in and around Martin Luther King Jr. corridors and neighborhoods.  Working with the MLK Plus group, Keep Genesee County Beautiful, a program of the Genesee County Parks, submitted an application and was awarded the funding used to bring the MLK Plus group’s vision for Flint’s MLK Corridor to life.

Through partnerships with public, private and non-profit stakeholder, the Land Bank encourages reinvestment in tax foreclosed properties.
Since its inception in 2002, the Genesee County Land Bank has taken the lead in applying the economic tools created under this new system by playing an active role in stabilizing neighborhoods and revitalizing the City of Flint and the surrounding areas. The Land Bank encourages re-use of more than 4,000 residential, commercial and industrial properties that it has acquired through the tax foreclosure process. This is accomplished through partnerships with public, private and non-profit partners as well as with the proceeds from the tax foreclosure process, proceeds from GCLB sales and rental programs, grants, loans, and bonds.