Someone said that if a photo were scratched, beneath it would be a painting, but Cortez is not advocating scratching his photographs, only to stop by and view them. He is a graduate of Maryland Institute College of Art. He freelanced for Baltimore Magazine, managed its photography department, and eventually moved to Maine where he designed and built a cordwood home in South Paris.
Cortez worked in the MSAD 17 and RSU 10 school districts as a substitute teacher or tutor and has taught at the Streaked Mountain School. Currently, he cooks at Nezinscot Farm Cafe in Turner. He is a member of the Dharma Bums, whose members meet once a week for meditation and discussion.
He is guitarist for his wife, Leah Wolfsong, with performances at local venues such as The Fare Share Follies, Common Ground Fair, The Winter Solstice in Auburn, local churches and weddings. They live in Buckfield.
Cortez’s work is informed by his commitment and trust that the world that he inhabits is sacred. He strives for his photos to represent moments of awareness of beauty when seeing is coupled with spontaneity and discipline.
The gallery also will feature its annual holiday season of “10 by 10s” – smaller artworks inexpensively priced and suitable for gifts.
The gallery is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, visit westernmaineartgroup.org. Admission to the gallery is free and open to the public.