take a moment and see what you can find in the fog

picture of fog Dr. Francisco Ortega-Grimaldo is an Associate Professor in Graphic Design and Coordinator of the PhD Fine Arts program at the School of Art, Texas Tech University (TTU). He earned his undergraduate degrees and MA at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and his PhD in Critical Studies and Artistic Practice at TTU (2008). As a practicing artist and scholar, he is interested in: Historical and Critical Perspectives in Animation, Game Design Theory and History, Graphic Design, Motion Graphics, Web Media, Interdisciplinarity in the Arts, Border Studies, and Post-Colonialism. Among his most recent publications is “Socially-Based Board Games,” Jason C. Thomson, Marc Ouellette (Eds.) The Game Culture Reader, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013.

He began his professional career as a graphic designer working for the Model Institutions for Excellence (MIE) Program, an initiative of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in conjunction with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that aimed at increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in STEM programs. Concurrently, Dr. Ortega worked freelanced for many education and non-profit programs in the U.S. and in México, and taught as an adjunct at the New Mexico State University. As part of the first generation (2000) of SWEAT (http://www.sudor.net/) a collaborative dedicated to making socially conscious videogames, he worked under the tutelage of Professor Rafael Fajardo (founder of SWEAT) on the design of the digital games “Crosser “ (2000) and “La Migra” (2001) , which gained international acclaim. Inspired by these projects Dr. Ortega continued the exploration on socially conscious games and developed the conceptual board game “Crossing the Bridge” (2001) which became the base for his dissertation and inspired a series of board games each touching on a particular issue of immigration between México and the United States: The unreleased “From here to there” (2006), a fully playable version of “Crossing the Bridge” (2006), “Observance” (2007), and “H1-B Visa” (2007), the last three, on their own merits, have been exhibited nationally and internationally as art pieces and as playable board games.

During his time at TTU, Dr. Ortega continues to collaborate with non-profit organizations and impart social responsibility to his students through collaborative projects and activities. He has received numerous recognitions for his efforts to advocate for community concerns and for utilizing his artistic skills to benefit important causes and the organizations that support them: the Volunteer Center of Lubbock, the Lubbock Rape Crisis Center, Women’s Protective Services, Young Leaders of Lubbock, Early Learning Centers, Literacy Lubbock, among others.

Since 2014 Dr. Ortega and Art Historian, Dr. Jorgelina Orfila, are engaged in a teaching and research project that explores the intersections between art history and animation in the modern and contemporary periods. In addition to teaching graduate and undergraduate courses here at the School of Art, they have presented papers on this topic at the Annual conference organized by the College Art Association (NY 2015), “Bridges Across cultures” (Florence 2015) and the 28th Annual Conference of the Society of Animation Studies (Singapore 2016).