Mata Ortiz


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About the artist...

At 5 years old I knew my path when I got by first beautiful box of crayola crayons. Like many artists, I make art with whatever materials are around, and look at the world as geometry full of forms, layers, and compositions. Communication and principles of simplicity are my primary motivators. I believe that important complex ideas, feelings, and emotions are most powerfully conveyed through artistic expression and this is what I work to do – express the thing that words cannot.



I was born in Massachusetts and have ancestral roots in Maine and South Dakota.

I lived many places growing up.

The natural environment is my preferred place to be. 

I graduated from University in Colorado where I studied art and design.

Santa Barbara has been my home for over 35 years

I served on Santa Barbara’s Arts Advisory for 8 years.  

In 1988, I founded the Kids Draw Architecture Program.

In 1996 I became an architect and formed Ensberg Jacobs Design Inc where I practice today.

In 2016 I was honored and elevated to Fellow of the American Institute of Architects for my work to educate about Art in Architecture.