Ortansa Moraru





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Back to the Garden, Headbones Gallery, Toronto, Canada, September




Les cris-écrits de la nature





 Peintre-graveur-poète du noir sur tout type de supports.



Ses connaissances d’artiste, de peintre en gravure, reposent sur l’usage des signes et des images synthétisées en lignes et formes obscures sur du blanc. L’art de la mise en page notre obscurité quotidienne… L’art de préparer la nuit pour le lendemain de l’aube.





Ortansa Moraru was born in 1968, in Romania. After working as an Art Teacher at the “Marin Sorescu” High School of Arts in Craiova, Romania, she immigrated to Canada and worked in Toronto since 2002. She began doing woodcuts in 1987 under the supervision of Dafinel Duinea, a Romanian self-taught printmaker. Ortansa earned her MFA and B. Ed. in 1997 from The Western University of Timisoara having Constantin Catargiu the Lithography Professor. From Suzana Fantanariu, Ortansa learned Drawing, Composition and the hand pulled Woodcut technique. She was awarded with the first Scholarship in 1993 at the 4th European Biennial of Fine Arts Academies in Maastricht, Holland, in the Masterclasss Section, with Professor Luciano Fabro. Another two Scholarships were awarded to her from the “Dante Alighieri” Cultural Society in Rome, Italy, in 1996 and 1998. She is a professional artist with exhibitions across Europe, Asia and North America. 






Since her arrival in Canada, Ortansa was awarded with the Third place prize in Italy at the IV International Biennial of Graphic Arts, Francavilla al Mare in 2006 ,  Juror’s Award in 2007 at the Glenhyrst Art Gallery, at the Juried Drawing Exhibition, Brantford, Third Prize-Abstract at The Society Of Canadian Artist’s  41st Open Juried National Exhibition  Todmorden Mills, Papermill Gallery and recently – Arts / Social Justice Award of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada presented by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. She is a member of the Society of Canadian Artists, Aripa Art Gallery, Turin, Italy, Drawing Society of Canada and Ontario College of Teachers.


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Style and Essence

Talking about Ortansa Moraru’s art



by Maria Cecilia Nicu



Brancusi said once: «I give you pure joy! » underlining the idea that art has the « mission » to enlighten and enrich our life.


And more: « A true form ought to suggest infinity. The surfaces ought to look as  though they went on forever, as though they proceeded out from the mass into some perfect and complete existence » sais Brancusi.


Saying that we should accept that art is a road of discovery, every step is taken is controlled by desire to find something good enough to keep us searching, good enough to want to go farther and find that remote way of entrance into that turbulent universe of emotions, thinking, living. 


How much the artist hunker after, it’s expressed in his inner capability to find that ephemeral originality of transforming earthy materials in to a hieratic bouquet of fillings.




Talking about art is never easy.



In November 2008, Varley Art Gallery of Markham hosted a remarkable Collection of art work, « Aligning with Beauty » and one of the artists included in the exhibits was Ortansa Moraru who participated with woodblock prints, black and white ink on Japanese paper being the communicator of her choice.


And I wrote that time: « Based on the dramatic impact black and white combination can produce Ortansa’s prints create a string of emotions for they invade your mind and soul with inquisitive questions. Titled, NEST (II IV V), they send you to an idea of primordial  life, but the clarity of an answer is far away from the images Ortansa puts in front of you. Black and white color dance around one another into a frenetic twist, each color fighting to keep its purity, sometimes successfully, other times losing, and the dye is tinted; purity of life, right from the beginning, being an illusion. »


Born in Romania, in 1968, Canadian from 2002.






Ortansa Moraru earned her MFA and B Ed. in 1997 from Western University of Timisoara, studying Lithography, Drawing, Painting, Compositions and the hand pulled Woodcut technique.


Awarded with scholarships from Holland, Italy and Canada, with exhibitions across Europe, Asia and North America, Ortansa confirms she is a remarkable artist with an outstanding talent.


On March 5th  this year Ortansa proposes an Open House  exhibit and an expended display of her work become a shocking experience ; a chromatic  universe provoke  our visual perception  and reveal the complexity of her personality.  The artist is willing to travel from purity of drawing to the intensity of woodblock cut printing, from the precision of graphic lines to the colourful palette on paintings using unexpected shapes and styles and giving the impressions of an intense strive to discover what Brancusi called, « pure joy »


The « Nest » motive is still there, but sometimes it’s amplified by a splash of colour, brighten intervention in the dramatically display of black and  she called them  the « Passing By », new series of woodblock print projecting a light interpretation of the protective sense of a nest which surround and insure the growing life it’s supposed to embrace.


« The Fences » become a very special surrounding, a jump aver them seems to be a necessity, a chance to achieve what we desire. 

In charcoal decisive lines, fences spell out the idea of that open road we dream about and we dare to look for.


Searching for her own style, Ortansa plays between a realistic, easy translatable images with sometimes confusing or even more, intriguing tangled layers of lines or colours.


That way she’s  giving herself liberty of an imagistic originality  and the chance to get inward and discover a world of ideas, passions, regrets, melancholic reveries, ,all those secret and rich human fillings.






Two of her new series of woodcut print, « My Way » and « Roots » unveil once more Ortansa’s technical possibilities as well as her intense exploration of life interpretation: an almost egg shaped images, « My Way » exploit the dramatic power of black in that fight we know from « Nests » to suppress white sense of serenity or to entangle highly emotional  battle Series of « Roots «  having  an ample format the woodcut prints give us a new meaning of  the word-root- going deep under the surface of the earth, the artist discover a new world, I could say, a mirror reflection from above. Colours, hues of brown and red mangled with pale dies of green implying a sense of “déjà vu “, nothing is new, nothing in unknown.





And yet « Alphabet Tree » a series of paintings on egg tempura on somerset is a revelation, a different approach of the subject pending between the traditional (Romanian, Canadian, who know?) view of nature and the border line symbolical even abstract interpretation of it.


A chromatic palette moves leaves from green of summer to golden touch of fall charging a sentimental mood or may be a joyful way of looking around.






A new alphabet emerges from Ortansa’s paintings, an alphabet of nature, trees could offer a hint and we can begin to follow them and uncover many other signs of it.


A large exhibit is a privilege, we can judge artistic work piece by piece or we can dare to take under our scrutiny everything we see. One way or another we can be deeply touch or we can walk away, but always we’ll be followed by uncommon questions.


I have no idea if the questions I’ve left with will be ever answered, but I certain had fillings of fulfilment and happiness and also I can say that I left her Open House exhibit with a certain impression that she’ll have a bright future and her art will enlighten many lives.

She offers « pure joy! »



                                                           Maria Cecilia Nicu,

                                                           Toronto, March 2011
















Born in Romania, maiden name: Ortansa Ilie
Lives and works in Toronto, Canada since 2002



2010  PhD Candidate, Western University of Timisoara, Romania

Fine Arts and Design Department

Thesis Supervisor: Prof. PhD. Suzana Fantanariu



1991-1997   MFA, Faculty of Fine Arts, Western University of Timisoara, Timisoara, Romania

                   Printmaking, Prof. PhD. Constantin Catargiu


1985-1988    Cornetti School of Fine Arts, Craiova, Romania. Prof.Victor Parlac

1985-1987   “Marin Sorescu” High School of Arts, Craiova, Romania

                                   Prof. Suzana Fantanariu


Continuing Education:

2008   Lithography, Open Studio, Toronto. Instructor, Shawn Reynar
2007   Printmaking for Educators, Open Studio, Toronto.
          Instructor, Jillian Booth, Print Media Technologist, Sheridan College



1998    Dante Alighieri Cultural Society, Rome, Italy

           ▪ Italian Language and Culture Study.

           With the support of The Dragan European Foundation, Rome, Italy  

1996    Dante Alighieri Cultural Society, Rome, Italy

           ▪  Italian Language and Culture Study.

           With the support of The Rotary Club, Craiova branch, Romania

1993    The 4-th Biennial of Fine Arts Academies, Maastricht, Holland

           ▪  Master class section – Prof. Luciano Fabro (1936-2007), Milano

           With the support of The Open Society Institute, Soros Foundation, Timisoara



2009   Arts / Social Justice Award of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada presented by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario            
2009   Third Prize, Abstract, The 41st Open National Juried exhibition, Papermill Gallery, Toronto
2009   Nica Petre Prize, The Observatorul Magazine, Toronto, Canada
2009   Honorary Diploma, the Eight Edition of the “Iosif Iser” International Contemporary
          Printmaking Biennial Exhibition, Romania
2007   Juror’s Award,
Glenhyrst Art Gallery, Juried Drawing Exhibition, Brantford, Canada
2006   Third Prize Award, IV International Biennial of Graphic Arts, Francavilla al Mare, Italy
2006   Honorary Diploma, the Sixth Edition of the “Iosif Iser” International Contemporary
          Printmaking Biennial Exhibition, Romania
1996   The Youth Prize Award – The Fine Arts Museum, Craiova, Romania
1992    “Dante Alighieri” Award, “Dante Alighieri” Cultural Society, Timisoara, Romania


Member of:

2011  Aripa Art Gallery of Mariana Papara, Turin, Italy www.aripa.eu
2010  Inducted as an honourary member of the Drawing Society of Canada, www.drawingsociety.com
2008(to date)     The “Xylography – Stylistic Matrix” Group,
                         Curator Prof. PhD. Suzana Fantanariu
2007 (to date)    Ontario College of Teachers, Canada
2007 -2009         Society of Northern Alberta Print-Artists
2003 (to date)    Society of Canadian Artists, Toronto, Canada
1997–2001         Romanian Artists Society, Craiova, Romania
1992–1997         Dante Alighieri Cultural Society, Comitato di Timisoara, Romania
1990–2001         Romanian Ex Libris Association, Oradea, Romania, Founding Member


Solo Exhibitions(selection):

2011    Homer Watson Home and Gallery, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

           Ortansa Moraru, Robert Achtemichuk, Isabella Stefanescu

           Curator, Sandu Sindile

2009    Romanian General Consulate, Toronto, Canada  

2004    Ontario Club, Toronto, Canada

           Curator, Claudiu Murgan

2003    Time Just Passing By – Out/Aut Gallery, Toronto, Canada
           Curator, Ranko Pavic

1999   “Arta” Gallery, Craiova, Romania

           Curator, Catalin Davidescu

1998   “Arta” Gallery, Craiova, Romania

           Curator, Catalin Davidescu


Professional Involvement:  

March 2011(to date)   

Art Gallery of Ontario,

Marvin and Gelber Prints and Drawings Center, Volunteer


January 2011(to date)  

Associate Director, Aripa Art Gallery, Turin, Italy


Sep.2009 -(to date)      

Art Gallery of Ontario, Gallery Guide –School Program

June 2009                 

Open Studio, Toronto
Scholarship Jury Member

March 2009 (to date)   

Project Assistant for Diaspora,
The “Xylography – Stylistic Matrix” Group,
Curator Prof. PhD. Suzana Fantanariu, Timisoara, Romania

2008 -(to date)                   

Freelance writer ( volunteer ) for the Romanian Magazine “Observatorul”        


November 2008                        

Society of Canadian Artists

National Jury Member for Elected Membership


Master Printer, Ink Bonds, Rich Fog Publishing House, Toronto

Participating artists: EriK Jerezano, Srdjan Segan, Robin Tewes, Mahmood  Meraji, Ashley Johnson, Scott McEwan, Ortansa Moraru, Aleks Bartosik, Harold Klunder


December 2001         

Romanian Artists Society

National Jury Member for Elected Membership, Bucharest, Romania



Romanian Artists Society

Curator, “Studio 35”, Craiova Branch


Group Exhibitions (selection):

2011   Apocalipse-Aripa Art Gallery, Turin, Italy. Curator Mariana Papara and Silvana Nota
2011   Artists of the Gallery 2011, 5th Annual AGO Staff Show, Hang Man Gallery, Toronto

2010   The “Xylography-Stylistic Matrix IV” Durango, Mexico. Curator Cristina Sandor
2010   Open Studio 100 Prints, Toronto
2010   Fourth International Printmaking Juried Exhibit
          Prints for Peace 2011  Monterrey, NL México
2010   ARTISTS of the GALLERY 2010, 4th Annual AGO Staff Show, Hang Man Gallery
2010   Pulled (A Print Show) Headbones Gallery, Toronto, Curator, Julie Oakes

2009   Whodunit , Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto
2009   Paper Salon,  Headbones Gallery Toronto.Curator, Julie Oakes
2009   DIN A4, Sala del Archivo Municipal, Malaga, Spain.Curator Ernst Kraft
2009   Back to the Garden,  Headbones Gallery Toronto.Curator, Julie Oakes
2009   Toronto International Art Fair, Headbones Gallery Toronto.Curator, Julie Oakes
2009   The 41st Open National Juried exhibition, Papermill Gallery, Toronto
2009   Open Studio 100 Prints, Toronto
2009   The “Xylography-Stylistic Matrix” Group, Pod Gallery
          Curator Prof.PhD. Suzana Fantanariu, Timisoara, Romania
2009   The Sixth Edition of the “Iosif Iser” International Contemporary  Printmaking
           Biennial  Exhibition, Romania

2008   Aligning with Beauty, Varley Art Gallery of Markham. Curator, Julie Oakes
2008    V International Biennial of Graphic Arts, Francavilla al Mare, Italy, China (Peking) and
Spain (Sant Carles de la Ràpita).
2008    The 1st International Printmaking Biennial, Ankara, Turkey
2008    Artist Proof and Sale Group Exhibition, Open Studio, Toronto.
2008    International Group Exhibition, Engrame, Quebec, Canada
2008   Xylography – Stylistic Matrix II, Timisoara, Romania.Curator, SuzanaFantanariu
2008   Second International Mini Print Exhibition-Ottawa School of Art, Ontario, Canada
Naestved International Exhibition of Contemporary Mini Square Prints, Denmark
2008   The Americas Biennial Exhibition


2007   Juried Drawing Exhibition, Glenhyrst Art Gallery, Brantford

2007   Headbones Gallery, Abstract (B&W), Toronto

2007   5th Kiwa Exhibition – The Kyoto International Woodprint Association, Japan

2007   Home/Acasa Project with the support of the Art Council of England and the   

           Romanian Cultural Institute, London. Curator Gabriela Boiangiu

2007   5th International Small Engraving Biennial, Cremona, Italy

2007   Internationale d’art miniature, Ville de Levis, Quebec

2007   SCA, 50th Anniversary-Joseph D.Carrier Art Gallery, Columbus Centre, Toronto 

2007   Acqui Biennale Internationale dell Incisione, Acqui Terme, Italy


2006   International Triennial of Graphic Art, Bitola, Macedonia

2006   5th Egyptian International Print Triennial, Egypt

2006   IV International Biennial of Graphic Arts, Francavilla al Mare, Italy

2006   "Romanian Modern Artist’s Exhibition", Koga City Museum, Japan

2006   First International Miniature Print Competition, Ottawa School of Art, Canada

2006   Elected Member’s Spring Exhibition, Art Gallery of Northumberland, Cobourg, Canada






Her work can be seen at :


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