Photographer José Galvez to Speak at H-SC

October 11, 2011

GalvezIn recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Hampden-Sydney College will host photographer José Galvez for a lecture and photo exhibit entitled "Shine" on Thursday, October 20.

For over 40 years, Galvez has used black and white film to create a powerful and unparalleled historical record of the Latino experience in America. His compelling work, done with respect, pride and no pretense, captures the beauty of daily life.  For Galvez, photographing the lives of Latinos is not a one-time project or "current passion" but a lifelong commitment.  As an artist, he photographs nothing else.  His personal history, love of family, and cultural knowledge enable him to pursue his work with an understanding of the stories behind the images.

When Galvez was 10, he carried his shoeshine box into the building of the Arizona Daily Star. After that night, he was a permanent fixture in the newsroom. He bought a camera at a pawn shop in high school and inspired by his mentors at the paper, went on to major in journalism at the University of Arizona. Upon graduation he became a staff photographer at the Star.

No matter what his assignments were, Galvez always focused his lens on the barrios of Tucson - his home - and the people who lived, worked, and loved there.  He had his first professional exhibition when he was just 22 years old.  At about the same time, his participation in the Chicano Movement led him to see his work as more than a passion: he had a responsibility to capture the history of his people.

Galvez moved on to the Los Angeles Times, becoming the first Mexican-American photographer on staff. In 1984, he was on a team of reporters and photographers that won a Pulitzer Prize for a series on Latino life in southern California: the first Chicanos to win the Prize. He left the Times in 1992 after winning many other awards for his photographs.

In 2004, Galvez and his family moved to North Carolina to photograph Hispanic immigration in the South.  In 2005, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC) through the support of the Ford Foundation and JP Morgan Chase awarded him and his wife, Anne, partial funding to create the photography/oral history project "Land of Opportunity: Latino Entrepreneurs of North Carolina." Today, he tours the country with his work, inspiring audiences with his life stories with Shine, a presentation that evokes his beginnings as a shoeshine boy.

Free and open to the public, the event begins at 7:30 PM in Crawley Foru