El Norte A.Carr_coy_colorWEB

Last Wednesday marked the launch for Hispanic Heritage month, with an art exhibit in the African American Cultural Center featuring guest, José Galvez, a Publisher Prize winner for his amazing photography of the Latino experience within the U.S. Each year, the Latino organizations host a multitude of programs throughout the month to showcase their culture through song, dance, food and other cultural elements, as they continue to evolve within the NC State community.  Mr. Galvez gave a short introduction of his photography before students, faculty and staff rushed the doors of the gallery. Students representing several student organizations lined the room’s walls to view photos taken throughout North Carolina by Mr. Galvez, entitled “El Norte, Al Norte.” The photos showed Latino contributions to this state, from working in food and textile factories, to leisure activities within predominately Latino communities, and also, as facilitators to cultural projects from the coastal area all the way to mountainous terrains of the western part of the state.

Mr. Galvez began his career working as a shoe shiner for a small newsroom at the age of 10, and was captivated by the atmosphere of writing and mainstream publication. This prompted his interest in photography during his high school years and later, exhibited his first professional gallery showcase at 22 years old. According to Mr. Galvez’s website,”Over 40 years, Galvez has used black and white film to create a powerful and unparalleled historical record of the Latino experience in America.”

Dr. Tracey Ray, director of Multicultural Student Affairs stated, “Most people think Latinos are taking jobs from Americans, when actually they are creating jobs and expanding our economy. This is just the start of several programs that help explain the impact of Hispanics within our culture; you must attend later programs and use this program as a mere start to a great lineup of future programs.”

Following the art exhibit, attendees gathered back into the Washington-Sankofa room to eat Latino inspired dishes like black beans, herbed chicken, and plantains (a banana like fruit) with white rice. Galvez walked the room and thanked everyone, personally, for their involvement with the program and for their attendance. Abraham Dones, the assistant director for Hispanic and Native American Student Affairs stated, “I am truly pleased with the diverse student presence at this event. I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit and meeting Mr. Galvez. I am interested to see how this program will boost student involvement at the Jim Johnson lecture, and the impact the Hispanic students have made to the NC State community.”

Danielle Roseborough, a senior in communication said “I enjoyed the showcase very much, it showed Latin Americans in a positive manner and highlighted how much they do for North Carolina.”

For José Galvez, photographing Latino people is not a one-time project or “current passion” but a lifelong commitment; he photographs nothing else. A resident of Durham, NC, Galvez and his family continue to make advances for Latin Americans and those who wish to become legal immigrants. They travel the country to further study and immerse themselves into Hispanic culture and make a difference wherever their travels may lead them.