Canisius Welcomes Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photographer

March 12, 2019


Buffalo, NY – Canisius College welcomes Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer José Galvez to campus on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in Science Hall Commons.  Photographs on César Chávez and the Farm Workers Movement will be on display prior to the event, beginning March 19, in the college’s Alumni Gallery. 

Galvez will discuss his connection to his own Hispanic identity and his body of work focusing on César Chávez and the movement he started.  The event, which is free and open to the public, will include a Q & A session and reception.

For more than 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. His photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries in the United States and abroad, including the Smithsonian.

A native Tucsonan, Galvez began his photography career at the early age of 10 as a shoeshine boy at the Arizona Daily Star. Soon after, he carried camera bags for the paper’s photographers. Inspired, Galvez went on to major in journalism at the University of Arizona and upon graduation became a staff photographer for the paper. He hosted his first exhibition at age 22. 

No matter his assignments, Galvez loved to focus his lens on the neighborhoods of Tucson and its people. Galvez's participation in the Chicano Movement during the time of his first exhibition caused him to realize that he had a duty to capture the history of his people through the camera lens.

His work had become more than a passion. He later became the first Mexican-American photographer on staff at the Los Angeles Times and, with a team of photographers and reporters, won a Pulitzer Prize for a series on Latino life in southern California - the first Chicanos to win.

Galvez was an editor of and contributor to Americanos, collaborated with writers such as Luis Alberto Urrea and Patricia Martin, and has published his own childhood stories in Shine Boy.

Currently, his focus lies on community, specifically the Latino communities of the American South, and on naturalization ceremonies.

The event is presented by college’s Department of Modern Languages, Borders and Migrations Committee, Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Center for Urban Education, and Sigma Delta Pi (Spanish Honors Society).

For more information, contact Richard Reitsma, PhD, chair and associate professor of modern languages, at  

Canisius is one of 28 Jesuit universities and the premier private university in Western New York.