Kathy Vargas

#FOTS 19 Schedule


Kathy was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and began photographing in 1971 under the guidance of rock and roll photographer Tom Wright. She attended San Antonio College in the mid-1970s and was mentored by painter Mel Casas who invited her to join the Chicano art group Consafo. She received her MFA degree with a concentration in Photography from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1984. From 1985 – 2000 she worked as the Visual Arts Program Director of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio. From 2000 to 2013, she served as Chair of Art at the University of the Incarnate Word where she is currently Professor of Art/Photography.

She has had one person exhibits at Sala Uno in Rome, Galeria Juan Martin in Mexico City, Centro Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and retrospectives at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas and Universitat Erlangen in Germany. Group shows include “Hospice: A Photographic Inquiry” a traveling exhibit commissioned by the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C., and “Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation (CARA)”, curated by UCLA’s Wight Gallery. She is in the collections of the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, the Toledo Art Museum, the Southeast Museum of Photography, the Harry Ransom Collection, the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, the Sprint Collection, and the UTSA Collection. She received a Lightwork residency in 1993 and the Art Pace San Antonio Residency and the Art Pace London Residency in 1996-97. She was named 2005 Texas Two-Dimensional Artist of the Year by the Texas Commission on the Arts.

From 1993 to 2000, she was a board member of Art Matters, a New York based foundation which funded grants to individual artists. From 2003 to 2009, she was a member of San Antonio’s Public Art Commission. She is currently on the City of San Antonio’s Centro de Artes Committee. She has curated exhibits for museums, non-profit spaces, and commercial galleries. As of 2016, her papers have been housed in the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art.

Recent non-art activities include writing lyrics for two CDs, “Incantation” released in 2014 and “Surrealist” released in 2017 by former Blue Oyster Cult band member, Albert Bouchard.