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Kathy Vargas papers, circa 1965-2016

Biographical Note

Kathy Vargas (1950- ) is an educator and photographer in San Antonio, Texas.
Vargas's early influences were the stories of her elder family members, Catholicism, and her uncle Antonio Valdez, a photographer. In the early 1970s, Vargas became acquainted with rock and roll photographers who introduced her to their world of professional photography. Her interest led to taking photography classes at the Southwest Craft Center where she studied under photographer Tom Wright. She quickly became captivated with the art form and started freelancing as a rock and roll photographer. Around this time, Vargas also became familiar with Chicano art and the artist group Con Safo, co-founded by Mel Casas. Vargas and Casas maintained their friendship until his death.
In addition to attending the Southwest Craft Center, Vargas also attended San Antonio College. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Art in 1981 and a Master of Fine Art in 1984 from the University of Texas in San Antonio. Vargas has exhibited her work, as well as curated numerous exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad, collaborating with colleagues such as Jim Goldberg, close friend Lucy Lippard, and others. Vargas is a professor and art department chair at the University of the Incarnate Word where she developed a Bachelor of Fine Art program for photography. Previously she was the Visual Arts Director at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.