Gallery Features Xavier Tavera: 'Stills and Motion'

The Eide/Dalrymple Gallery at Augustana University will feature an exhibit by Xavier Tavera.

Xavier Tavera, Charro (a), digital archival inkjet print, 2015, 33” x 44.”

Event Details


Date: February 9 - March 10, 2017

Times: Artist's Talk at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10 | Gallery Reception: 7-9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10 | Artist's Talk to begin at 7:30 p.m. Free and open to the public

Location: The Eide/Dalrymple Gallery is located on Commons Circle (30th St. and Grange Ave.) in the Center for Visual Arts at Augustana University. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 1-4 p.m.


"Stills and Motion," a new exhibit featuring the works of photographer Xavier Tavera will open on Thursday, Feb. 9, at Augustana's Eide/Dalrymple Gallery. The exhibit will run through Friday, March 10.

An artist's talk will begin in the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery immediately after the Peace Scholar announcement at Rendezvous, 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, in the Back Alley. A gallery reception is set for 7-9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, with an artist's talk beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The exhibit and gallery reception are free and open to the public.

About the Exhibit

"Stills and Motion" consists of a series of short, 16 mm films paired with still photographs selected from the films. At 24 frames per second, each film consists of thousands of distinct frames. In extracting stills from his films, Tavera says he is “not exactly choosing a frame, but choosing an action.” To create the stills, Tavera takes photographs of the projected film, a process of pushing the film through a projector to introduce scratches and flares to the photographs. Through this process, Tavera illustrates the frustrated and often fruitless performance of identity.

“As a photographer, my response to this alienating experience was to document all walks of life within the Latino community: cowboys, wrestlers, transvestites, community leaders, Aztec dancers, musicians, and punk rockers. The images are not about exoticism or exposing the ‘other’; the portraits are meant to encourage a dialogue for people to discuss difficult matters, including stereotypes, misperceptions, and assumptions," Tavera said. "My photographs may challenge the viewer to acknowledge their own assumptions, biases, and prejudices. The opportunity [then] arises to uncover binding similarities of themselves with others from diverse societies.”

About the Artist

Xavier Tavera relocated to Minnesota from Mexico City in 1996. For the past 20 years, he has been building a career as a photographer by exhibiting extensively locally, nationally, and internationally, including exhibits in Chile, Portugal, Uruguay, and China. Tavera is best known for his color-saturated, large-scale portraits of people living and working on the margins of society. As he notes, “When I relocated to Minnesota, I learned what it felt like to be part of a subculture — the immigrant community. I began to document my community through photography to address important questions about cultural, social, racial, and political issues.”

Tavera studied law at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico and photography at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He is completing his MFA in photography and moving images at the University of Minnesota. He has taught photography at Augsburg College and the University of Minnesota.

His work has appeared in more than 50 exhibitions at galleries including the Minneapolis Institute of Art; the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul; Goldstein Museum of Design in St. Paul; Weeks Gallery in Jamestown, New York; Lonarte 11 in Madeira, Portugal; Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis; No Human Being is Illegal at the Center for the Study of Political Graphics in Los Angeles; Pingyao International Photography Festival in Pingyao, China; El Otro Americano at the Instituto Chileno Norteamericano de Cultura, Valparaiso, Chile; and the Instituto de Cultura Valparaiso in Valparaiso, Chile.

Tavera has received many grants, including the Minnesota State Arts Board, Artists Initiative (2014, 2012), Overexposure Grant (2009, 2008), Jerome Emerging Printmakers Residency (2005), and a McKnight Photography Fellowship (2003). He has also held several important artist residencies, including the Casa Poli Art Residency in Concepción, Chile, the BAR Art Residency in Berlin, Germany, and the Maciel Art Residency in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Tavera has served as a program mentor for In Progress – Nexus, an organization that promotes diversity in cultural dialogue by supporting emerging media artists from underrepresented communities, and has contributed to Fresh Voices, a digital arts project that acknowledges and celebrates the voice of Latinos living in rural Crookston, Minnesota, as well as the Native American Teen Portrait Project for the Minnesota Historical Society.

This exhibition and its accompanying catalogue have been generously funded in part with support from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation and Augustana University’s Mellon Fund Committee.

Gallery Location

The Eide/Dalrymple Gallery is located on Commons Circle (30th Street and Grange Avenue), in the Center for Visual Arts at Augustana University. The gallery is open to the public and free of charge. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 1-4 p.m. Closed Sundays and major holidays.