Photography and Community:
Xavier Tavera

Listen on:
Apple / Spotify / Amazon / Google / YouTube
Sticher / TuneIn

Additional Resources:
Xavier Tavera
Latinx in the Rural Midwest
Grupo Soap del Corazón

Xavier Tavera’s High Visibility exhibition page

Today we have the opportunity to speak with Xavier Tavera, a photographer who builds deep, longterm relationships with communities and creates work that expresses the humanity, and the historical currents, within the complexities of contemporary Latinx culture.

After moving from Mexico City to the United States, Xavier learned what it felt like to be part of a subculture -- the immigrant community. Being subjected to alienation has transformed the focus of his photographs to share the lives of those who are marginalized. Images have offered insight into the diversity of numerous communities and given a voice to those who are often invisible.

Xavier has shown his work extensively in the Twin Cities, and nationally and internationally including Germany, Scotland, Mexico, Chile, Uruguay and China. His work is part of the collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Plains Art Museum, Minnesota Museum of American Art, Minnesota History Center, and the Weisman Art Museum. He is a recipient of the McKnight fellowship, Jerome Travel award, Minnesota State Arts Board grant, and a Bronica scholarship.

Along the way in this conversation, we learn more about how Xavier came to photography, and his sense of the philosophical questions within the act of taking a picture – and we get to learn more about the town of Crookston, Minnesota, with which he’s had a decades long relationship. We also discuss his evolving Latinx in the Rural Midwest project, in particular his time with charro community and migrant dairy workers across this region.

In this wide-ranging conversation, Xavier also shares the work of Grupo Soap del Corazón, a dynamic, ever-evolving Latinx art collective he co-founded with Dougie Padilla. The exhibition La Línea: 22 Years of Grupo Soap del Corazón is currently on view at the Plains Art Museum through August 13, 2022.

High Visibility is an initiative of Art of the Rural and Plains Art Museum. Gratitude to the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for their support of this work.
High Visibility is a longterm, collaborative partnership between Art of the Rural, Plains Art Museum, and individuals & organizations across the continent. Please feel welcome to join us in this work.