Pacific Skies

About Frank Espada

Frank Espada has been a photographer for over 50 years, having studied at the New York Institute of Photography, and with documentary photographer W. Eugene Smith in the late 1950s. His main interest has always been the documentary, primarily focusing on issues concerning minorities. He has also been a teacher, having taught various courses over a 20-year period at the U.C. Berkeley Extension Program, as well as at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco.

In 1979, he received a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for his "Puerto Rican Diaspora Documentary Project", which took him all over the country documenting the Puerto Rican migratory experience in 34 locations in the mainland, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. The resulting exhibit was shown in 45 venues over a 15-year period. A book of this work, The Puerto Rican Diaspora: Themes in the Survival of a People, was published in 2006. The book has received numerous awards since its publication. The publication is also represented in the Library of Congress, along with a collection of 83 vintage prints.

In addition, Duke University has acquired a collection of 200 vintage photographs, part of an archive of his lifetime work. He has exhibited in over 50 venues over a period of 30 years. In 2008, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts by Lehman College in New York City.

Over the past few years, Frank has turned his camera, and his mind's eye, toward the stunning sunset views of the Pacific Ocean, shot from the deck at his home in Pacifica, California. This collection of images, Pacific Skies, is the result of one year's examination of the dynamics of the sun and clouds. It reflects his love, appreciation, and understanding of photographic aesthetics, particularly related to light, color, forms, and perspective. A book is under consideration.