Cathy’s career in photography spans more than three decades and includes documentary, advertising and fine art photography. Cathy began her photographic studies at Monterey Peninsula College in 1972, where she worked as lab tech for the photography department and apprenticed to Carmel photographer, Roger Fremier, who taught her Ansel Adams’ method of photography known as the Zone System.
When Brooks Institute of Photography opened its doors to female students in the mid-70s, Cathy moved to Santa Barbara to continue her photographic studies. While working as a photographic stringer for the Santa Barbara News and Review, she met one of America’s great Civil Rights leaders, Cesar E. Chavez. After seeing some of Cathy’s photographs, Chavez offered her the position of Staff Photographer for United Farm Workers. Cathy accepted the position and continued to photograph the entire “Thousand Mile March.”
For more than two years, first with the UFW then with a grant from the Woody Guthrie Foundation, Cathy worked in the fields documenting the plight of the farm workers and their children who often worked from dawn until dusk in what Chavez called “the killing fields.” Cathy’s photographs were used by the UFW to rally support for ending child labor and inhumane working conditions. Through her friendship with Cesar and his family, Cathy also captured the personal side of his life as seen in her collection “Marching Through History with Cesar Chavez and the Farm Workers.”
Cathy left the agricultural fields in 1977 and moved to Tucson, where she worked for advertising agencies and magazines as a photographic illustrator. A year later she moved to Bisbee, Arizona, then a burgeoning artist community, and opened the Latent Image Gallery. She also began teaching photography classes at Cochise College.
Although Cathy ventured out of Bisbee several times over the years, including California and Seattle, where she photographed fine art, fashion and architecture, and Hawaii to photograph Marlin Fishing Tournaments, the charm of Bisbee always drew her back to Arizona. Cathy continues to travel with her cameras, working as a photographer and educator for Geronimo Educational Studies, a contractor with Elderhostel International.
In more than 15 trips to Mexico, Cathy photographed the Tarahumara of Copper Canyon, Mexico’s most unchanged native peoples. This resulted in the collection entitled “Living on the Edge.” Five of Cathy’s photographs documenting the lifestyles of Tarahumara women are also archived at the International Women’s Institute in Mexico City. In 2006, Cathy also produced “Praying with the Purechepa People,” a moving documentary of photographs taken in a small village cemetery in the State of Michoacán, Mexico during Day of the Dead ceremonies.
Cathy’s photographs have appeared in American Craft, Architectural Digest, American Indian Art, Ceramics Monthly, Glass Art, Tucson and Cochise County Tourism and Visitors’ guides and newspapers throughout the country. Professional Photographers of America have honored her with awards in fashion, architectural, commercial and fine art photography.
In 2004, Cathy was inducted into Marquis’ “Who’s Who of American Women.” She currently teaches digital and studio photography classes at Cochise College and continues to reside in Bisbee’s historic district where her photographs can be found locally at Pan Terra Gallery.
In 2005, Cathy’s first major photographic exhibit of Cesar Chavez and the farm workers was shown at the National Cesar E. Chavez Foundation Center, in Keene, California. The exhibit has traveled to University of Arizona, Pasadena City College, Stony Brook University, the Martin Luther King Jr. Labor Center and Columbia University. It will continue to tour galleries and educational institutions in the Western U.S. in 2007 and 2008.