LEWISTON – The photography of Jose Leiva is on display in a show titled “The Faces of Our Community” until March 19 at the Beeaker Gallery at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center Women’s Pavilion.

Leiva said, “This exhibit is a ‘thank-you’ to our community for allowing me to put them in front of the lens and capture some of the essence of who we are. Some of the faces you see here may not be well known, yet they reflect faces of who we are as a body of people in the greater Lewiston/Auburn community.

“Though there are many walks of life not represented, this exhibit is a sampling of those who live and work in our area. We are children, politicians, soldiers, firefighters, physicians, teachers, musicians, artists, farmers and philanthropists. We love and live and play as we make our lives matter to those we care about. Thank you, Lewiston and Auburn.”

Leiva, a native of Laredo, Texas, took his first photograph at age 12. His early subjects were his family members. While stationed in the Air Force in Brindisi, Italy, during the Vietnam years, Leiva photographed daily life in the vineyards, on city streets and in crowded market places. It was a precursor to his career as a photojournalist and freelance photographer.

Not having any formal schooling in the field, Leiva is a self-taught artist. His personal motto is that of Michelangelo, “Ancora, imparo. I am still learning.” His work as a photographer with the Sun Journal affords him the daily opportunity to learn from those he captures in his photographs. Often he must work to create the “perfect” conditions for a photograph when the perfect light is not available or the setting is less than ideal.

Leiva said, “I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity in life to do what I love to do, to follow my passions. What photography has done for me is to allow me to meet people in every walk of life. The precious gift that people give me is allowing me to photograph them, to give me their time and their trust.”

Leiva lives in Lewiston with his wife, Linda. Together, they have six children and four grandchildren.


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