From the Artist:
I was born in Tarentum, PA. and grew up with a love for all facets of art, from the jazz music that lifts the soul to the graphic design that enables products to be effectively marketed. I found early on that I had a unique gift to showcase the world in an interesting way. Even as a kid, I was ambitious and creative, starting my own sign painting business. After high school, I enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as ship’s photographer aboard the aircraft carrier USS. Forrestal from 1963 to 1967. From there I moved to New York City, continuing to do darkroom work and photo retouching while also landing a job with Coca Cola Bottling as a technical artist. I attended New York City Community College majoring in English Composition and African-American Studies. Doing assignments for the school journal and newspaper, I was able to photograph a number of the leading entertainers of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Many of the photographs on display are from the civil rights era.
This training equipped me for working in photojournalism. In 1987, I became the editor of SNAP, a newspaper for the African-American community in San Antonio, TX. Eventually, I returned back home to Pennsylvania where I have been able to share my love for the arts by volunteering for the New Kensington Arts Center. Thank you for your interest in my work. If you love art, I would encourage you to check out the New Kensington Arts Center.
- Tommy West