Passion for nature: Kathleen Alvizo

HARLINGEN – Kathleen Alvizo may be relatively new to photography, but she has the eye and passion to bring her subjects to life.

The retired Harlingen High School South choir director’s hobby has everything to do with taking her camera everywhere she goes. Her main focus is nature shots in which she tries to capture a scene the typical person may not see – a pair of horses nuzzling, a spider web in a flower, a beautiful reflection in the water or the wind blowing through a field.

“I love taking pictures of animals,” she said. “I like to focus on the details. They have emotions and I try to catch the human qualities in the animals. I love that.”

Her realistic expressionism works will be on display for the next month. Alvizo is the Harlingen Art Forum artist of the month for April and the show opens tomorrow night.

Among her efforts on display include photos of zebras, pelicans, flowers, ponds, trees and much more.

“With nature, you never know what you are going to see and that’s what is fun,” the Ohio native said.

For Alvizo, who is self-taught and humble about her talents, art and photography are similar to music, something she is much more familiar with.

“I grew up in a musical household and was the only one who did it as a career,” she said.

She said some of the same terms that relate to music also relate to art. That has helped her understand the world of art a little more.

Words such as balance, rhythm, flow and light a nd dark can be compared to music. Her love of all music also is similar to her enjoyment of all types of photography. Her enjoyment of art started way back in junior high school. But music always remained at the forefront of her interest and love.

“I took some classes and privately,” she said. “That is where I started to enjoy art. I always had it on the side and enjoyed it, but music was what I did.”

It wasn’t until a couple years prior to retiring from teaching that she purchased a good camera and went on vacation. She realized it was a lot of fun and people liked her works. It has been her hobby ever since.

“I worked for a long time and this is just for fun,” she said. “I just want everyone to enjoy it.”

Alvizo admits photography is exciting for her.

He laughs when she talks about her car rides with her husband. When she sees something she wants to take a photo of, she yells, “Stop!”

“I can’t even wait until the car stops, I get so impatient,” she admits.

She waited three hours to see a moose while in Maine recently. They were in the middle of nowhere with the mosquitoes biting, but she got the shot.

“The excitement is for the search and to get that cool picture,” Alvizo said. “Then, when you find it, you can’t quit.”

As much as she enjoys photography, music remains number one.

“When I need to do something, I head to the piano,” she said. “But the camera goes with me everywhere.”

Probably because as she says with a giggle, she can’t hang the piano around her neck. That doesn’t take away from her enjoyment of photography. Just as easily as she can sit in front of the piano all day, the same goes for her hobby.

“I could be out taking pictures all day,” she said.


WHAT: Photographer Kathleen Alvizo as the featured artist show opening

WHERE: Harlingen Art Forum, 115 E. Jackson Ave. in downtown Harlingen

WHEN: Tomorrow, Friday, March 31, from 7 to 9 p.m. during Downtown Harlingen’s Art Walk. At 7 p.m., the winners of the people’s choice from the Colors of Spring contest will be honored.