2017 MFA, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

1984 Missouri Photographic Workshop, Forsythe, Missouri

1979  Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, BA Journalism and Graphic Arts


Work Experience

2017                   Visiting Professor, Experience Liberal Arts College program, Shanghai, China

2008-Present      Swarthmore College, Swarthmore PA, Visiting Assistant Professor of Studio Art 

2011-Present      Photo-Ops Workshops, Founder/Director, Philadelphia PA

2014- Present    Trustee, Philadelphia Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA

2012- 2013         Princeton Photography Club, workshop leader and Lecturer

2000-2004          Photography instructor, Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, 

                           Philadelphia, PA

1999-2000          Photography instructor, Perkins Center for the arts, 

                           Moorestown, NJ

1983-2014          Staff Photographer, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA

1996-1999          Founder, Director, PhotoSession, annual photography 

                           conference, Philadelphia, PA

1981-1983         Photography Instructor, Drury College, Springfield, MO

1980-1983         Staff Photographer, The Springfield News and Leader,     Springfield, MO

1978-1980         Staff Photographer, The Muskogee Daily Phoenix, Muskogee,   OK


Selected Solo Exhibitions 

2020   "An Overdue Conversation with My Father", The Print Center, Philadelphia, PA

2018   “Land, Sea, Air,” NoBA Art Space, Bala Cynwyd, PA

2016   “Works in Progress,” Allens Lane Art Center, Philadelphia, PA

2013   “The African American Cowboy Experience in America,” Chilsom Trail Heritage Center, Duncan Ok

2011   “Invisible,” Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, PA.

2009   “Unstructured,” Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, PA.

2007   "The World in a Grain of Sand," Sande Webster Gallery. Philadelphia, PA

           Packard Reath Gallery, Lewes, DE

2006  “What the Eye Doesn’t See,” List Gallery, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA

          "Havana: A Place out of Time," The Silva Gallery of Art, The Pennington School, Pennington, NJ

          "Havana: A Place out of Time," Art/Place, Southport,  CT.

2005  "Trees," Sande Webster Gallery. Philadelphia, PA.

2004  “Deep Deuce and Beyond, The Architectural Legacy of African Americans in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma State Capitol, Oklahoma             City, OK

          “We Were There: Voices of African American Veterans”, National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA

          "Homesteads," Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, PA 

          “Trees,” Awbury Arboretum, Philadelphia, PA

2002  "A Sense of Place," installation at the Philadelphia International Airport

          "Homesteads," Edward Carter Gallery, Lewes, DE

          "Havana: A Place Out of Time,” Monique Goldstrom Gallery, New York, NY

2001  "Havana: A Place Out of Time," Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia PA

          "Havana: A Place Out of Time," Soho-Myriad, Atlanta, GA

1998  "The Unseen Landmark," Eastern State College, Devon, PA

1997  "Fleisher Exhibition #1," Samuel S. Fleisher Memorial, Philadelphia, PA

          "A Retrospective" Beaver College, Philadelphia, PA

          "The Long Ride Home: The African American Cowboy Experience in America," YWCA of Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY

1996  "Photography: Contemporary Prospect '96," Historic Yellow Springs, Chester Springs, PA

          "The Long Ride Home: The African American Cowboy Experience in America," African American Museum of Dallas, TX

1994  Conoco Gallery, Oklahoma State University, Okmulgee, OK

          Walt Whitman Center for Cultural Arts, Camden, NJ

Selected Group Exhibitions

2019   "No Cure for Mourning", Stockton University, Galloway NJ

           Artist in Residence Exhibition, Fitler Club, Philadelphia, PA

2018   “The Pennsylvania Landscape in Impressionism and Contemporary Art,”

           Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA

          “Innovative Means: Photography from the Collection,” The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA

          “An Overdue Conversation with My Father,” Marlin Art Gallery Camden County College, Blackwood, NJ (Two Person Exhibit)

          “Altering Nature,” Photo+Sphere, Asheville, NC

          “Summertime Salon,” Robin Rice Gallery, New York, NY

2017  “The Expanded Caribbean, Contemporary Photography at the Crossroads,” Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel University, Philadelphia

2016  “African American Cowboys,” Studio Museum of Harlem, New York, NY

          “Look Both Ways Art at the Crossroads of Abstraction and 

          Representation,” Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA

          “Complete Set,” Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA

          “Summer Salon,” Robin Rice Gallery, New York, NY

2010  “Divergence,” Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia

2009  “Philly Salon,” Robin Rice Gallery, New York, NY

          “Third Woodmere Triennial of Photography,” Woodmere Art Museum, 


2008  “Emerging to Established, 25 years of the Center for Emerging Visual  Artist,” Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia Pa

          “Art & the City,” Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2006  “The Kandy Project,” Jane & Bert Gallery, Lumeria Gallery, Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2005  “Viajeros: North American Artist/ Photographers’ Images of Cuba,”

          Lehigh University, (traveling exhibition), Lehigh, PA

         “Noteworthy, 25 Years of Photography Exhibitions,” Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, PA

2004  Sande Webster Gallery, “Black and White,” Philadelphia, PA

2003  Credit Suisse Bank, New York, NY

         "Impregnable Direction,” Rush Arts Gallery, New York City, NY

         "Photography: Ten Years of Acquisitions," Haverford College, 

          Haverford, PA

         "A Pairing of Peers: Artists Invite," Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA

2002 "Havana/Venice: Mirrors of Nostalgia," Philadelphia Museum of Art, 

         Philadelphia PA  (two person exhibition)

         Queensborough Community College Art Gallery, Bayside NY

2001 "America the Beautiful," Edward Carter Gallery, Lewes DE

         "Photography 19," Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, New Jersey 

         "Committed to the Image," Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY

         "Photo 2001," Monique Goldstrom Gallery, New York, NY

2000 "Fin de Siecle," Philadelphia Art Alliance (three person exhibition)

         "Recently acquired works,” The Philadelphia Art Museum,

         Philadelphia PA

        "People and Places," Atlantic City Center for the Arts, Atlantic City, NJ

        "Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers 1840- Present," Smithsonian Institution, Anacostia Museum, Washington,             DC

1999  "The Discriminating Lens," Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Cheltenham, PA

        "Art of the State '99," Harrisburg, Philadelphia, PA

        "Photography 17," Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, New Jersey "Shutter," Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, PA (three           person show)

1998  Creative Artist Network, Federal Reserve Bank, Philadelphia, PA

        "Photography 16," Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, NJ

        "20 x 12: A Generation of Challenge Artists," Samuel S. Fleisher Memorial, Philadelphia, PA

        “Through the Heart of the City," Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA

1997 "Photography 15," Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, NJ

1996 "Hidden in Plain Sight," The Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA  (three person exhibition)

         National Black Arts Festival, Atlanta, GA

1993 The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, PA

        "Eye Witness 93" exhibition featuring winning photographs from the annual World Press Photo Awards, Amsterdam, The                          Netherlands  (traveling exhibition)

1991 "Altered States- Alcohol And Other Drugs in America," Strong Museum, Rochester, NY  (traveling exhibition, acquired by the                  Smithsonian Institution as part of their permanent collection)

       "Visa Pour L," Image International Photojournalism Festival, Perpignan, France


Selected Honors and Awards

2019   Fitler Club Artist in Residency
           The Print Center 94th Annual International Competition

2014   Pulitzer Prize Nomination for New Leash on Life series of articles, Philadelphia Inquirer

2012   Pulitzer Prize as part of Philadelphia Inquirer team reporting on 

           school violence

2007   Fleisher Challenge, Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA

2002   Ruben V. Burrell Photography Award, Hampton University Museum, 

           Hampton, VA

2001   Margaret Danby Visual Arts Award, Black Liberated Arts Center,  Oklahoma City, Ok

2000  Jurors award and purchase award, Perkins Center for the Arts, 

          Moorestown, NJ

          Society for Publication Design, Award of Merit, New York, NY

          Society for News Design, Award of Excellence, New York, NY

1999  Jurors award and purchase award, Perkins Center for the Arts, 

          Moorestown ,NJ

1998  Society for Publication Design, Silver Medal, New York, NY

1997  Jurors award and purchase award, Perkins Center for the Arts, 

          Moorestown, NJ 

          Selected One of the 50 Artist to Watch, Seven Arts Magazine, 

          Philadelphia, PA

1996  Best of Show, Penn Charter Arts Festival Philadelphia, PA

1995  National Newspaper Magazine Society Award for Documentary 


1993  World Press Photo, Third Prize, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

1992  National Society of Professional Journalist

          National Press Photographers Association/ University of Missouri Pictures of the Year 

          Associated Press Managing Editors Award

Works in Selected Collections

Banana Republic corporate collection, San Francisco, CA

Eastern College, St. David's, PA

Federal Reserve Bank, Philadelphia, PA

Hyatt Hotel, Philadelphia, PA

Haverford College, Haverford

National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC Johnson & Johnson corporate collection, Skillman, NJ

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Mosby Yearbook, Philadelphia, PA

Philip and Muriel Berman Museum

Pennsylvania State Museum, Harrisburg, PA 

Oklahoma State University, Okmulgee, OK

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Public Library, Print and Picture Collection, Philadelphia, PA

Samuel S. Fels Fund, Philadelphia, PA

Schuylkill Printing Facility, Philadelphia Newspapers Inc., 

Conshohocken, PA

Sheraton Rittenhouse Hotel, Philadelphia, PA

South Jersey Museum of Art and Culture, Somerdale, NJ

Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY

Temple University Urban Archives, Philadelphia, PA

Vertical Screen, Warminster, PA

William Penn Foundation, Philadelphia, PA

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Philadelphia, PA

Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, Pa


Grants and Fellowships

2019             Independence Foundation Fellowship

2007             Independence Foundation Fellowship

2006             Intergeneration Grant, New Courtland, Philadelphia, PA

2004             Gap Grant, Pew Fellowships in the Arts

2003             National Endowment for the Arts Grant in collaboration with Black Liberated Arts Center, Oklahoma City, OK

2001             Pew Fellowship in the Arts

2000             Pennsylvania Council on the Arts SOS Grant

1997-1999   Creative Artist Network, Philadelphia PA

1994            National Geographic Magazine, Development Grant for Documentary Photography, Washington, DC

1993            Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship

1991            Artist-In-Residence, Children's Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Sickle Cell Camp for Children

Lectures, Judging, and Curation

2020  Art of the State, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA, Juror

          Wendel White: Red Summer, Swarthmore College McCabe Library, Curated

2019  Henry Horenstein: Selected Works, Swarthmore College List Gallery, Curated with Andrea Packard

          An Overdue Conversation with My Father, Society for Photographic Education Annual Conference, Cleveland, OH, Lecture

2017  African American Cowboys, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA, Lecture

2016  April Saul: Our American Family, Swarthmore College List Gallery, Lecture and Co-Curated with Andrea Packard

          Bruce Cratsley: Shifting Identities, Swarthmore College List Gallery, Swarthmore, PA, Lecture and Curation

2015  Ron Tarver on Charles Dodgson’s Photography, Rosenbach Museum, Philadelphia, PA, Lecture

Look  Both Ways Art at the Crossroads of Abstraction And Representation, Woodmere Art Museum, Lecture

2013  Mid Atlantic Arts Council, Baltimore, MD, Juror
2004  Pictures of the Year International, University of Missouri, Juror
2003  Ohio Council Arts Council, Juror
2001  MacArthur Fellowship, Advisory Panel
1996  Society of Photographic Educators, Portfolio review
1995  51st Temple Press Tournament, Keynote Speaker
1996  Northeastern State University, Oklahoma Journalism conference, Keynote Lectures, talks and workshops at numerous college,                university, high schools, and camera clubs 


Gallery Affiliation

Grand Image, Seattle, WA 

Soho-Myriad, Atlanta GA

Robin Rice Gallery,New York, NY


Selected Bibliography

Vogue, “We’ve Been Here All Along, Doing It With Style”: The Lesser-Known History of the Black Cowboy, Christian Allaire, June 5, 2020, Web

Messy Nessy Chic, How Black Cowboys Built the American West: A Living History, June 5, 2020, Web

The New York Times, Restoring Black Cowboys to the Range, Sarah Maslin Nir, September 14, 2019, Web

Pitchfork, "How Solange and Mitski Reconsider Who Can Be the Cowboy," Michelle Kim, March 21, 2019, Web

Artsy, Why You’ve Never Heard about Black Cowboys, Molly Gottschalk, February 9, 2017, Web

Hyperallergic, "The Black Cowboys Whitewashed from, American History," Julia Friedman, February 8, 2017 Web

The Huffington Post, A History Of Black Cowboys And The Myth That The West Was White, Pricilla Frank, January 23, 2017, Web

The New Yorker, Black Cowboys, Busting One of America’s Defining Myths, Emily Raboteau, January 22, 2017, Web

VICE, 'Black Cowboy' Exhibition Reveals a Forgotten Part of US History, Antwaun Sargent, January 7, 2017, Web

Philadelphia Inquirer, “Seeing the Invisible”, Victoria Donohoe, February, 25,2011

Philadelphia City Paper, “ The Road Not Taken,” Robin Rice, August 14, 2010

Philadelphia Inquirer, “A ‘Divergence’ of photographic nuance,” Victoria Donohoe, August, 2010

Philadelphia Inquirer, “Two Toasts to Philadelphia Photography,” Edward J. Sozanski, October 4, 2009

Wilmington News Journal, “Photog’s Work Puts Different Spin on Universe,” Christopher Yasiejko, Cover Features Section, July 8, 2007

Philadelphia Inquirer, “Swarthmore’s List Gallery,” Victoria Donohoe, October 22, 2006

Art Matters Magazine, “The Inquisitive Lens of Ron Tarver,” February 2005, p. 9

Co-author of the book " We Were There, Voices of African American Veterans, NewsWeek Magazine, From WWII to the War  in Iraq," Amistad / Harper Collins publishers, New York, NY

African American Wisdom, P.100, published by  Courage Books, an imprint of Running Press, Philadelphia, PA

Black and White Magazine, “Focus: Philadelphia,” Richard Pitnick, October, 2004, pp. 48

Photographers Association, "Documenting Drug Life," Morrella Raleigh, February 21, 2003

Laura Meyers, January 2003, cover

Art Matters Magazine, "Photography Seen, Ron Tarver's Cuba at Sande 

Philadelphia Weekly, "Island Images," by Roberta Fallon, August 8, 2001

Art Business News, "African American Art Moves Beyond Black and White,” Helene Ryesky, August, 2001, Page 20

Philadelphia Citypaper, Time Travel, Ron Tarver explores Cuba, new and old, in his exhibit at Sande Webster, August 18, 2001

The New York Times, “Up-to-the-minute Show with Echoes of the Past,” February 14,1999, page 14

The International Review of African American Art, Hampton University Museum, Volume 14, Number  4, page 10, article illustrated with photograph from the Bridge series

The Daily Oklahoma, "Black Cowboy Focus of Fine Photo Exhibit,"

John Brandenburg, Oklahoma City, OK, September 10, 1997

The Philadelphia Inquirer, "Mysterious Paintings and Pictorialist Photos," Edward J. Sozanski, September 12, 1997, Weekend Section, p. 36

Seven Arts Magazine, "50 Rising Stars," February, 1997, p.34

Samuel S. Fels Fund Annual Report, Illustrated with eight works from Drill Team Series, December 31, 1996, Philadelphia, PA

The Philadelphia Inquirer, "The Truth and Beauty of Ordinary People," Edward J. Sozanski, November, 15, 1996, Weekend Section, p. 40 

The Philadelphia Inquirer, "Searching for Home," Edward J. Sozanski, November, 15, 1996, Weekend Section, p. 41

National Black Arts Festival Exhibition Catalog, Atlanta, GA, July, 1996

The Black Family, Deborah Willis author, Crown Publishing, published 1996

Portfolio 1995, Northeastern State University, "The Search for Cultural Heroes", Dana Eversole, Tahlequah, OK   

The Muskogee Daily Phoenix, "A Long Ride Home," October 20, 1994, Muskogee, OK 

Basic Media Writing (Fifth Edition), Melvin Mencher author, Brown & Benchmark, published 1994 

The Camden Courier-Post, "Images of the Unsung Cowboys," 

Camden, NJ, October 14, 1994

"Altered States: Alcohol and Other Drugs in America," Patricia M. Tice, Strong Museum, Rochester, NY (exhibition catalog) p. 103

"World Press Photo Yearbook," Thames & Hudson, 1993

News Photographer Magazine, Journal of the National Press