"I was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and spent my youth there and in the Pacific Northwest. I grew into adulthood in the San Francisco Bay Area and Panama. I now make my home in Los Angeles. I am shaped by each of these geographies, giving me a complicated sense of belonging. My sense of family is likewise flexible and complex. My families consist of people related by both blood and choice, and we stretch across languages, desires, continents, class and race. Family can be painful but it can also be profoundly inspiring and sustaining in the simplest of ways.
When I was nineteen I decided to spend my life honoring my creativity and helping others to do the same. I wanted to believe that anyone could be artistic. I imagined that art could be like my childhood drawings, my uncles wooden spoons and leather handicrafts, or the magnificent sewing and cooking of my grandmother and aunts.
When I make photographs I treat the camera not as a tool for taking, but rather as a listening device. For me, to listen well I must be present, non-judgmental, curious and vulnerable. My contributions to Finding Family Stories represent some of my efforts during the last two years to stay open to the mysteries and possibilities of creative living."
Patrick Pato Hebert describes himself as an artist, educator and cultural worker. He received his B.A. from Stanford University and his M.F.A. from the University of California, Irvine. Recently he taught creative writing and drawing at Los Angeles Central Juvenile Hall and led the project No Haters Here, with students at four high schools sponsored by the L.A. Countys Commission on Human Relations. In addition to working with youth, Hebert has taught photography, theory and writing at Scripps College and the University of California, Irvine. Hebert has also worked with the National Taskforce on AIDS Prevention and Policy, Proyecto ContraSIDA Por Vida, LLEGO, and the Delhi Center. He is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council and the Creative Work Fund and has shown at galleries throughout California. He is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at Scripps College and serves as art director for AIDS Project Los Angeles. The artist wishes to acknowledge the Durfee Foundation for providing additional support towards the completion of this project.