José Betancourt

Professor - Art,


301 Sparkman Drive
Wilson Hall
Room 234
Huntsville, AL 35899
Campus Map



I consider music a large influence in my photographic style. Rhythm, time, silence and syncopation are all a part of my work. My studies in jazz improvisation in college along with the study of the documentary genre of modern photography have inspired me to continue a spontaneous style of taking photographs. Photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand, Andre Kertesz, and Robert Frank contributed to my interest and appealed to my sense for the spontaneous. The results were photographs about how we all relate to our environment both physically and psychologically. This later developed into more complex compositions of the juxtapositions of shapes, objects and people. These more graphic formal photographs became about environment and space which would become part of my half-frame camera panoramas.

The half-frame camera became an instrument that could allow me to establish a scene of consecutive frames to form a panorama. This technique facilitates my interest in the spontaneous happening and attempts to address the notions of time and space. When printing multiple frames, the viewer experiences a familiar scene but after further inspection notices the single images that form the altered panoramic view. This is especially true of the “Half-Seen” series where the locations are different between groups of three or four frames. These examples are more complex for me, the photographer, because there is a certain loss of control due to the in-camera editing.

Curriculum Vitae

Personal Website


  • M.F.A., Photography, Hunter College, City University
  • B.A., Photography, University of South Florida
  • A.A., Music Education, Seminole Community College (State College)

Honors & Awards

  • 2019 Research for Undergraduate Grant (RCEU), UAH Art, The First 10 Years. Documentary project with photography student Jacob Woods.
  • 2018 Humanities Center Grant/NEH, “My Cuban History, My Cuban Culture”, University of Alabama in Huntsville
  • 2014 Humanities Center Grant/NEH, “Place, Memory and my Hyphenated Reality”, University of Alabama in Huntsville
  • 2012 Award of Merit, Art of the State, Tennessee Valley Museum of Art, Tuscumbia, Alabama
  • 2010 Alabama Humanities Foundation Grant, (Co-I, photographic presentation) Dora and the V2 Exhibition, UAH
  • 1995 Individual Artist Grant, Art Services Council, Orlando, Florida
  • 1995 Nisod Award of Teaching Excellence, University of Texas at Austin
  • 1995 Orlando Museum of Art, Biennial Juried Exhibition, Honorable Mention

Exhibitions & Presentations

  • 2021 Upcoming 9/21-Cuba: Memories Revisited, Solo Exhibition and Lecture, Gadsden Museum or Art, AL
  • 2021 Cuba: Memories Revisited, Solo Exhibition and Lecture, Carnegie Visual Arts Center, Decatur, AL
  • 2020 Red Clay Survey, Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL
  • 2020 Cuba: Memories Revisited, Solo Exhibition and Lecture, Valencia State College, Kissimmee, FL
  • 2019 Cuba: The Revisit, Solo Exhibition, Union Grove Gallery, Huntsville, AL
  • 2019 Cuba: Reconstructing Memories, Solo Exhibition and Lecture, Seminole State College, Sanford, FL
  • 2016 Cuba: reconstructing memories, University of Alabama in Huntsville, AL
  • 2015 Cuba: reconstructing memories, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
  • 2015 Cuba: reconstructing memories, Tinney Contemporary Gallery, Nashville, TN
  • 2005 Watkins College of Art and Design, Faculty Exhibition, Nashville, Tennessee


  • Documentary Photography
  • Historical Processes

Portfolio Gallery