Starbucks hosted a photography exhibit Sunday by local photographer Alyssa Rosado. Titled “Faces of Veterans,” the exhibit featured photos of local veterans.
Rosado, 24, fell in love with photography as a young teen. “My mom bought me a hot pink digital camera for Christmas and I took pictures of everything. I used it as a way to express myself.”
Although Rosado is from Southern California, she grew up in Havasu most of her life and attended Lake Havasu High School.
“It’s neat to watch my son grow and learn in the same halls as I did,” Rosado effused.
With a job as a barista at Starbucks and raising, with her husband, two boys, 6 and 3 years of age, it would seem that Rosado couldn’t possibly have any time left for her passion of photography. But she not only does all of that, she also is working on a visual communications degree at Mohave Community College.
“The program has really nurtured my artistic soul,” Rosado noted. “I absolutely have to mention my instructor, Ann King, who has encouraged me to spread my wings and has been a big supporter in my first art exhibition.”
When asked what she most likes to photograph, Rosado answered, “I love people, especially faces. I feel that we carry our history through our eyes. I also love landscape. Our world is a beautiful place and my goal is to someday travel the world.”
Rosado admires the work of famed photojournalist Steve McCurry, who has entranced the world with his photos of faces of different ethnicities. “One day I hope I can capture human emotion the way he does.”
Rosado explains that her photography is influenced by her surroundings and experiences. “I use photography as an expression and means of communication. Everything I capture has a message behind it to be further interpreted by each individual viewer.”
Besides photography, Rosado loves oil painting. “I put my headphones in and just lose myself in paint for hours. For me, painting is an escape from reality. It takes me on adventures in my own space. I have taken my love for painting and began to host paint nights at our local Starbucks. It has been a really rewarding experience.”
The room was crowded with patrons, most of whom were admiring the photographs on exhibit. Most of the veterans in the photos were known and recognized by many.
After the exhibit, Rosado’s photo of an American flag and POW flag was raffled off, with proceeds of $120 going to local veterans group Veterans United Arizona, to be used to help veterans in need.
“I am over the moon that I am able to partner with a local charity, Veterans United Arizona,” Rosado said, “to bring awareness to veterans affected by or struggling with homelessness and PTSD.”
Rosado and her family are planning to move to Flagstaff in August 2017, as her husband was accepted into NAU. “I plan to continue my education there as well. My only hope is that my family and I will continue to live our lives passionately and with a purpose.”