Interview, Luvon Sheppard
Luvon Sheppard (b. 1940) was born in Sandford, Florida, and moved to Rochester with his family as a child. He graduated from Madison High School and briefly attended Roberts Wesylan College before taking work as a janitor at the State Hospital. Sheppard enlisted in the United States Army during the Vietnam War, serving from 1962-1965. After being honorably discharged, he went to work for Rochester’s City Recreation Department while attending the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). In 1970, he began working at the Memorial Art Gallery as the Coordinator of Neighborhood Services. Sheppard later became an Arts Administrator and taught design courses at RIT.
In this interview, Sheppard discusses changes to the Rochester community in the 1960s, the aftermath of the 1964 race riots, and his belief that art and visual symbols have the power to break down walls between people. He notes how his job at the Memorial Art Gallery gave him the opportunity to share his passion for art within the context of social awareness and community involvement. Sheppard shares that one of his proudest achievements is receiving the Rochester Civic Award for his contributions to local culture.