Robert Lloyd was born and raised in East Garfield Park on Chicago’s West Side and also on the Southshore. After high school he went to Crane Jr. College, sold life insurance, sang with the Thompson Community Singers, and joined the civil rights movement. He worked for the Congress Of Racial Equality and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference from 1962-1967 as an office manager, organizing tenant unions, and doing documentary photography. In 1967 he married Diane Gray – they have been together for over 40 years. He moved to Palo Alto, California and worked at Menlo-Atherton High School and Stanford University. In 1972 He moved to Santa Barbara, attended Brooks Institute of Photography and California Institute of the Arts, completing an MFA in Design and Photography. In 1974 he began teaching photography at Eastern Washington University. He has one child, a son, Stoakley, born in 1976 and for the last three years has been photographing his one grandson, Anderson Stoakley Lloyd, born in 2008.
He founded, directed, and curated three different photography galleries – a photography gallery at Eastern Washington University, The Lloyd Gallery, and a gallery at 123 Arts. From 1976-2000 he founded and published a community newspaper, the African American Voice. He was a member of the Spokane Human Rights Commission, the Task Force on Race Relations, the NAACP, and other civic organizations. He retired from Eastern Washington University in 2004 after 30 years of teaching photography and digital imaging.
After his retirement he added South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and China to his travels. In the summer of 2004 he traveled to the Eastern Shore of Virginia – Northampton County – photographing, researching and finding connections with family separated 100 years ago. Previously he had traveled to 48 states, England, Mexico, and Canada, visited exchange students in Panama and France, and volunteered in Tanzania.
In January of 2008 he was invited to China by Pok Chi Lau, who for the last forty years has been photographing the interiors of Chinese homes all over the world from the viewpoint of an insider. This allowed Robert the opportunity to photograph China from his viewpoint – that of an outsider who does not speak the language.
Robert J. Lloyd