Joseph Tipay grew up in Fresno, California and his early (and only childhood) art education consisted of watching his Nino (Godfather) paint Chicano murals, local signs and lowrider club vehicles. The streets became his classroom, and he learned more there than in the art-starved public schools he attended. Because of its ephemeral nature, new works of art were added to the galleries every day. These experiences led him to San Jose State University where he obtained a Bachelors Degree in Studio Art with an Emphasis in Education. It is there that he stumbled upon printmaking which led him to to obtain an M.F.A. in Printmaking at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco.
Joseph works on large-scale woodcuts, which investigate the effects of parental incarceration, mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex. Like many other artists/activists, Joseph chose printmaking because of its ability to create multiples. Joseph’s work has been shown nationally, traveled extensively throughout California and has won several awards. He currently teaches at Madera Community College Center, and Merced College. He also teaches art with West Hills College Coalinga at Pleasant Valley State Prison.