Born in Richmond, California, Xavier has a BFA Degree in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MA Degree in Printmaking from San Francisco State University. He currently teaches printmaking at City College of San Francisco.In the 1970's, he worked with the Galeria De La Raza of San Francisco on a number billboard/mural projects.
During this time, he also designed a poster for the United Farmworkers Union, 'Boycott Grapes7, which is now part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of American Art, in Washington, D.C. His work is also in the permanent collections of Norwalk Community Technical College, Norwalk, Connecticut, and the David and Lucile Parkard Foundation, Oakland, California.
On a yearly basis, he actively participates in shows and print competitions throughout the United States and Europe. He has shown his work in Tokyo, Mexico City, Puerto Rico and Amsterdam. He has won various awards including the James D. Phelan Award in Printmaking in 1993.
Viramontes was the subject of a 1-hour documentary Xavier Viramontes, A Life in Print which has been shown on PBS. It covers Xavier's early years growing up in a large Hispanic family in the Richmond / San Pablo, area and his involvement with the Galeria de la Raza of San Francisco.
Also covered is the history of the making of the 'Boycott Grapes' poster for the United Farmworkers Union which now hangs in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Amerian Art in Washington, D.C.