Cara Romero: New Photographies & Our Indigeneity
FREE and open to the public
Join us live and in-person for this program!
Contemporary fine art photographer, Cara Romero, will discuss her journey as a young Chemehuevi woman in the 90s studying film and printing in the dark room to going fully digital over the course of 25 years. Combating stereotypes and preconceived notions about Native art and Native photography, Romero has a dual experience of once being an outsider to the Native art and American museum scene to being one of the pre-eminent female photographers of our time. The content and narrative of her work has always been about conveying the deeply complex realities of modern Native peoples, it’s just the medium, the industry and maybe America that’s changed.
Reception and viewing at Arizona State Museum will follow the talk. This program and reception are paid for by a grant from the Mellon Foundation.
Can't make it in person? The talk will also be streamed on ASM’s Facebook page.
About the artist: Cara Romero (b. 1977, Inglewood, CA) is a contemporary fine art photographer. An enrolled citizen of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, Romero was raised between contrasting settings: the rural Chemehuevi reservation in Mojave Desert, CA and the urban sprawl of Houston, TX. Romero’s identity informs her photography, a blend of fine art and editorial photography, shaped by years of study and a visceral approach to representing Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural memory, collective history, and lived experiences from a Native American female perspective.
As an undergraduate at the University of Houston, Romero pursued a degree in cultural anthropology. Disillusioned, however, by academic and media portrayals of Native Americans as bygone, Romero realized that making photographs could do more than anthropology did in words, a realization that led to a shift in medium. Since 1998, Romero’s expansive oeuvre has been informed by formal training in film, digital, fine art and commercial photography. By staging theatrical compositions infused with dramatic color, Romero takes on the role of storyteller, using contemporary photography techniques to depict the modernity of Native peoples, illuminating Indigenous worldviews and aspects supernaturalism in everyday life.
Maintaining a studio in Santa Fe, NM, Romero regularly participates in Native American art fairs and panel discussions, and was featured in PBS’ Craft in America (2019). Her award-winning work is included in many public and private collections internationally. Married with three children, she travels between Santa Fe and the Chemehuevi Valley Indian Reservation, where she maintains close ties to her tribal community and ancestral homelands.
**The Center for English as a Second Language (CESL) is one building east of ASM North, at 1100 E. James E. Rogers Way
ASM is just inside the UA’s Main Gate at Park Ave and University Blvd
1013 E University Blvd
Garage parking is available for a small fee at Euclid Ave and Second St or Tyndall Ave and Fourth St
HEALTH NOTE: ASM follows the COVID-19 protocols of the University of Arizona. Masks are recommended but not required.