Cara Romero, a contemporary photographer and member of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe of the Chemehuevi Reservation (a branch of the Southern Paiute) of the Mojave Desert, CA is a passionate spokesperson for indigenous cultural and environmental issues. Her complex and nuanced images combine traditional iconography with a contemporary perspective, bringing past, present and future into consideration. The artist orchestrates a balancing act in her photography by rewriting stories of Indian identity, battling cultural misappropriation, and confronting stereotypes, particularly of Native women, all the while preserving tradition and maintaining cultural sensitivity.
Romero about her five striking billboards, part of a recent “Desert X” exhibition in the Coachella Valley, CA, “I wanted to ground people in what it feels like, what it means that you’re on Indian land in California,” and to simultaneously challenge the viewers’ assumptions of Native Americans and their connection to the land.
Romero has won several awards at major US Indian Markets and the “Visions for the Future“ award from the Native American Rights Fund. Her work is featured at the Robert Nichols Gallery of Santa Fe, NM. In the fall of 2020, a solo show is planned at the San Bernardino County Museum, CA. Romero’s work is in the collections of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, MO, the Heard Museum, AZ, the Crocker Museum, CA, the Peabody Essex Museum, MA, the Autry Museum of the American West, CA, the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, NY, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, NM, plus many private collections both national and international.