Cara Romero

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Cara Romero (born 1977 in Inglewood) is a Chemehuevi photographer from the United States. She is known for her dramatic digital photography that examines Indigenous life through a contemporary view.


Cara Romero was born in Inglewood, CA. and was raised on the Chemehuevi Valley Indian reservation. Her father is Chemehuevi, and her mother is German-Irish.[1] Romero majored in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Houston.[1] She later studied photography at the Institute of American Indian Arts and Oklahoma State University.[2][1] Romero is married to Pueblo artist, Diego Romero, and the couple has two sons.[1]

Cara was the first Executive Director of the Chemehuevi Cultural Centre. In 2007-2010, she was an elected member of the Chemehuevi Tribal Council, she became the Chairman of the Chemehuevi Education Board, and the Chairman of the Chemehuevi Early Education Policy Council.[2]


Romero was influenced by the photography of Edward Curtis early in her career.[3] Later, she felt that her initial approach was not genuine to her own experience and began to experiment with different techniques and settings for her photographs.[3] She began to use digital tools, such as Photoshop, to combine her photographs and also to use more color photography.[3] Romero's contemporary work includes a large amount of staging to create a sense of theater and expresses a diverse picture of Native American identities.[3] The Santa Fe New Mexican describes her work as a "sometimes whimsical, often complex examination of modern culture with a distinctly modern Indigenous worldview."[1]

The Bristol Post quoted her series, Water Memories, as "breathtaking," and that it "exposes the fragile and essential relationships that exist between people, water and life."[4] Water Memories was shown in 2016 at the exhibition, "STILL," held at the Rainmaker Gallery in Bristol.[5][4] Romero's work, shown at "CAPTURED" (2015) at the gallery contained both "intimate portraits and playful reconstructions of iconic masterworks."[6] Cara Romero's powerful female portraits were featured prominently in a spring 2017 exhibition ‘We Are Native Women’ at Rainmaker Gallery, celebrating the strength and diversity of Native American women on the 400th anniversary of the death of Pocahontas. Her work was also presented at a conference 'Pocahontas and After' at the British Library, London in March 2017.

In the 2017 show, "Broken Boxes," held at form & concept gallery in Santa Fe, Romero's photograph, TV Indians, was described by the Albuquerque Journal as her "highest production project yet."[7] The photo juxtaposes Puebloans with media depictions of Native Americans.[7]

In October 2018 Cara Romero's photographs were exhibited by Rainmaker Gallery in the international exhibition 'Life Blood' as part of the Bloomsbury Festival and The Native Spirit Film Festival, London.

Cara has won the "Visions for the Future" award from the Native American Rights Fund in 2017,[8] and several awards including ribbons at major art markets.[5]

Romero has also been featured at the Four Winds Gallery in Pittsburgh,[9] and the Robert Nichols Gallery in Santa Fe.[10][11]



  1. ^ a b c d e Ortiz, Sara Marie. "Photographer Cara Romero: Creative Conversations". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved 2017-11-29.
  2. ^ a b "Cara Romero - Bioneers Program Director Indigenous Knowledge". Bioneers. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  3. ^ a b c d Edwards, Jason M. (September 2016). "Through an Indigenous Lens". Native People's Magazine. 29 (5): 39–45 – via EBSCOhost. (Subscription required (help)).
  4. ^ a b "Indigenous Artists Find". Bristol Post. 11 March 2016. Retrieved 28 November 2017 – via LexisNexis. (Subscription required (help)).
  5. ^ a b "Cara Romero - Rainmaker Gallery". Rainmaker Gallery. Retrieved 2017-11-28.
  6. ^ "Photos Explore". Bristol Post. 27 February 2015 – via LexisNexis. (Subscription required (help)).
  7. ^ a b Reporter, Megan Bennett | Journal North. "New show pushes artists to 'break their boxes'". Retrieved 2017-11-29.
  8. ^ "Twelve native artists honored for work". The Columbian. 2017-04-28. Retrieved 2017-11-29.
  9. ^ xxxxx. "Four Winds Gallery: The Photography of Cara Romero". Four Winds Gallery. Retrieved 2017-11-28.
  10. ^ "Robert Nichols Gallery Shows Work By Photographer Cara Romero, 419 Canyon Road". The Santa Fe New Mexican. 2014-12-26. pp. Z058. Retrieved 2017-11-28 – via
  11. ^ "About Cara Romero". ROBERT NICHOLS GALLERY. Retrieved 2017-11-28.
  12. ^ The Santa Fe New Mexican "2018 Santa Fe Indian Market Winners" [1]. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  13. ^ Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market Juried Competition Award List, March 2, 2018 [2]. Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  14. ^ a b The Santa Fe New Mexican "Indian Market 2017 Winners" [3]. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  15. ^ Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market Juried Competition Award List, March 3, 2017 [4]. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  16. ^ The Santa Fe New Mexican "Winners announced in Indian Market judging" [5]. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  17. ^ Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market Juried Competition Award List, March 4, 2016 [6]. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  18. ^ Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market Juried Competition Award List, March 6, 2015 [7]. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  19. ^ The Santa Fe New Mexican "2014 Indian Market winners" [8]. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  20. ^ a b Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market Juried Competition Award List, February 28, 2014 [9]. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  21. ^ The Santa Fe New Mexican "Complete list of 2013 Indian Market winners" [10]. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  22. ^ The Santa Fe New Mexican "Indian Market 2012 winners" []. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  23. ^ Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market Award List, March 2, 3, 4, 2007 [11]. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  24. ^ Native American Rights Fund (2007). Visions of the Future: A Celebration of Young Native American Artists. Fulcrum Publishing. p. 85,86. ISBN 978-1555916558.

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