Join us in conversation with contemporary artists Cara Romero (Chemehuevi) and Will Wilson (Diné) as they discuss their process and approach to art production. These dynamic artists explore themes of social justice, representation, and equity building in their photographic, installation, and public art practices. To register for the event, please check your email for the link, or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chemehuevi, b. 1970
Cara Romero is a contemporary fine-art photographer raised between contrasting settings: the rural Chemehuevi reservation in Mojave Desert, California, and the urban sprawl of Houston, Texas. 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 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 of supernaturalism in everyday life. Maintaining a studio in Santa Fe, Romero regularly participates in Native American art fairs and panel discussions and was featured in PBS’ “Craft in America” series (2019). Her award-winning work is included in many public and private collections internationally.
WILLIAM (WILL) WILSON
Diné, b. 1969
Will Wilson’s art projects center around the continuation and transformation of customary Indigenous cultural practice. He is a Diné photographer and trans-customary artist who spent his formative years living on the Navajo Nation. Wilson studied photography, sculpture, and art history at the University of New Mexico (MFA, Photography, 2002) and Oberlin College (BA, Studio Art and Art History, 1993). In 2007, Wilson won the Native American Fine Art Fellowship from the Eiteljorg Museum, in 2010 the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award for Sculpture, in 2016 the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant for Photography and in 2020 Wilson was the Doran Artist in Residence a the Yale University Art Gallery. Wilson has held visiting professorships at the Institute of American Indian Arts (1999-2000), Oberlin College (2000-01), and the University of Arizona (2006-08). In 2017, Wilson received the NM Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. His work is exhibited and collected internationally. Wilson is program Head of Photography at Santa Fe Community College.