Cara Romero (b. 1977, California) transforms photography, a medium that has historically centered Eurocentric narratives, into a vehicle to express the past, present, and future of Native American history. Her affiliation with the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe and experience growing up in urban Houston, TX informs her practice exploring Native identity in contemporary society. Her compositions are created through clear communication and collaboration with her models. Ultimately, Romero tells the stories of lived experiences and collective history, confronting the misrepresentation of Native peoples and the exploitative history of photography head-on.


Romero received her undergraduate degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Houston. Her transition from reportage to fine art opened her capacity for storytelling through a visual medium. She studied photography at both the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and Oklahoma State University. 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 in the collections of the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian (New York), Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (New Mexico), Denver Art Museum and Museum of Modern Art (New York), among other public and private collections worldwide. She lives in Santa Fe with her husband, the celebrated Cochiti Pueblo artist Diego Romero.


Related Works

  • Native artist John Nieto uses vivid colors and bold strokes to capture powerful portraits of indigenous people in his singular style. View his work.

  • Romero’s husband, Diego Romero, is a celebrated potter and printmaker known for his compelling work which draws upon traditional practice and pop culture imagery to create captivating portraits of Native Americans in contemporary scenes. View his work.