This series I’m working on is highly imaginative and evokes a familiar feeling for me. I keep thinking. “I feel like I’ve been here before.” Often while creating, I just have to really lean into my daydreaming space, my subconscious and trust where that takes me visually. That’s where these images spring forth from, and I hope they feel magical. They are a culmination of my experiences and skills, a lifetime of my visual consumption of 100 years+ photography, all the while searching for more of our Native stories.

If we had held cameras in our hands, we could have told our own stories. If we were in magazines and on film and writing the scripts, this is what our possibilities might have looked like. A study in glamour. A study in style. A study in lighting of the film noir era. These photographs are not meant to be literal, but instead imagined narratives. They are fine art. Yet, some parts of the stories are very true and may have happened. This is my editorial side.

I am also so thankful for the extra-large open space of the new building. I am able to use my longest lenses and stay thirty feet away from my subject while keeping the doors open. This makes us all safe, and that has been a huge blessing in removing an obstacle for an artist like myself trying to create during Covid. Thank you so much to the staff and supporters. – Cara Romero

Recently, the Coe had the pleasure of photographer Cara Romero using our new building for staging her extraordinary photography. While the New Mexico sun shone outside, Cara and her crew recreated the far north with fog and snow machines to capture the essence and meanings of model Golga Oscar’s Yup’ik heritage and life. The image is planned as part of her photographic installation called Native Noir, which celebrates cultural heritage while broadening public understanding of the ongoing erasure of Native Americans from American history. The Coe plans to open the exhibition in summer 2022.

 

Photo second from top, and film clips by Jo Povi Romero.