For immediate release: October 15, 2021
Photographer Cara Romero to Give Annual Plonsker Lecture in Contemporary Art at WCMA

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Cara Romero will be the featured speaker at the Williams College Museum of Art’s annual Plonsker Family Lecture in Contemporary Art at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21.

The lecture will be held online via Zoom. To register for this free program, visit

Romero, a contemporary fine art photographer who is an enrolled citizen of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, will speak about her photographic practice and recent projects engaging with contemporary issues of Native representation and identity. Romero’s photograph Coyote Tales, No. 1 is in the museum’s collection and is currently on view in the exhibition Sweaty Concepts, which runs through Dec. 19.

Romero was raised between contrasting settings: the rural Chemehuevi reservation in Mojave Desert, Calif., 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, however, 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, her 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 supernaturalism in everyday life.

Maintaining a studio in Santa Fe, N.M., Romero regularly participates in Native American art fairs and panel discussions, and was featured in PBS’ Craft in America (2019). Her award-winning work is included in many public and private collections internationally. Married with three children, she travels between Santa Fe and the Chemehuevi Valley Indian Reservation, where she maintains close ties to her tribal community and ancestral homelands.

The Plonsker Family Lecture Series in Contemporary Art, established in 1994 by Madeleine Plonsker, Harvey Plonsker ’61 and their son, Ted Plonsker ’86, examines current issues in contemporary art. Past lecturers have included artists Kenturah Davis, Sharon Hayes, Lynda Benglis, Kerry James Marshall, Jessica Stockholder and Jon Rubin.

For more information, contact the museum at 413-597-2429 or visit

WCMA is open to the public Wednesday through Friday, 10–5. Free admission.


On View Fall 2021:


Object Lab

Object Lab is a hybrid gallery-classroom that visualizes the Williams College liberal arts curriculum through the museum collection. Through Dec. 12

Sweaty Concepts

With works by 45 artists, this exhibition explores the difficulty of, in feminist Sara Ahmed’s words, “coming up against … and trying to transform a world.” Sweaty Concepts captures experiences across gender identity, sexual orientation, race, and ability, that involve making a place for oneself where it does not already exist. Through Dec. 19

Repro Japan: Technologies of Popular Visual Culture

In Edo Japan (1603-1868), the growth of urban audiences and new popular entertainments developed together with new printing technologies. Subsequently, photography and electronic media have fostered the global spread of Japanese popular visual culture, while the central themes and motifs—sports, fashion, and fighting, along with fantasies of all kinds—have remained remarkably consistent over time. Through March 20, 2022

Kameelah Janan Rasheed: Worshipping at the Altar of Certainty

This site-specific installation in the Weston Rotunda questions notions of completion, comprehension, and familiarity, prompting visitors to explore various, even wayward, ways of seeing and knowing. Through June 12, 2022

Remixing the Hall

Via Zoom meetings and email threads, three WCMA curators came together during the COVID-19 pandemic, protests against racist police brutality, and increasing demands for social reckoning to imagine a representative sample of a collection that is in perpetual transition. The resulting exhibition invites visitors to consider the infinite ways historic objects speak to contemporary questions. Through June 12, 2022

About Williams College Museum of Art

The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) creates and inspires exceptional experiences with art that are integral to a liberal arts education, lifelong learning, and human connection. The Museum is a partner in nurturing the cross-disciplinary arts in support of a liberal arts education; advancing the academic and experiential preparation of arts leaders; enriching the cultural ecosystem; engaging artists; and creating a shared learning community that spurs new thinking, creative making, and civic engagement. Located on Main Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts, on the Williams College campus, the museum draws on the collaborative and multidisciplinary ethos of the surrounding college to enliven the more than 15,000 works in its growing collection. For the Fall 2021 semester, the museum is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit