Indigenous artists’ works to be showcased during March Final Friday

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An art exhibit featuring works by Cara Romero and emerging artists involved with the Indigenous Arts Initiative will be a highlight of this month’s Final Friday.

Romero is a contemporary fine art photographer who uses photography to change the narrative of Native American culture in media and contemporary society as a whole.


In conjunction with the KU Indigenous Cultures Festival, this art exhibition will premiere at an opening reception from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 25 at the Cider Gallery, 810 Pennsylvania St. There will be a Native American food vendor at the event, and between 6 and 8 p.m., there will be a dance showcase, according to a news release.

In addition to Romero’s pieces, the exhibition will showcase works by Miranda Bradford (Citizen Potawatomi Nation), Dillen Peace (Diné), and Laura Kingston. All of them are emerging artists who worked closely with Romero as part of the 2021-2022 Indigenous Arts Initiative, “a mentorship-based residency program aimed at supporting Native artists and amplifying the visibility of Indigenous culture.”

Contributed photo Cara Romero

As an enrolled citizen of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, Romero captures the lived experiences of Native people using “vibrant colors, experimental lighting and photo-illustration” techniques.

“When we as Native people explore new artistic tools and techniques, such as photography, we indigenize those media. Our vision and intimate relationship to our communities are precisely what make Native photographers the people best equipped to convey the allure, strength, and complexity of contemporary Native life,” Romero said in an artist statement on her photography website.

Romero currently maintains a studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Traveling between Santa Fe and the Chemehuevi Valley Indian Reservation in southeastern California, Romero keeps close ties to her ancestry and tribal community.

Following the premiere during Final Friday, the exhibit may be viewed between 1 and 5 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays, or by appointment with the Cider Gallery.

On the last Friday of every month from February through November, Final Fridays bring to Lawrence a pool of artists, gallerists, art collectives and more. Community members are able to explore a range of art and celebrate creativity together. Check out more Final Friday events on the Lawrence Times community calendar.

Note: This article has been corrected from a previous version.

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Maya Hodison (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at mhodison (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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