Mercedes Dorame, born in Los Angeles, California, is a member of the tribe of Gabrielino Tongva Indians of California and received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and her BA from UCLA. She uses the camera to engage ideas of cultural construction and has worked as a Native American cultural resource monitor over the past 18 years. She has shown her work internationally and is part of the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum in Berkeley, California.
She is the recipient of grants and fellowships from: Loop Artist Residency, En Foco’s New Works Photography Fellowship program, Galería de la Raza for her solo exhibition there, the Harpo Foundation for a residency at the Vermont Studio Center, and from the Photography Department at the San Francisco Art Institute for her MFA Studies. She received the Phelan Award, the John Collier Award, the Paul Sack award, and a best in show award for her self-published book “Living Proof”. Her writing and photographs have been featured in publications such as News From Native California and 580 Split. She has been interviewed about her work by PBS Newshour, KCET Artbound, the Harpo Foundation, Culture Strike, Black Boots Ink and KQED’s video podcast Gallery Crawl. She has given lectures about her work at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, Ithaca College and as part of the PhotoAlliance lecture series in San Francisco, CA.