Star Montana

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Artist Statement

Tear Drops and Three Dots is my ongoing series documenting the fragmented histories, loss, and hope for the future generations of my family based in East Los Angeles. I began to photograph my family in my teens. My Mom had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C when I was a kid but I didn’t understand the severity of it till I was a teenager. She was dying, slowly, and very painfully. She was our Matriarch. I coped with a broken family with imagery. I could capture their essence and keep them, because the reality was, most of them were going to die. And they have. Through the images you see, many of these people died tragically. These images sometimes offer comfort but mostly they haunt me because I still don’t understand why my family was a victim of socioeconomic genocide but sharing my narrative with the public allows me to connect to other who have endured similar histories and let them know “there is no shame in your narrative.” Our story is not unique but as an Artist, I advocate for my family and our history in American History. I refuse to let our story be omitted and marginalized. I also continue to photograph my family with specific focus on the next generation, my nephew Louise. His entry into our family at such a tragic time allowed me as an artist to shift and focus on the light and hope of my family instead of just the darkness.

CV

Education
2013
Photography BFA, School of Visual Arts. New York City, NY.
2011
Associate of Arts: Photography, East Los Angeles College Monterey Park, CA.

Solo Exhibition
2016
Tears Drops and Three Dots. Vincent Price Art Museum. Monterey Park. CA.
Selections from Tear Drops and Three Dots. Chicano Studies Research Center. UCLA.

Public Art
2014-2016
Metro Los Angeles, Photographic Lightbox Series. Saint Louis is Our Salvation.

Group Exhibition
2016
Miss Representation, Junior High Gallery. Los Angeles, CA.
Recuerdos. Day of the Dead Exhibition. Self Help Graphics. Los Angeles, CA.
This Used to be Mexico, Ave 50. Los Angeles CA.
Southland, Charlie James Gallery . Los Angeles CA.
Observations, Long Beach City College, CA.
2015
Slideluck Austin Vii.  Austin, Texas.
2014
The Collective Other Group Show, NYC.
Analogue Portrait Project, Month of Photography Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Ca.
2013
“Loz Diez,” Photoville, Brooklyn.
Latin American Fotografia International.
Senior Thesis Show, School of Visual Arts.
SVA Mentor Show, Visual Arts Gallery, NYC.
Por los Ojos de mi Gente, Visual Arts Gallery, NYC
Hub Scholarship Exhibition, School of Visual Arts, NYC.
2012
Mimesis: A Contemporary Photography Exhibition, North Carolina.
2011
The Getty: Engaged Student Observer, Vincent Price Art Museum.
Juried Student Art Show, Vincent Price Art Museum.
Somewhere in this Neighborhood, Los Angeles.
2010
Third Eye Exhibition, Art Center at Night.
2009
Juried Student Art Show, Vincent Price Art Museum.

Artist Residency
2016-2017
Artist in Residence, Main Museum. Los Angeles CA.
Awards
2016
Latin Fotografia 4 Collection, American Photography.
2015
Latin Fotografia 4 Collection, American Photography.
2014
Metro LA, LightBox series, Artist.
Selected 2nd Annual New York Portfolio Review, New York Times Lens Blog.
2013
Tierney Fellowship Nominee.
International Photo Awards “Honorable Mention.”
International Photo Awards “Honorable Mention.”
Latin Fotografia 2 Collection, American Photography.

Awards (continued)
2012
Special Merit Hub Scholarship, School of Visual Arts.
International Photo Awards “Honorable Mention.”
International Photo Awards “Honorable Mention.”
Latin Fotografia 1 Collection. American Photography.
Undergraduate Photography Award, School of Visual Arts.
2011
Silas E. Rhodes Merit Scholarship, School of Visual Arts.
2010
Program Scholarship, Art Center at Night.
2009
Outstanding Juror Award, Vincent Price Art Museum.

Artist Talk/ Public Talk
2016
Artist Talk, Slanguage. LAXART, Los Angeles, CA.
Tear Drops and Three Dots ,Artist Talk. Chicano Studies Research Center. UCLA.
Guest Artist workshop. The Family Narrative. Las Photos Project. Boyle Heights, CA.
Tear Drops and Three Dots, Chicano Art. Chicano 054: East Los Angeles College.
Tear Drops and Three Dots, the Chicano Narrative. Chicano 047: East Los Angeles College.
2015
Los Angeles Community College. Art Club, Los Angeles, CA.
Lala Fest, Los Angeles, CA..
Art History 100 Introduction to Visual Culture and Cultural Studies. Professor Singh. East Los Angeles College, Los Angeles, CA..
2014
Getting Close Workshop. International Center for Photography. New York, NY.
2013
Getting Close Workshop. International Center for Photography. New York, NY.
2010
The Getty: Selected Artist from Engaged Student Observers, Los Angeles, CA.

Press/ Publication
2016
Star Montana’s Photos Capture Loss, Pain and Family Secrets in East L.A.
Star Montana at UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center
2015
Candy, Street Documentary Zine, Edited: Valerie Bowers. 2015.
2013
Star Montana Photographic Perspective Born of Prejudice and Death, Helga Salina. ABC/Univision
Shooting Star: Photos by SVA Alumnus Star Montana Picked for L.A. Metro Art Project.
Latin Fotografia Collection 2 Catalogue.
2012
Latin American Fotografia, Winner Spotlight. David Schonauer, Dispatches from Latin America.
Miniature Magazine, Issue 2.
Latin Fotografia Collection 1 Catalogue.