portrait of the artist

Miriam Romais by © Neil Choudhury

Miriam Romais is a New York based photographer and curator. Her dual nationality (U.S.–Brazil) and fluency in both Portuguese and English has given her an insight into Latin American cultures, and is an important part of her artistic and socio-documentary explorations. 

Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the U.S. and abroad. These include Saratoga Arts (NY), El Taller Latino Americano, the Museum of the City of New York, El Museo del Barrio and John Jay Art Gallery (NYC); the Smithsonian Institution (DC); the Field Museum (IL); the American Labor Museum (NJ); Society for Contemporary Photography (MO); the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History and the University of California-Berkeley (CA); Southern Light Gallery (TX); Light Work (NY); South Florida Art Center (FL); Photographic Resource Center (MA); the National Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures, Prague, Czech Republic; and the Severoceske Museum, Liberec, Northern Bohemia.

Her work is part of the book, video and HBO project, Americanos: Latino Life in the United States (Little Brown & Co, 1999). Her work has also been published in the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Guide to Motorcycling Excellence: Skills, Knowledge and Strategies for Riding Right (Whitehorse Press, 2005), among others.

Other accomplishments include an Artist Grant from Saratoga Arts/NYSCA (2016); a Puffin Foundation grant (1999); a residency at Center for Photography at Woodstock (Critic in Residence, 2009), Light Work (1997) and the Photographic Resource Center (1993); two grants from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (1994, 1995); and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rutgers University/MGSA, NJ (1990).

Romais has curated a variety of exhibitions, including an exhibition for Aperture Foundation (Mexico + Afuera: Contemporary Mexican and Mexican-American Voices, and Selections from En Foco’s Permanent Collection, Sept-Oct 2010); and Tracing Memory for Light Work in Syracuse (Nov-Dec 2008). She also curated the traveling exhibition Fire Without Gold: Works by Photographers of Color (1990–1996), featuring Dawoud Bey, Albert Chong, Carrie Mae Weems, Eli Reed, Jolene Rickard and other established artists. It traveled from Rutgers to the Center for Photography at Woodstock, the Photographic Resource Center, and the Yankee Stadium Subway Station as part of the MTA/Arts for Transit program.

Romais was co-chair of the 2010 Society for Photographic Education’s National Conference in Philadelphia, titled Facing Diversity: Leveling the Playing Field in the Photographic Arts. As a panelist/reviewer, she has served with PhotoNOLA; the Ohio Arts Council; FotoFest in Houston; PDN; the Society for Photographic Education; PhotoLucida; Center (formerly the Santa Fe Center for Photography); the New York Foundation for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts; the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; the Center for Photography in Woodstock where she serves on their Board of Advisors. She is also an Advisor for the NYC Department of Transportation’s Urban Art Program (2009, 2010).

An avid motorcyclist since 1987, Romais became a Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCoach in 1994 to help riders gain the knowledge and confidence needed to ride safely. She helped develop the Fairleigh Dickinson University Motorcycle Program two years later. She became a RiderCoach Trainer in 2003, and served as FDU’s Director of RiderCoach Training and Development until 2007. Romais is the former Executive Director and Editor for En Foco, Inc, a national non-profit organization that supports photographers of Latino/a, African, Asian and Native American heritage. During her tenure as editor of Nueva Luz photographic journal, the publication rose to a four-time finalist for a Lucie Award in the support category of “Best Photography Magazine”, and won four IPPIE Awards.