How We Do It

Last Updated on November 26, 2019

Join artist Star Montana as she brings together a group of women-of-color photographers to discuss their use of photography, zines, and social media to make visible to the world the places and people in their experiences.

Participating photographers are:

  • Valerie J. Bower
  • Arlene Mejorado
  • Desilu Muñoz

How We Do It
Captured by Priscilla Mars


Star Montana (b. 1987) is a camera photo-based artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. She was born and raised in Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles, a predominantly Mexican American neighborhood that serves as the backdrop to much of her work. Montana’s imagery deals with class, social environment, and identity within the personal and her family. Three dots and Tear drops—a long-term project with her family that has dealt with fragmented histories, loss, and the hope of the next generation—was recently on view at the Vincent Price Art Museum and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. Recently, Montana has begun work on her themes within a larger scope of Los Angeles residents via portraiture and video. Montana received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2013.

Valerie J. Bower is an L.A. based photographer, currently living in Long Beach. She uses childhood nostalgia, and the visuals and experiences of growing up in the Los Angeles/ Harbor Area as influences in her work. Her subtle images show a softer side and a feminine point of view to typically masculine themes and subjects, such as lowrider, street photography, punk, and skate culture. Valerie’s work also includes her collection of self-published books and zines, documenting various subcultures and everyday life in Los Angeles. 

Arlene Mejorado is a photographer that specializes in creative documentary projects and visual story making. Through photography and film she experiments with new and traditional methods of visual storytelling to illustrate layered experiences in migration, race, culture, and gender. She is a graduate of the UT-Austin and the recipient of the National Association Latino Arts and Culture master artist grant for 2017. Earlier this year Mejorado collaborated with the Amplifier Foundation and Shepard Fairey (Obey Giant) on the We the People international art campaign.

Desilu Muñoz (b.1989) is a born and bred photographer from the San Gabriel Valley. Currently based out of La Puente, her inspirations are derived from her upbringings as a rough and tumble youth amongst the various countercultures that resided within the SGV, as well as the vast variety of characters it helped produce. Whether it be through the curation of her own photographs and zines through her collective, Applesauce Industries, Desi does her best to capture and share the beauty and essence of the 626 through its scenery and inhabitants. Desi continues to pay homage to the culture that not only raised her, but shaped her attitude and aesthetic by providing her with the discipline to pursue her love for film photography.