Star Montana is a photo-based artist who lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She was born and raised in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East Los Angeles, which is predominantly Mexican American and serves as the backdrop to much of her work. Her work has recently been exhibited at Charlie James Gallery (2019, 2016); Residency Art Gallery (2018); LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes (2018); Occidental College (2017); The Mexican Center for Culture and Cinematic Arts at the Mexican Consulate General of Mexico (2017); The Main Museum (2017); Ballroom Marfa (2017); and Vincent Price Art Museum (2016). Montana will be an artist-in-residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in 2020. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Art from the University of Southern California, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from the School of Visual Arts, and an Associate of Arts in Photography from East Los Angeles College.

  • Education

  • University of Southern California
  • Masters of Fine Arts
  • 2019.
  • School of Visual Arts
  • Photography BFA
  • 2013
  • East Los Angeles College
  • Associate of Arts: Photography
  • 2011

Artist Residency

Artist in Residence, Main Museum. Los Angeles

  • Public Art
  • 2021 LAC+USC Restorative Care Village, Los Angeles, CA: Photographic Ceramic Mural
  • 2014-2016 Metro Los Angeles, Photographic Lightbox Series.
  • Saint Louis is Our Salvation.
  • Group Exhibition
  • 2020 States of Mind: Art and American Democracy. Moody Center for the Arts. Houston Tx.

  • 2020 Magnetic West, Figge Museum. Davenport, Iowa

  • 2020 Candlewood Arts Festival, Under the Sun Foundation. Borrego Springs, Ca.

  • 2019 Tell Me a Story and I’ll Sing You a Song. Charlie James Gallery. Los Angeles, Ca.

  • 2019 Homebase, Residency Gallery

  • 2019 Infinite Light. Self Help Graphic. Los Angeles, CA.

  • 2018 LA Chicana Photographers, Occidental College. Los Angeles, Ca.

  • 2018 Defining LA, Los Angeles.

  • 2018 The Identity Gallery, Bese. Los Angeles Ca

  • 2018 The New Contemporaries, Residency Gallery, Los Angeles, Ca.

  • 2018 We Rise. Los Angeles, CA.

  • 2018 Ya Basta! The East L.A. Walkouts and the Power of Protest. Los Angeles, Ca

  • 2018 Tierra. Oro. Sangre. Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Tx.

  • 2018 Origins. Downtown Labs. Los Angeles, Ca.

  • 2017 Uproot. Periphery Space. Pawtucket, Ri.

  • 2017 Into Action, Los Angeles, CA.

  • 2017 Inalienable Truths, Gallery 102. Washington D.C.

  • 2017 One Year: The Art of Politics in Los Angeles, CA

  • 2017 Eres Poderosa Vol 2. Espacio 1839. Los Angeles, CA.
  • 2016 Miss Representation, Junior High Gallery. Los Angeles, CA.
  • 2016 RECUERDOS. Day of the Dead Exhibition. Self Help Graphics. Los Angeles, CA.
  • 2016 This Used to be Mexico, Ave 50. Los Angeles CA.
  • 2016 Southland, Charlie James Gallery. Los Angeles CA. (Currently)
  • 2016 Observations, Long Beach City College, CA.
  • 2015 Slideluck Austin Vii. Austin, Texas.
  • 2014 The Collective Other Group Show, NYC.
  • 2014 Analogue Portrait Project, Month of Photography Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Ca.
  • 2013 "Loz Diez," Photoville, Brooklyn.
  • 2013 Latin American Fotografia International.
  • 2013 Senior Thesis Show, School of Visual Arts.
  • 2013 SVA Mentor Show, Visual Arts Gallery, NYC.
  • 2013 Por Los Ojos de mi Gente, Visual Arts Gallery, NYC
  • 2013 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.
  • 2011 Juried Student Art Show, Vincent Price Art Museum.
  • 2011 Somewhere in this Neighborhood, Los Angeles.
  • 2010 Third Eye Exhibition, Art Center at Night.
  • 2009 Juried Student Art Show, Vincent Price Art Museum.
  • Awards
  • 2015 Latin Fotografia 4 Collection, American Photography
  • 2014 Metro LA, LightBox series, Artist.
  • 2014 Selected to attend the 2nd Annual New York Portfolio Review, New York Times Lens Blog.
  • 2013 Tierney Fellowship Nominee.
  • 2013 International Photo Awards "Honorable Mention."
  • 2013 International Photo Awards "Honorable Mention."
  • 2013 Latin Fotografia 2 Collection, American Photography.
  • 2012 Special Merit Hub Scholarship, School of Visual Arts.
  • 2012 International Photo Awards "Honorable Mention,"
  • 2012 International Photo Awards "Honorable Mention,"
  • 2012 Latin Fotografia 1 Collection. American Photography.
  • 2012 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.


Why Star Montana wants you to really see Boyle Heights through her stark and stirring portraits. Caroline Miranda. LA Times. 2017.

Onetime punk rocker uses photography to tell stories of ‘my Los Angeles’.

Star Montana's Photos Capture Loss, Pain and Family Secrets in East L.A.

Star Montana at UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center

Candy, Street Documentary Zine, Edited: Valerie Bowers. 2015. (Available for purchase here)

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 American Fotografia, Winner Spotlight.

David Schonauer, Dispatches from Latin America.

Miniature Magazine, Issue 2.

Latin Fotografia Collection 1 Catalogue.

Latin Fotografia Collection 2 Catalogue.

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

Private Collections.