Mercedes Dorame is a visual artist born and raised in her ancestral homelands of Tovaangar. She grew up playing on the hillsides of the Southern California, getting to know the deer trails and the smell of grasses in the summertime, learning when the water flows through the creeks and when to look out for rattlesnakes. She calls on these learned and ancestral connections to the land to explore the problematics of visibility and sense of place in a city that sought to erase its Tongva heritage.
Dorame received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and her undergraduate degree from UCLA. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Hammer Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Triton Museum, The Allen Memorial Art Museum, The de Saisset Museum, The Montblanc Foundation Collection, and The Phoebe A. Hearst Museum. She is currently permanent faculty at CalArts, was awarded a 2020 Creative Capital grant, and was honored in 2019 by UCLA as part of the centennial initiative “UCLA: Our Stories Our Impact”.