Born in Berkeley, and raised in the suburb of Walnut Creek, Mimi Plumb received her Master of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1986. She has taught photography nationally and locally, including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the San Francisco Art Institute, Stanford University, and San Jose State University. Over the years, Mimi has explored a wide range of subjects, from her suburban roots in What Is Remembered to the United Farmworkers as they organized for union elections in the fields. Dark Days, photographs from the 1980s, pictures an American dystopia. A parallel series, Scenes From the City, focuses on San Francisco in the 1980s. Her current project, Local Girls, is a contemporary nod to the girl she was, and the young women and girls she knew, growing up in California. Mimi has also spent many years riding and photographing horses.
Mimi's photographs are in the collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Houston Museum of Fine Art, the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Yale University Art Gallery. Her various projects have received grants and fellowships from the California Arts Council (1989-90), the California Humanities (2015), the James D. Phelan Art Award in Photography (1985-86), and the Marin Arts Council (1999-2000).
Photographs from Pictures From the Valley are the focus of a new interactive website, http://demointhefields.com, sharing stories, with historical and contemporary photographs, of the farmworkers who joined Cesar Chavez’s movement 40 years ago in the Salinas Valley. Dark Days and What Is Remembered were featured in the cover story of the September 2015 issue of the British Journal of Photography, and in a one-person show at RayKo Photo Center in May 2016. Recent lectures by Plumb include the Center for Photographic Art, SFCamerawork, Photo Alliance, the San Francisco Battery Club, the San Francisco Public Library and Rayko Photo Center.