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Renowned muralist exhibits world-class art in rural Utah

Internationally acclaimed artist Lucinda Hinojos, who paints under the pseudonym “La Morena,” works on her mural in Bluff, Utah. (Paul Martini /Courtesy photo)
Lucinda Hinojos is known for recent work at Super Bowl

A celebration held to unveil a mural by the internationally acclaimed artist Lucinda Hinojos, who paints under the pseudonym “La Morena,” is scheduled for March 17 in Bluff, Utah.

Funding for the mural was provided in part by the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, according to a news release from Rolland Lee, executive director of the Bluff Community Foundation. The mural was made under the new artist-in-residence program under which Hinojos is working.

Hinojos' paintings and murals are found in museums and outdoor settings from California to the U.S. Embassy in Marseille, France, where she created a seven-story mural.

According to Lee, she also was selected as the marque artist for the 2024 Super Bowl, the first Xicana Indigenous woman – Apache, Pima and Yaqui descent – to be honored with the selection. She designed not only the artwork for the event, including the ticket design, but also completed a large-scale mural in the heart of Phoenix where the Super Bowl was held.

“It is an absolute honor to have an artist of Hinojos’ caliber working to portray the landscape and cultural relevance of the region and more importantly, to underscore one of her core values, promoting Indigenous communities through her artwork,” said Lee.

A gathering March 17 in Bluff, Utah, will celebrate the unveiling of a mural by Lucinda “La Morena” Hinojos. (Jocelyn Meyers/Courtesy photo)

The mural, at an old gas station in town along Highway 191 in town, was designed with input from residents and scholars from nearby Whitehorse High School.

The mural features the landscape of southeastern Utah, including the San Juan River. It also transitions from day to night, something Hinojos says was important to the community, which is working to protect its night sky and obtain an International Dark Sky designation

“Firstly, I hope it brings joy, happiness, and peace to the people of Bluff. Murals have the power to transform the atmosphere of a place, infusing it with positivity and vibrancy. By creating a visually appealing and uplifting piece of art, you're contributing to the overall well-being of the community,” Hinojos said. “Secondly, I hope the surrounding Indigenous communities see themselves reflected in the mural and feel a sense of pride and connection. Representation in art is crucial for fostering a sense of identity and belonging. By incorporating elements of their culture, history, and stories into the mural, you're validating their experiences and honoring their heritage.”

For Hinojos, inspiration for the mural came from meeting and working with local elders and students while participating in the 2023 Bluff Arts Festival.

“The portrayal of the land, master weaver Peggy Black’s hands, the Diné girl, and the mother moon all contribute to a powerful narrative of peace, strength, and resilience,” she said.

Further information about Hinojos’ life and work can be found at www.lamorenaart.com.