Ahead of Super Bowl LVII next month, the NFL has chosen Arizona-based artist Lucinda Hinojos to create key art tied to the upcoming sporting event, which will be at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Hinojos, who is also known as “La Morena,” is the first Chicana and Indigenous artist to be selected by the NFL for such a collaboration, which includes creating an artwork that be featured on the tickets for the 2023 Super Bowl and displayed across Arizona in the month leading up to the game.
Working with Indige Design Collab of Cahokia Socialtech and Artspace, Hinojos will also create a 9,500-square-foot mural, the largest in Super Bowl history, with fellow Indigenous artists Randy Barton (Diné/Navajo), Anitra “Yukue” Molina (Yaqui), and Carrie “CC” Curley (San Carlos Apache) at the Monarch Theatre in Phoenix. Additionally, she will collaborate with the NFL and Wilson to create a new football design that will soon be available for purchase.
In a statement, Marissa Solis, the NFL’s senior vice president of global brand and consumer marketing, said, “Lucinda’s insight and direct, personal connection to the amazing and diverse history in Arizona made her the perfect partner for this project. She is a gifted artist, a football mom and a woman who authentically represents her Chicana heritage, and we are so thrilled to use Super Bowl as a platform to showcase her beautiful artwork and by extension, spotlight the local communities integral to Arizona.”
Hinojos’ ticket design honors her family’s ties to Mexico and the Pascua Yaqui, Chiricahua Apache, White Mountain Apache, and Pima (Akimel O’Odham) Tribes.
“My family’s roots run deep in Arizona,” she says in a promotional video for the collaboration. “My family is born and raised from this land. We’re currently on Ohn Akimel O’odham Jeved land, which is Salt River people. This land is important to me because of our ancestors’ use of this salt river here is what created and started the city of Phoenix.”
Walking through the desert landscape of Arizona, Hinojos added, “Being out here gave me inspiration for this painting.”
Featured in the painting are the White Tank Mountains, which are reflected on the Vince Lombardi Trophy and can be seen from the State Farm Stadium. On either side of the trophy are a Fancy Shawl dancer and an Azteca dancer.
With this imagery, Hinojos wanted to highlight the state’s diverse population of Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and Chicanxs as well as the 22 distinct Native tribes whose ancestral lands make up what is currently Arizona. Prehistoric remnants at the White Tank Mountains have been attributed to the Western Archaic culture, a nomadic desert people who could have inhabited these lands as early as 2000 BCE, and to the Hohokam people, who created settlements in the mountains between 500 CE and 1100 CE, as well as creating rock art that is still visible today. Prior to colonization, the lands were home to the Western Yavapai, beginning in the 16th century.
“I do this work in hopes of providing healing and medicine to people, but what also happens is there’s a human connection that happens,” she said. “It naturally draws people in, and it brings people together. That’s with every mural, with every painting, I’ve seen that happen. So I’m hoping that the same energy is brought with this painting.”