UNM-Taos Chicana/o Studies Students Present #TaosUnite Exhibition

May 20-28, 2023, 10AM-5PM:  UNM-Taos Chicana/o Studies Students Present #TaosUnite Exhibition

May 21, 2023, 12-5PM: “Taos Unites Today!” Day of Programs at Millicent Rogers Museum

Through the leadership of #TaosUnite founder and Albuquerque artist, Gerald Lovato, and project director and UNM-Taos lecturer, Trisha Martinez, UNM-Taos Chicana/o Studies students will present a community art exhibition entitled #TaosUnite from May 20-28, 2023 at Millicent Rogers Museum. “Taos Unites Today!,” an associated day of programs (free to the public with free admission to the museum that day), will take place at the museum from 12-5pm on May 21, 2023. The #TaosUnite project is created collaboratively in partnership with Millicent Rogers Museum with support from The Paseo Project, the LOR Foundation, and UNM-Taos. Both the exhibition and programs are family-friendly.

#TaosUnite confronts issues of violence, drug abuse, mental health, and experiences of incarceration through starting new cycles of artistic expression. The project enacts a creative gathering of the northern New Mexico community through artistic and cultural forms of healing to respond in a positive and intentional way to the fragile lived realities that many families endure. This event is an extension of #BurqueUnite organized by UNM alumnus, artist, and mentor, Gerald Lovato. #TaosUnite will bring together the Taos community with resources that provide critical support for healing and health. 

#TaosUnite will offer two public presentations to the community–a pop-up arts exhibition, #TaosUnite (Sundays free to Taos County residents, 10am-5pm daily, May 20-28, 2023) and a community arts day, “Taos Unites Today!” (free programs & free admission to the museum, 12-5pm, May 21, 2023). The programs will facilitate an open and safe space of dialogue and healing through creative expressions of performance, dance, music, poetry, make-and-take art tables, and a collaborative altar made by the UNM-Taos Chicana/o Studies students. Several local nonprofits will also be on hand to create new community conversations in this healing space, and food and refreshments will also be provided.

 Sunday, May 21 “Taos Unites Today!” Event Schedule:

12:00pm - Welcome
12:15pm - Panel Presentation
1:30pm - Mic time for NM People of Substance and other organizations
2:00pm - Poetry by Olivia Romo
2:30pm - Recognition of Fiesta Court
2:45pm - Kumbiaz by Dr. Gregorio Gonzalez
3:00pm - Music by UZ band-song about the Taoseños
4:00pm - Los Comanches de la Serna

For the pop-up exhibition (May 20-28, 2023), UNM-Taos Chicana/o Studies students and community artists will showcase New Mexico’s customary expressive and contemporary arts, such as retablos, poetry, and paintings, to share aspects of their identity and creative responses to community concerns. The students have submitted their #TaosUnite written works and creative expressions to UNM-Taos’ annual art and literary journal, Howl: The Voice of UNM-Taos. To archive this project, #TaosUnite will publish a catalogue in both digital and print formats with the assistance of Gerald Lovato.


Participant and Partner Bios

  • Gerald Lovato, Founder & Creative Director

Gerald Lovato is an Albuquerque native and interdisciplinary artist whose work focuses on the themes of drug addiction, violence, suicide, and mental health. Before studying visual arts, Lovato used martial arts to cope with trauma. Lovato now uses visual arts for coping/ healing and works in the mediums of painting, photography, sculpture, electronic art, film, and installation.

  • Trisha Martinez, Project Director

Trisha Martinez is from Valdez, NM and is a PhD graduate from the University of New Mexico-American Studies department. Currently, she is serving as UNM-Taos coordinator and lecturer for Chicana/o Studies, and as the dual enrollment specialist. She remains connected to the community by serving on various boards and being involved in land-based traditions and cultural practices. Trisha is a research scholar for the “Following the Manito Trail” project and also the migrations manager for the Manitos Community Memory Project.

  • Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos community institution, Partner

Millicent Rogers Museum celebrates and shares the arts and cultures of the Southwest through its exhibitions and programs focused on the creative expressions of communities throughout the region, with an emphasis on Native American and Hispanic makers in northern New Mexico. The museum’s collaborations and partnerships reflect an ongoing commitment to conveying community stories through the arts and varied creative expressions.

  • Corilia Ortega, Town of Taos Council Member, Supporter 

Corilia Ortega was born in and grew up in Arroyo Hondo. She graduated from Taos High School. She attended New Mexico Highlands University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in clinical psychology. She worked from 2011-2017 at New Mexico Highlands University Center for Advocacy, Resources, Education & Support.

  • Olivia Romo, Poet, Contributor

Olivia Romo is an American poet, spoken word artist, and water rights activist from Taos. Romo lives in Pojoaque and works in Santa Fe. Several of her poems and projects refer to water issues in relation to the acequia system of irrigation ditches in northern New Mexico. She is currently leading a series of youth poetry workshop programs with SOMOS in Taos.

  • Jim O’Donnell, NM People of Substance & writer/photographer, Contributor

Jim O’Donnell is an award-winning wilderness advocate, author, and conservation photographer based in Taos. His work has appeared in National Geographic Maps, Discover, BBC Travel, and New Mexico Magazine, among others. Jim works regularly as a photographer for New Mexico nonprofits including the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and Amigos Bravos. 

  • Los Comanches de la Serna, multicultural performers, Contributor

Los Comanches de la Serna, a group of singers and dancers from Ranchos de Taos, are unusual even in a state where unique and colorful racial and ethnic groups are abundant. The group is made up of genízaro people, descendents of Indian captives of the Comanches. Today, the group performs on New Year’s Day and St. Paul’s Day, going house to house in Llano Quemado and Talpa.

GeraldLovato Wins Series #1, 2021- 2022
Oil on canvas
70” x 48“

Gerald Lovato (b. 1978) Losses Series, 2021- 2022
Oil on canvas
48” x 36“

Gerald Lovato Wins Series #1, 2021- 2022
Oil on canvas
60” x  48“

Gerald Lovato Wins Series #1, 2021- 2022
Oil on canvas
60” x  36"