2023 Super Bowl artwork©Lucinda Hinojos / NFL

Super Bowl LVII tickets, artwork, and mural designed by Chicana and Native American artist Lucinda Hinojos

Hinojos also collaborates with Wilson on a unique Indigenous football design inspired by her heritage and community

In 2023, for the first time, the National Football League will honor Native America during the Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, AZ. One of the most-watched sporting events in the nation will host on Sunday, February 12, at the State Farm Stadium with over 60,000 people.

Each attendee will enter the arena with a one-of-a-kind ticket designed by Lucinda Hinojos (b. 1981; Pascua Yaqui, Chiricahua Apache, White Mountain Apache, and Pima (Akimel O’odham)), known as the first Chicana, Native American artist to work with the league.

According to Forbes, Hinojos, also known as “La Morena,” created the artwork based on the Vince Lombardi Trophy and the White Tank Mountains behind the stadium.

“For me, this is a really huge deal because not many people know that here in Arizona we have 22 tribes, nor do they even know the land that we’re on, so with everything that I’m doing with this painting, it ties into those elements,” Hinojos told Forbes.com. “This painting represents celebrating the Super Bowl, but at the same time, it’s also honoring both of my cultures, the Chicano culture and my Indigenous culture.”

Lucinda Hinojos©Lucinda Hinojos
Lucinda Hinojos

La Morena’s digital illustration will be featured on posters and signage around the area and will be painted as the largest Super Bowl mural to date.

Hinojos, along with Cahokia, an Indigenous-led platform for creative peacekeeping, and artists Randy Barton (Diné/Navajo), Anitra “Yukue” Molina (Yaqui), and Carrie “CC” Curley (San Carlos Apache) are working on 9,500 square feet painting that will cover the Monarch Theatre in downtown Phoenix.

“Working with the NFL is such a mainstream (opportunity) and so being in this space, for me, it’s a form of reclamation and letting others know that we are still here,” Hinojos said.

“When we’re in these spaces, I don’t have to say it verbally; I like to say it through my work. In this piece, you’re going to see my Chicano culture, you’re going to see my Native culture, and you’re also going to see the land that we’re on because I spent a lot of time in the Salt River (Pima (Akimel O’odham)-Maricopa) Reservation on the tribal side, and a lot of those elements that have been teaching me, I’ve incorporated in this painting,” the artist added.

The artwork also shows a Fancy Shawl dancer and an Azteca dancer. “I picked female dancers because I wanted to capture that elegant essence of their spirit. As women, we are nurturers, and you can naturally feel that energy we carry,” Hinojos explained. “I wanted to incorporate movement, and I wanted to incorporate the Azteca dancers, and when they’re moving, they’re not dancing, they’re in ceremony, and everything they’re wearing has significant meaning. With the Fancy Shawl dancer, I was trying to be universal; the fancy shawl is not known to the Southwest as much, but when I go to a powwow–and I know powwow are not native to the Southwest either–but those things were brought to us, and I love going to powwows, and one of my favorite elements is seeing the Fancy Shawl dancers.”

2023 Super Bowl artwork©Lucinda Hinojos / NFL
The one-of-a-kind artwork designed by Lucinda Hinojos (b. 1981; Pascua Yaqui, Chiricahua Apache, White Mountain Apache, and Pima (Akimel O’odham)), known as the first Chicana, Native American artist to work with the league.

The 22 diamonds featured in the illustration represent Arizona’s 22 Native tribes. The art also shows the Sonoran Desert landscape, a corn stalk, a hummingbird, a saguaro cactus, a Barrell cactus, and prickly pear cactus.

“I don’t just paint hummingbirds because they’re beautiful. It’s because I’ve had this spiritual connection with them since I was a little girl, and every time something significant happens in my life, they show up, or they bring people into my life,” Hinojos said. “When (the NFL) asked about hummingbirds, I told them in the Aztec culture, they’re called Huitzilopochtli; the warriors, when they would fall, they reincarnate to a hummingbird. In Apache, they are messengers.”

The NFL’s reaction after seeing the artwork

“In seeing Lucinda’s work for the first time, we were struck by the vibrancy and energy she captures in her paintings. Her unique approach to color and design makes her the perfect artist to bring to life the themes of celebration, unity, local culture, and football in our Super Bowl LVII theme art,” Marissa Solis, SVP of Global Brand and Consumer Marketing for the NFL, told Forbes.com. “Lucinda’s humanity, authenticity, and dedication to her art and community became apparent after our first meeting. On top of her incredible talent, the opportunity for us to break barriers and finally award this critical piece to the first indigenous female is a very important milestone.”

“We are all committed to delivering an unforgettable Super Bowl experience and creating lasting social and economic impact across local communities in Arizona,” Solis said.

In addition to the ticket, Hinojos collaborates with NFL football supplier Wilson on a unique Indigenous football design inspired by her heritage and community.

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