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In 2019, The University of New Mexico – Taos was awarded a Title V, Hispanic Serving Institution Grant, provided by UNIDOS: Building Pathway to Access and Opportunity for the Upper Rio Grande Region. UNM-Taos used this grant to promote the ongoing development of equity and diversity within the UNM-Taos campus and community. To capstone this initiative, the UNM-Taos Art Department brought two very-well respected artists to work with the students of UNM-Taos.


Imagery, conceptualized by students in collaboration with professional artists – local and nationally recognized artist, Amy Córdova, and internationally recognized muralist, Jenny Roesel Ustick, represent the diversity of UNM-Taos' campus culture with a large-scale mural on the art building. The creation of this mural empowered students to work together in developing imagery that is meaningful and directly connected to their personal narrative. This collaboration allowed the diverse students of UNM-Taos to have a voice in the visual depiction of their culture on a large-scale and in the same institution where they are being educated.


Amy Córdova worked directly with students to develop the image for the mural using their voice and her aesthetic viewpoint. She is a nationally recognized children’s’ book illustrator and acclaimed arts educator and lecturer. Córdova has made numerous keynote speeches as well as art with thousands of children and adults throughout the U.S. A descendent of a family who has resided in Northern New Mexico preceding the seventeenth century, Córdova holds great reverence for New Mexico’s landscape, history, cultures and traditions. Brilliant color, dreams, the natural world, and the wisdom of children contribute to Córdova’s inspirational, artistic vision.

Jenny Roesel Ustick is Interim Director, MFA Program, Foundations Coordinator, and Assistant Professor of Practice at the School of Art, College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati. She manages large-scale public murals, with eleven walls in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky; she has also worked on projects in Miami Beach, Florida, the Villa Crespo neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and in Granati, Italy.


The mural is located on the exterior wall of Fred Peralta Hall (the Art building) at the UNM-Taos Klauer Campus in Ranchos de Taos. 

The Making of a Mural

The Department of Fine Arts and Digital Media is thrilled to present a short documentary on the making of The Dance: The Hierophany of Home - our epic mural at UNM-Taos! The imagery was conceptualized by students in collaboration with Amy Cordova y Boone. Led by Jenny Roesel Ustick, the mural was painted by the students, staff, faculty, and community of UNM-Taos and completed on October 7, 2019. The documentary was shot and edited by UNM-Taos Digital Media students and Program Coordinator and filmmaker Peter Walker. 

The Dance: The Hierophany of Home

Hierophany - finding the sacred in everyday life


To all who hear the song of the mountain. 

To the life giving waters, the luminous colors of the day, to growing things. May all be blessed and inspired in this mountain home.”

- Amy Cordova y Boone


Funded by the Title V Hispanic Serving Institution Grant: 

UNIDOS: Building Pathways to Access and Opportunity 

for the Upper Rio Grande Region


Designing Artist - Amy Cordova y Boone


Lead Muralist - Jenny Roesel Ustick


Project Manager - Sarah Stolar


Painted by the students, staff, faculty, and community of UNM-Taos


Completed October 7, 2019

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