Rhizomes Team


Rhizomes: Mexican American Art Since 1848, the larger initiative, relies on the leadership of:

Karen Mary Davalos, Professor of Chicano and Latino Studies at University of Minnesota in theTwin Cities, is the leading scholar of Mexican American/Chicano art history and brings experience in addressing research challenges, archival formation, and Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR).

Constance Cortez, Professor of Chicana/o Art History and Post Contact Art of Mexico, School of Art, University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley, is an established scholar and curator of Mexican American art. She is the only art historian in the nation trained in three historical epochs (pre-Columbian, colonial, and contemporary US and Mexican), making her uniquely qualified to steward this broad-ranging interdisciplinary initiative.

National Advisory Council

The National Advisory Council is a growing network of prominent humanities scholars, librarians, archivists, curators, and technical advisors with expertise in Mexican American art history. It provides interdisciplinary and multi-institution perspectives on the planning stages of the components of the ecosystem. It ensures a broad, inclusive methodological foundation for the Rhizomes Initiative.

The Council provides feedback on all stages and projects of the Rhizomes Initiative, including the portal's development, identification of search strategies, the creation of new metadata and culturally-Informed vocabularies, and editorial criteria for the book series and curricula.


Lisa Justine Hernandez (2022-2024), Postdoctoral Associate, received her PhD in Comparative Literature from University of Texas at Austin, and numerous degrees in computer science. She leads the enhancement of the portal and assists on preparation for the portal's second iteration.

Colin McFadden (2017-), Technical Architect of the University of Minnesota Liberal Arts Technology and Innovation Services (LATIS), is a technologist deeply rooted in the liberal arts. 

kalan Knudson Davis (2022-), Rare and Special Collections Metadata Librarian, is fascinated with the overlapping metadata use cases between rare materials and art as their emergent strategies are informed by the understanding of the artifactual nature of resources as created objects. kalan designed the Subject Guide for MAAS1848 and assisted with mitigation of biased subject terms.

Magaly Ordoñez (2022-2023), Feminist Studies doctoral candidate in Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies Department, is a Graduate Assistant for MAAS1848. They are researching critical cataloging and digitization standards and workflows, refining the MAAS1848 Thesaurus and Glossary, and keeping us on track.

Angela M. Carter (2023), Ph.D. Associate Director for Racial and Social Justice Education, Office for Equity and Diversity, and Co-Founding Member of the Critical Disability Studies Collective, has extensive knowledge about pedagogy and critical disability studies. She provided consultation as we mitigate biased subject terms.

Stephen Hearn (2018-2021), Metadata Strategist at the University of Minnesota Libraries, has broad knowledge and practical experience with metadata tools and controlled vocabularies in both traditional and emergent contexts. 

Cristina López (2017-2022), Consultant of the Center for Educational Innovation (CEI), is an expert in project planning, digital humanities frameworks, interdisciplinary translation, cross-institutional collaboration, and web design.​ 

David Melendez (2017-2018), PhD, Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, was a Graduate Assistant for Rhizomes, writing web content, assisting with web design, and coordinating meetings.

Rebecca A. Moss (2019-2021), Engagement and Online Learning Consultant of the Liberal Arts Technology and Innovation Services, is an award-winning outstanding leader at UMN, trained in art and library sciences. Using Sketchnote, she created the visualization of the Rhizomes Initiative displayed on the homepage.


Rebecca D. Meyers, Permanent Collection Curator, has over three decades of collections management and problem-solving variations in vocabulary and cataloging terms for Mexican American art and cultural objects.

Cesareo Moreno, Director of Visual Arts and Chief Curator, is the most prolific curator of Mexican American art, with nearly 100 exhibitions to his name.

Raquel Aguiñaga-Martinez, Visual Arts Associate Director & Registrar, is responsible for vital conservation and administrative tasks at the National Museum of Mexican Art.


Frank Romo, RomoGIS Enterprises, developed the geospatial application for the interactive Rhizomes Institutional Map and lead the the software development team for the portal.

Maria Olivia Davalos Stanton designed the original website, selected the accessible colors here and in the portal, and managed our social media (2019-2021).