Introducing this year’s visiting artist and scholar

Mauricio Cortes Ortega | 2018 Smelser-Vallion Visiting Artist David Dunaway | 2018 Jim and Linda Burke Visiting Scholar

Thanks to the generosity of Jim Vallion and Jim and Linda Burke, each summer the Doel Reed Center hosts a visiting artist and visiting scholar to study, create and teach in Taos. This element helps diversify offerings at the Reed Center, elevates our prominence among practicing artists and scholars and helps increase the impact of programming both in Taos and in Stillwater, where the artist and scholar give lectures and applicable workshops.

We are eager to introduce this year’s Smelser-Vallion Visiting Artist and Jim and Linda Burke Visiting Scholar.

Mauricio Cortes Ortega:

Mauricio Cortes Ortega

Artist and educator Mauricio Cortes Ortega is the 2018 Smelser-Vallion Visiting Artist. Cortes, who moved from northern Mexico to the U.S. in the 90s, reflects his interest in re-contextualizing materials and imagery from stateside nationalism and Mexican folklore in order to explore the complexity of identity.

“I am excited to learn of Taos’ complex history of immigration and to see in person the various physical examples of change and transformation in Pueblo culture after the arrival of Spanish settlers in the 16th and 17th century. As a Mexican-American artist the subject of immigration and the clashing of cultures is both fascinating and complex. I look forward to better understand how these dark chapters in our American history have also led to the production of fascinating visual arts and architecture.”

Cortes received his B.F.A. from The Cooper Union and his M.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University School of Art in 2016. He was a guest speaker at Contemporary Crossroads II Yale Alumni Conference in Miami (2017) and the recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Artist Community Grant NYC (2017), the Schell Center for International Human Rights Travel Fellowship of Yale Law School (2015), the Jóvenes Creadores Mexican National Council for Culture and Arts Painting Fellowship (2013), the Menschel Travel Fellowship Award and the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Painting Fellowship (2011).

Cortes currently lives and works in New York City. As the 2018 Smelser-Vallion Visiting Artist, Cortes will present his talk, “Rainbow Mantle,” at 4 p.m. on July 17 at the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos, New Mexico. To view some of his work, visit

David Dunaway:

David Dunaway

David Dunaway, the 2018 Jim and Linda Burke Visiting Scholar, has been teaching creative writing courses at the University of New Mexico since receiving the first Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of California Berkeley in 1981. He is known internationally, teaching in Denmark and England and as a Fulbright Scholar in Colombia and Kenya.

In addition, Dunaway is the author and editor of 10 books, an oral historian and a biographer in print, radio and podcast. His award-winning national radio documentary series, such as “Writing the Southwest, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New Worlds,” and “Across The Tracks: A Route 66 Story,” have been broadcast on National Public Radio and internationally on hundreds of stations.

Perhaps his most well-known work, “How Can I Keep From Singing? The Ballad of Pete Seeger,” was published by McGraw Hill in 1981 and republished by Villard/ Random House in 2008. Dunaway currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where, among his many other endeavors, he is a DJ for KUNM-FM.

As the 2018 Jim and Linda Burke Visiting Scholar, Dunaway and local author John Nichols will present “Writing & Filming the Southwest,” 4 p.m. July 10 at the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos, New Mexico.

Be sure to visit for updates on programming and Stillwater-based lectures.