Marco Moreno has been awarded HSS’s Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarly and Creative Activities Award, nominated by Dr. Karen Stocker. The award is issued by the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects to one undergraduate and one graduate student per college working on a research or creative project.
Moreno began his career at CSUF as a biology major, but gradually found psychology and later, anthropology. Upon enrolling in a several anthropology courses, including “Culture and Education” taught by Dr. Stocker, he declared it a minor.
If These Walls Could Talk: Murals in Southern California, his master's thesis, Moreno looked to graphic ethnography for inspiration, which he explains is a written and visual manuscript organized as a detailed account over time researching a place and representing the people that live in that place. Marco applied this methodology and focused on mural art.
Moreno’s interest “stemmed from the idea of wanting to learn how others learn, their values, beliefs, aspirations, struggles and those all tend to happen in mural painting. There are components of education, beautification, and teaching in murals.”
Moreno applies a personalized process to understand these pieces of public art. “I felt that I could use my (own) drawing as a method of recording the murals I was seeing. Using drawing and writing, I was able to understand the visual language and meaning inscribed in the mural. It also helped me communicate the intricate details of the mural into the final composition of “If These Walls Could Talk: Murals in Southern California.”
Moreno was born and spent his younger years in Torreón, Coahuila in Mexico, where he grew up with his family and remembers seeing wall street painting. When he moved to Riverside, CA, he began seeing much more graffiti, much more mural, and street art.
Moreno has been interviewing artists, spending time doing participant observation in places where art is at, and talking to people of the community as a way to understand their relationship to the art. He would love to see this work published by the cities where the murals reside. “I think about it when I am writing; what it would look like to be in my hands, or what someone else would look like when they have it in their hands.”