Photos by Bob Brown '15
Nicaraguan painter Marlon Moreno recently joined the Marymount community as artist-in-residence for International Week. This was his fourth annual visit to the university. Each year, he has shared the art traditions of his homeland and worked on projects with students that include a religious sawdust painting and a mural that celebrates both MU’s diversity and areas of common ground. The mural now hangs outside the Office of International Student Services.
On this visit, he helped students in Marymount’s Global Thinkers residential community begin another mural and gave a presentation on the primitive style of painting that has become symbolic of Nicaragua. He explained how that artistic tradition arose from the ashes of a country nearly destroyed by civil war. Moreno credited Father Ernesto Cardenal, a Catholic priest who was minister of culture during the Sandinista government, with single-handedly creating an artists’ colony in the Solentiname Islands. That colony, which focused on the characteristic primitive style, launched many a Nicaraguan painter’s career.
He noted that Nicaragua’s widespread poverty makes it difficult for many children to have access to art books, galleries, or museums to see paintings or learn about art. He said, “I remember on my first visit to Marymount, I went to the National Gallery of Art and saw all these works from all over the world. This was my first time seeing these things. I was fascinated.”
Before leaving, Moreno also shared a Nicaraguan folk song during the university’s International Banquet – a celebration of Marymount’s diverse community with food, music, dance, and fashion from around the world.