Mike Moreno

Mike Moreno


As a child, Mike was influenced by traveling carnivals and circuses which opened his mind to artistic illusion and fantasy. His influences included artists Keith Haring, Salvador Dali, Leonardo De Vinci, the Aztec and Maya cultures. He includes concepts related to amazing alternative universes existing outside of our forced reality. His art incorporates the cosmic wavelength which is within all of us and in Disco music.

He utilizes art techniques in tune with his New Mexican heritage, intertwining Mexican, Native American, and Spanish/New Mexican culture. Mixed media is his preferred choice. His art is a reflection of social issues, sexuality, experiencing as well as living with HIV/AIDS and spirituality.

He makes art to make people laugh, cry and think, in hopes that they will explore their own creativity for the good of our universe.

Mike has been making art and developing community art projects for over 35 years. And over 45 years as a teacher, artist, student, coach, community organizer, and activist.

In 1987 he helped co-found “VIVA”, a Los Angeles non-profit organization that worked to discover, empower and promote Latino/a LGBTQIA Artists. Even after its closure, VIVA has continued to be a catalyst for many artists. And has exhibited his works in many cities in the U.S.

Mike's work as an artist and activist is documented and/or referenced in several University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Chicano studies publications by Robb Hernández including;

"The Fire of Life,"---2009

"VIVA Records 1970- 2000,"---2013

"Archiving an Epidemic" ---2019

He is also included in the University of California Riverside publication; "Mundos Alternos- Art & Science Fiction In The Americas," 2017- by Hernández, Stallings & Szupinska-Myers.

Mike's artwork, "The Third Eye of Cyclona,"- was part of the 2017 Pacific Standard Time exhibit, “Mundos Alternos” at UCR ARTSBlock in Riverside, California.

The exhibit then traveled to the Queens Museum in New York for exhibition in April 2019, the art piece "The Third Eye of Cyclona,/Robert “Cyclona” Legorreta Headdress" has since been donated to the archives of The National Hispanic Cultural Center In Albuquerque, N.M. and a portion of Mike's personal archives are located at the One Center Archive at the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, CA.

Mike's most recent community work includes the development & coordination of the 2019 Belen Street Banner Art Competition for Belen Main Street Partnership in Belen New Mexico, this successful project had over 25 local artists participating.

His extensive community organizing experience includes serving as the AIDS Memorial Quilt National Volunteer Coordinator from 1994-1997. Then the Volunteer director for the following, Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles in 1997, AIDS Project Atlanta, GA- 2000, Los Angeles Shanti, 2003.

His career as an activist including capacity building, collaboration development between non-profits over the years, and Mike now is currently based in Belen, NM where he has volunteered for over 10 years in community development to create change in a town dealing with low income and other social challenges.

His new adventure he is currently running for 2022 Belen City Council seat in his hometown of Belen New Mexico with hopefully more adventures to come.


My art is my response to social activism and the continued rebirth of my soul. I prefer invention and crudeness in my art form, versus the formulas of art gentrification as prescribed by society. Art does not have to be common nor should it be privileged.