Joshua Ryan Murillo
I try to illuminate stories I feel deserve greater recognition. Stories that can shed light on how the world has come to be as it is today, and that just might help to broaden our idea of what's possible tomorrow.
THE ARTISTS: Joshua was born in California and raised in the Napa Valley. He graduated from New Technology High School. He has an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and another in Physics from University of California, Santa Barbara. He earned a Master’s Degree in Physics from University of Hawaii, Manoa. Joshua currently teaches physics, astronomy, and mathematics at Napa Valley College. At a young age, he became interested in drawing, and has continuously made art throughout his life. The subject matter for his art has evolved over the years, from comic book heroes and villains, to people, animals, nature, and architecture, to the cosmos and the quantum world. Joshua has come to believe more and more that art has the profound ability to expand the viewer's idea of what is, what was, and what is possible. So today, his art is more focused on what stories our society chooses to tell itself, and more importantly, which stories it tends to leave untold.
THE STORY: The “Bracero Program” is the colloquial name for a series of agreements between the United States and Mexico that brought millions of Mexican laborers to the U.S. to work in agriculture, as well as on railroads, and in factories. These laborers became known as “Braceros.” The program began during World War II and continued until 1964. The artist’s grandfather, along with countless other grandparents and great grandparents, first came to the U.S. because of the Bracero program. This program has had a lasting impact; from opening the path for generations of descendants to prosper in the U.S., to sparking labor movements to combat exploitative and dehumanizing labor practices. Its lessons should be kept alive and well, and a public mural is one way to do just that. This mural is the second piece in a series of murals by the artist started in 2021. The project is known as the Reframed Murals Project (RMP). The goal of this project is to create murals within locations that tend to be overlooked when considering where to invest in public art and to create murals in highly trafficked areas that specifically spotlight under-represented peoples, cultures, and stories.