Saturday, April 07, 2018

Manuel Olivier Remembers His Murdered Son and Inspires Us to Fight Gun Violence

by Gregg Chadwick
(all photos by Gregg Chadwick)

Today in Downtown Los Angeles, an empowered crowd joined Parkland, Florida father Manuel Olivier as he created a moving artistic tribute to the 17 shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School - poignantly including his son Joaquin Olivier. We were comprised of Stoneman Douglas students and their families, past Stoneman Douglas graduates, and concerned community members.


Manuel Olivier began with a blank surface set in place outside the Standard Hotel on 6th Street. With a deft combination of wheat pasted paper elements, brushwork, and bold spray painted passages, Olivier created the framework for a memorial to those senselessly cut down at their High School in Florida.



Manuel Olivier creates a moving artistic tribute to the 17 shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School - including his son Joaquin Olivier



Once the artwork's structure was in place, Olivier moved to a more performance based piece, paint dripped like blood, loud hammer thrusts burst the surface of the painting echoing like gunshots off the buildings surrounding the outdoor space, and the gaping wounds were filled with sunflowers.


Olivier filled the gaping wounds with sunflowers. Life, death, and renewal. 




Olivier then implored us to fight for change and said that his son Joaquin would always be marching and fighting with us. Olivier's clear backpack was a rebuke to the politicians who offer only pollyannas and ineffective symbolic gestures.

Then Marjory Stoneman students and family who had flown out to Los Angeles from Florida, picked up crayons that Olivier had placed in clear buckets attached to the artwork and wrote their tributes to the slain students on this new remembrance wall. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg, who with Jaclyn Corin, Emma Gonz├ílez, Cameron Kasky and Alex Wind has led a nationwide movement against gun violence since the shootings in Parkland, picked out a red crayon and wrote a quote from MLK onto the artwork - “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl,  but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”  





David Hogg quotes MLK in honor of his slain HS friend
- Joaquin Olivier:




“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl,  but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”   ― Martin Luther King Jr


Today in we joined Parkland father Manuel Olivier as he created a moving artistic tribute to the 17 shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School - including his son Joaquin Olivier




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