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San Antonio Man Turns the Struggle For Human Rights Into A Work Of Art

Mark Menjivar
Mark Menjivar photo at Sala Diaz

A pair of local art institutions designed an art walk on Dec. 10 and dedicated it to human rights … and to art.

Mark Menjivar helped coordinate the event for a specific day.

International Human Rights Day is a day that is annually set aside to celebrate and remember the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” he explained.

That original document had a heavyweight pedigree behind it.

“It was started in 1949, and Eleanor Roosevelt actually had a huge hand in making it all come together,” Menjivar said.

The 30-article document detailed the rights all human beings deserve. Menjivar is an artist, specializing in photography, and his human rights interests have a specific focus.

Mark Menjivar
Mark Menjivar's exhibit at Blue Star

“I have been working on issues around capital punishment here in the state of Texas for the past eight years,” he said.

Menjivar Blue Star Contemporary exhibit is about capital punishment, and that’s where the Art Walk will launch.

“We are going to start off at Blue Star, and I'm going to talk a little bit about the work there,” he said. “And then I also have a solo exhibition installed at Sala Diaz that is talking about capital punishment as well.”

Sala Diaz is 7/10 of a mile away, and participants will walk that distance together, socially distanced and masked.

Mark Menjivar
Mark Menjivar's book that will be distributed

“We will be taking all precautions to be safe. The exhibition at Sala Diaz as well has been produced into a book format, and I've printed 2,500 copies of this book to be able to distribute to the community,” he said.

Menjivar thinks that any real human rights improvement starts with an increase in awareness about those rights.

“My hope is that through this event is that we can come together and begin to explore the ways that we can transform our communities,” he said.

The hour-long event and the book are both free.