A new mural on a West 29th Street wall was unveiled on the one-year anniversary of the Parkland, Florida mass shooting — And the artist is the father of one of the victims.
On February 14th, 2018, 17 students and staff members were murdered inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Joaquin Oliver was one of the students who was murdered. His parents continue to fight against gun violence with their organization, Change The Ref.
The midtown Manhattan mural depicts an angel holding a machine gun, with the words, "You Stole My Heart." The number 17 is inside a red balloon. Joaquin's father Manuel is the artist.
"I have been trying to be very graphic," Manuel Oliver said. With his art and his words, he tries to get the message out. "So, as we finish this press conference, I am going to ask you all to call your kids and make sure they are ok. Because when I called my kid, he was dead," he said.
"You Stole My Heart" will be up for at least one month.
Art is not the Oliver's only vehicle of expression. They are working to elect lawmakers who will change gun laws.
"Change these politicians, or these people that is not aligned in what we are looking for, which is gun control," Joaquin's mother Patrica Oliver said.
Emma Gonzalez joined the Olivers Thursday in Manhattan. She is one of the leaders of the March For Our Lives movement. "For me and most of my friends, we fight our trauma by fighting against gun violence," Gonzalez said.