Art exhibit features work by Mexican Cultural Institute’s founding director

Life and work by late artist Alberto Mijangos being honored

Artist Alberto Mijangos is being honored at the Mexican Cultural Institute for his abstract paintings and his love for Mexico and the people of San Antonio.

SAN ANTONIO – An exhibit of many of the abstract paintings by the late artist Alberto Mijangos is on display at the Mexican Cultural Institute where he was its founding director.

His life and work were being honored Thursday evening at the Mexican Cultural Institute at Hemisfair.

Albert Mijangos, his son and an H-E-B executive, said his father arrived in San Antonio in the 1940′s with nothing other than a dream of becoming an artist.

Mijangos said the exhibit “The Transformative Power of Art” reflects what his father was able to achieve after his dream was realized.

Back then, Mijangos said the Mexican Cultural Institute was on the top floor of the Mexican Consulate.

Then came the 1968 Hemisfair that transformed San Antonio.

“When he found this opportunity, he was able to bring artists from Mexico to the United States and also send artists from United States to Mexico,” Mijangos said. “A beautiful symbiotic relationship was really formed.”

After the 1968 Hemisfair ended, Mijangos said one of its buildings became the new home of the Mexican Cultural Institute.

“He was able to secure a lease for $1 a year from the city for the first five years,” Mijangos said. His father eventually expanded the building where it still is now, next to an extension of UNAM, the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Mijangos said it was only fitting that more than 40 of his father’s paintings, many from his family’s private collections, are on display at the Mexican Cultural Institute.

His father being its first director, Mijangos said, “I think it was important for him as an artist and also kind of as somebody that really cared about the community.”

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About the Authors:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

Luis Cienfuegos is a photographer at KSAT 12.