The late Alberto Mijangos’s dreams for his gallery and art school, Salon Mijangos, continue to be realized by his family and curator Ben Judson. Mijangos died of lymphoma this past June.
“We miss him terribly, We want to continue what he’s started and represent him as best as we can,” expressed Laura Mijangos-Kirk, Alberto’s daughter.
Salon Mijangos, located in the SoFlo art district, occupies the same building as up-and-coming gallery spaces
One9Zero6 and FL!GHT. Since Alberto’s death, Judson and the Mijangos family took some time off from holding events at the gallery. The first show to open since Salon’s hiatus began in early September and features photography by UTSA students as well as Houston students. The show is set to close on October 27.
According to Mijangos-Kirk, “everyone’s doing their part” to help with the gallery. “We feel like his spirit is still with us,” she went on to say. Along with her four siblings and Alberto’s wife, Kay, the Mijangos family is coming together for the sake of Alberto’s vision.
Aside from being the gallery’s curator, Judson is a writer. Technical writing pays the bills, but he also contributes to art magazines, and has his own blog, Emvergeoning.com, which provides San Antonio art news. His artwork has been featured in a couple of group shows, and will be showcased in the upcoming group show Mañanaland which occurs during the S.M.A.R.T. Fair on October 13. Also featured during the S.M.A.R.T. Fair is A Peeling of Words, with poetry readings by Jenny Browne and Robert Bonazzi, an event that will be hosted at Salon Mijangos.
Since Alberto’s death, Mijangos-Kirk and Judson have expanded the classes offered at the gallery with an assortment of art, creative writing, and music options. The fall semester commenced on October 1. According to Judson, classes are capped at 10 students, though most draw an average of five to six. “We’re trying to keep the spirit more of the same,” says Judson. “The philosophy hasn’t changed.”
Although Judson is happy with the way Salon Mijangos has been received, he still has a few ideas which will make the space more appealing to a broader audience. “I take it one day at a time. `I’m` trying to bring in poets and musicians that don’t have other venues,” says Judson. In mid-September Judson invited Emilio Tamez, a percussionist from Monterrey, Mexico, to perform at the gallery. “My interest is in experimental music, avant-garde, and to present that music in the gallery space,” says Judson. He would ultimately like to add a sound installation to the gallery.
As Judson and the Mijangos family continue to put all their efforts into the 1,000 square foot space that is Salon Mijangos and its adjacent classroom, they have not only their family patriarch to keep them going, but also the local art community. •