North America

Manuel Oliver biography: 13 things about Universidad Nueva Esparta alum

Manuel Oliver Urbano is a Venezuelan-American artist and photographer based in Coral Springs, Florida, United States. Growing up in Caracas, Venezuela, he started painting at a young age.

Oliver is 1 year younger than his wife Patricia Padauy Oliver. They immigrated from Caracas to Florida.

Aside from Coral Springs, Oliver has lived in other parts of Florida including Boca Raton, Doral, Pompano Beach and Weston, Here are 13 more things about him:

  1. From 1988 to 1993, he attended the Universidad Nueva Esparta in Caracas where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration.
  2. In 2001, Patricia gave birth to their son Joaquin “Guac” Oliver.
  3. In 2004, he, Patricia, Andrea, Guac and his stepdaughter Andrea Ghersi moved to Coral Springs. Guac attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, which is near their house in Coral Springs. Ghersi graduated from the same school.
  4. From January 2009 to February 2011, he was the creative director of Gold Coast T-Shirts.
  5. From October 2011 to February 2018, he was the vice president and creative director of J&R Adventures.
  6. On February 14, 2018, former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Nikolas Cruz, then 19, fatally shot his son Guac and 16 others and injured 17 others inside the school. After the shooting, he and Patricia founded the gun reform group Change the Ref.
  7. On March 10, 2018, he painted a mural for Guac with the words “We Demand a Change” in a pop-up gallery in Wynwood, Miami, Florida. It was part of “Parkland 17”, an exhibition prompted by Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade. He starred in Chris A. Neal‘s short film “Posts Into Letters”, which was released in the U.S. on April 25, 2018.
  8. In August 2018, he held a painting rally in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, the headquarters of gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson.
  9. He was featured in Jake Lefferman and Emily Taguchi‘s documentary film “After Parkland” and Cheryl Horner‘s documentary film “Parkland Rising”, which were released in the U.S. on April 26, 2019 and June 2, 2019, respectively. On August 3, 2019, he, Patricia and Andrea visited an immigrant shelter in Cuidad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.
  10. He was featured in Jeff Vespa‘s documentary film “Voices of Parkland”, which was released in the U.S. on February 12, 2020.
  11. In December 2021, he protested outside the White House in Washington, D.C., USA for more than two weeks. He tried to speak with 46th U.S. president Joe Biden but instead, he met with White House senior officials.
  12. On July 11, 2022, he interrupted Biden during a speech at the White House marking the passage of the first major gun legislation in the U.S. in more than 10 years.
  13. He was 54 years old when he was arrested on March 23, 2023 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., USA after he appeared to shout at Republican lawmaker Pat Fallon, then 55, of Texas, USA, who was speaking at a hearing on gun regulations.

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