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The World needs allitle bit of everything

Edwin Gil is an avid social activist and uses his art to bridge cultures and diverse groups living in the U.S. He has overcome numerous obstacles to become one of America’s premier Latino Artists. In his Faces of Diversity Project, Edwin shares his story of triumph and how it helped shape his idea of social awareness through art:

“Life is a palette of color with bright tones as well as gray tones that together conform to make the pure harmonious master work that reflects our life. Like these different shades, my life has been marked by innumerable events that have brought changes that have fed my artistic spirit and allowed me to grow as an individual. This explosion of color has inspired my new series entitled “The World Needs a Little Bit of Everything.” This series will open in Spring 2016 and I plan to exhibit it in numerous cities throughout the United States.

Recently I finished Face #20 of the 111 faces that will compose Faces of Diversity which is a social art project that seeks to break stereotypes through art. Creating each one of these projects is always a new magical experience that allows me to tell my story to the participants and subsequently to collect thumb prints on recycled glass to use in the completion of the 8’ by 8’ portrait of the face that has been chosen to highlight by the institution or organization. Face #20 of Faces for Diversity was Dan Ramírez, a Colombian known in Charlotte for his work in politics. The portrait was commissioned by the Levine Museum of the New South as part of the Nuevolution exhibit that tells the story of Latinos in the southern United States. This spectacular project will be in the exhibition at the museum until the end of 2015 and then it will travel for five years to other cities in the US South.

During the month of November, I will travel to Texas to complete Faces of Diversity #21 in the La Marque School District.” – Edwin Gil.

(For more information about Faces of Diversity, which is now listed in the ASC directory of projects, please email edwin@edwingil.com or visit www.edwingil.comFaces of Diversity

New Projects

 

Edwin Gil, internationally known for his excellent social prpojects that have united people around the world through his three flags created with hand prints from participants, announces the launch of a fourth flag, the Flag of Peace. This project intends to highlight the meaning of the word Peace.

The participants (Statesville High School) will write their interpretation of the word peace and then will leave their hand print on the flag. These prints will help create the flag of the Unites States.

The Flag of Peace is a project that is part of the proposal of Jennifer McLain, a student who for more than three years has directed Summit, an antibullying program that hopes to increase understanding and respect among students in the Iredell/Statesville school systems.

more info:Iredell Statesville Schools

Art and Yoga:

As a complement to his art, Gil has intensified his yoga practice by doing a challenge of 365 days of yoga in a year. He practices daily, some times taking as many as 6 yoga classes in a day.

Edwin Gil finished his 200 RYT training with Grace Morales on September 2015. He intends to complement his knowledge of art and color with the practice of vinyasa which he considers to be a perfect combination of Art and yoga.

Yoga and art work well together because they help strengthen the individual by helping them focus on areas that are specific to them.

Yoga asana or sequences are practiced, engaging areas of the body that open and strengthen the intended focus and bring flexibility to areas that are tight or stiff. A brief meditation may follow these sequences in order to tap into inner resources such as the chakras which are energetic points in our body and are related to colors that are used in personal expression. The process of creating art gives expression to the wisdom of the intuitive self achieved from yoga and the self awareness that comes from it and associated meditation.

More info Charlotte Yoga

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May 10, 2015 
Contact 
Edwin Gil Edwin@edwingil.com  | T: 7049688690  

FACES OF DIVERSITY AT QUAIL HOLLOW MIDDLE SCHOOL Save the date May 22, 2015 for the unveiling of the face of diversity 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – (MAY 10, 2015) – Faces of Diversity, an international art enterprise that breaks down stereotypes using art, today announced that, A’Raya Green was selected as Quail Hollow Middle School’s “Face of Diversity”.

Artist Edwin Gil launched an anti-bullying initiative with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ (CMS) Character Development Department called Faces of Diversity. 

Read more

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Sherwin-Williams (NYSE: SHW) announces its partnership with renowned Latino artists, Edwin Gil and Alexander Mijares, during Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15) as they use Sherwin-Williams colors to complete community art projects in Charlotte, NC and Dallas, TX. Gil, a Colombian native who calls Charlotte home, will use the paint in his international anti-bullying art enterprise, Faces of Diversity. Mijares, a Miami native with Cuban and Spanish roots, will help headline the grand opening of LAB ART Texas on September 18 at 7pm, at 315 Cole Street, Dallas, TX 75207.

Mijares also completed a special collaborative project earlier this month with artist MAR at Taverna by Lombardi using Sherwin-Williams paint.

“Sherwin-Williams’ support of Faces of Diversity is proof positive they believe in the power of color and art to transform our communities,” says Gil. “Sherwin-Williams continually builds up Hispanics and arms them with the tools, in this case color, to affect positive change in schools that ultimately reshape the minds of our children by addressing the dire consequences of bullying.” Read more

Edwin Hernandez - Nations Ford Elementary - Faces of Diversity
December 19, 2013
 
 
Media Contact
Brian Cockman
877-210-3737, ext. 1
NATIONS FORD STUDENT BECOMES LATEST FACES OF DIVERSITY INSPIRATION
Little Boy’s Courage During Adversity Sets Tone For Amazing Art Piece

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – (December 19, 2013) – Faces of Diversity, an international art enterprise that breaks down stereotypes using art, today announced Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools’ (CMS) Nations Ford Elementary School will become the latest school to receive a Faces of Diversity by artist Edwin Gil. As part of the CMS’ Making It Better character development initiative, Faces of Diversity uses experiential art activities to encourage respectful dialogue and understanding among students, staff, and the community. Gil collected more than 700 Nations Ford Elementary School student thumbprints during the week of December 16 and created a giant 8′ X 8′ face, which will be unveiled on December 20, 2013 at Nations Ford Elementary School, 8300 Nations Ford Road, Charlotte, NC 28217 at 10:00 a.m.

“We are honored to be a part of such an amazing project that addresses bullying in our schools,” says Omar Jorge, Partner at Compare Foods Supermarkets and Faces of Diversity Corporate Sponsor. “Nations Ford Elementary is a very diverse school, so initiatives like Faces of Diversity are crucial in promoting inclusion, acceptance and respect among students.”

“Faces of Diversity continues to build student confidence as it helps to ensure all students are valued regardless of their station in life,” says Brian Cockman, President of Rooster Communications and Faces of Diversity Co-Creator. “Partnering with the CMS’ Making It Better initiative was a natural fit since both programs seek to unite students and the communities in which they live.”

Edwin Hernandez was selected as Nations Ford Elementary’s face in the Faces of Diversity program. Hernandez was chosen to represent the school as result of his work ethic, perseverance, respect for his fellow students, and courage amidst a serious medical condition. He has overcome many obstacles in his life and is a first generation U.S. citizen of Mexican decent. Hernandez confronts these medical challenges head on and never makes excuses. He treats all students equally, does not ask for special treatment, and does so because he believes it is the right thing to do. His actions and maturity make him an excellent role model for all Nations Ford students.

The CMS Making It Better Initiative works with Faces of Diversity to tell the stories of 10 students within the district who stood for a cause.  The entire student body gets involved, hearing Edwin Gil’s own story, while becoming an integral part of the art piece with their thumbprint.

Most recently, Faces of Diversity has worked with Harding University High School in Mecklenburg County and Iredell-Statesville Schools’ Statesville High in addition to Union County Public Schools. Its international reach extends to Medellin, Colombia in which a team of volunteers worked with pre-school children and their families. For more information on Faces of Diversity, visitwww.EdwinGil.com.

 

About Nations Ford Elementary School: Nations Ford Elementary School offers a positive and nurturing environment that provides meaningful opportunities for overcoming adversity and developing students’ strengths that produces leadership,responsibility, and academic success.

 

About Faces of Diversity: Faces of Diversity helps promote diversity and multicultural awareness through hands on art activities and thoughtful conversation. It reaffirms a sense of unity and connection among diverse groups by demonstrating how our differences should be respected and celebrated. Contemporary, conceptual artist, Edwin Gil, shares his personal story of triumph over tragedy, leads workshops, and creates a large 8′ X 8′ piece of artwork using participant thumbprints. The ‘face of diversity’ is gifted to each participating organization and serves as a reminder that our collective strength comes from our individual talents and unique personalities.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – (OCTOBER 7, 2013) – Faces of Diversity, an international art enterprise that breaks down stereotypes using art, today announced Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools’ (CMS) Harding University High School will become its latest participant. As part of the CMS’ Making It Better character development initiative, Faces of Diversity uses experiential art activities to encourage respectful dialogue and understanding among students, staff, and the community. Gil collected more than 1,000 Harding University High student thumbprints during the week of September 9 and is currently creating a giant 8’ X 8’ face, which will be unveiled on October 8, 2013 at Harding University High School, 2001 Alleghany St, at 9:30AM.

 

“We are thrilled to be a part of such a worthwhile and prosperous program,” says Greg Crumpton, President/Founder of AirTight and Faces of Diversity Corporate Sponsor. “Faces of Diversity has made an impact on many and are deeply touched by the efforts of everyone involved. We continue to be amazed by the heartfelt art that Edwin Gil puts forth in order to recognize these fine students.  Whether at home or abroad, the Crumpton’s and AirTight Mechanical are proud to support this high quality initiative.”

 

“Faces of Diversity provides learning opportunities for students’ to experience artists in action, working for a cause,” says Dr. Deb Kaclik, Director of Arts, Health, Physical Education, and PreK-12 Curriculum Support Programs, CMS. “The CMS Making It Better Initiative partnered with Faces of Diversity on this community project that will tell the story of 10 students within the district that stood for a cause.  The entire student body gets involved, hearing Edwin Gil’s own story, while becoming an integral part of the art piece with their thumbprint. For students this signifies unity, understanding, empathy, and a commitment to Making It Better in their schools and communities.”

 

Tatyana Matthews was selected as Harding University High School’s Face of Diversity due to her campus engagement, involvement, leadership, scholarship, and commitment to the ideals that align with anti-bullying and community building. Her personality and positivity attracted those from all circles, as she was able to make friends in the diverse community of students.

 

Most recently, Faces of Diversity has worked with Iredell-Statesville Schools’ Statesville High in addition to Union County Public Schools. Its international reach extends to Medellin, Colombia in which a team of volunteers worked with pre-school children and their families. For more information on Faces of Diversity, visit www.EdwinGil.com.

 

About Harding University High School: Harding University High School offers a challenging program of academic study designed to prepare all students for success beyond high school.  The curriculum incorporates real-world experiences within a college preparatory teaching/learning environment that nurtures the development of students as active citizens, leaders, scholars, and researchers.

 

About Faces of Diversity: Faces of Diversity helps promote diversity and multicultural awareness through hands on art activities and thoughtful conversation. It reaffirms a sense of unity and connection among diverse groups by demonstrating how our differences should be respected and celebrated. Contemporary, conceptual artist, Edwin Gil, shares his personal story of triumph over tragedy, leads workshops, and creates a large 8’ X 8’ piece of artwork using participant thumbprints. The ‘face of diversity’ is gifted to each participating organization and serves as a reminder that our collective strength comes from our individual talents and unique personalities.

 

Unveiling Faces ofDiversity at Statesville High School

Record & Landmark News paper

By Preston Spencer

Statesville High School unveiled artwork on Wednesday meant to celebrate diversity in what officials hope is the latest step in stopping bullying.

“Faces of Diversity” was revealed in the lobby of Mac Gray Auditorium during a brief morning ceremony attended by a few dozen students. The artwork, which is made up of sliced glass, was constructed by artist Edwin Gil, who has worked with several school systems on promoting tolerance of others.

More than 1,200 SHS students fingerprinted pieces of glass for the picture, which was created in the image of SHS Freshman Jennifer McLain, who organized an all-day anti-bullying event at the school last Thursday.

SHS became the sixth school, including one in Medellin, Colombia, to work with Gil on the Faces of Diversity initiative, an international project seeking to break down stereotypes through art. Gil, who grew up in extreme poverty, said it was “such an honor” to support the message behind the initiative.

“Tears came to my eyes this week when I was finishing the project,” said Gil.

Using all the different fingerprints from students demonstrates how people’s differences can come together to create something beautiful.

“We wanted to show how treating someone with respect and dignity…is at the core of what it means to be human,” said Brian Cockman, president of Rooster Communications and co-creator of Faces of Diversity.

McLain and Iredell-Statesville Schools’ administration worked over the summer to organize last week’s Ignite Summit, where students from all district middle and high schools gathered to design plans to stop bullying in each of their schools.

McLain, who was inspired to hold the summit after enduring years of being bullied, said on Wednesday that she hoped the artwork made in her likeness would have a positive impact on classrooms across the school system.

Mount Mourne IB student Jacob Ramsey attended the summit and Wednesday’s presentation, and said he thought the work begin done to combat bullying was wonderful. Ramsey is North Carolina’s Youth Ambassador for the Tourette Syndrome Association, and has experienced his own share of being picked on due to his disorder.

“Everybody’s different and everybody should be treated the same even though they’re different,” said Ramsey.

SHS Principal Garriot Rose told students on Wednesday that more important than their grades or popularity is how they treat and interact with each other.

“Those are the tools that make us as successful as we want to be,” said Rose.

Rose reminded those present for the “Faces of Diversity” unveiling that “throughout our society, there are bullies of all ages and people everywhere who are getting bullied,” adding importance to being proactive in fighting the issue.

“Students, I’ll leave you with this – let’s make a difference,” Rose said. “Help us come together as a school and community and put bullying in the past.”

Brian

What follows is a speech made this morning by Brian Cockman at the Statesville High School – Faces of Diversity unveil. He can be reached at brian@roostercomm.biz.

Good morning everyone. My name is Brian Cockman and I am president of Rooster Communications, a PR agency based in Charlotte, and the co-creator of Faces of Diversity. When artist Edwin Gil and I set out to create an anti-bullying project that used art as way to communicate and celebrate differences, we wanted to show how treating someone with respect and dignity – regardless of what they wear, how they talk, where they live, or how they live their life – is at the core of what it means to be human.

Today, the students of Statesville High School become a part of an international anti-bullying project and join 7,000 others who have already placed their thumbprints on a Face of Diversity to say NO to bullying.

Students, by placing your thumbprint on the piece of artwork behind me, you have made a pledge to take a stand against bullying. You have made a pledge to be kind to your peers. You have made a pledge to intervene when you see someone being bullied. You have a made a pledge to live a life of dignity.

Your commitment to living a life a dignity and treating other with kindness may seem hard to define, so let me give you some wise words from one of my favorite authors and poets, and NC native, Maya Angelou. She says, quote:

Dignity—the word itself—has come to mean different things to different people, as many words do. It doesn’t just mean always being stiff and composed. It means a belief in oneself, that one is worthy of the best. Dignity means that what I have to say is important, and I will say it when it’s important for me to say it. Dignity really means that I deserve the best treatment I can receive. And that I have the responsibility to give the best treatment I can to other people. End quote.

So today, I challenge the students of Statesville High School, parents, teachers, and administrators to live a life full of dignity. You can influence how others feel by your words and actions. Never forget that.

I’d also like to end with a special thank you to Superintendent Johnson, Louise McLain, Principal Garriot Rose, freshman Jennifer McLain, and of course, all the students at Statesville High School for their support of Edwin and Faces of Diversity. You all should be very proud of your school community.

Faces of Diversity Logo

SEPTEMBER 10, 2013

 

Contact  

Brian Cockman

Faces of Diversity Co-Creator

877-210-3737, ext. 1

brian@roostercomm.biz

 

 

STATESVILLE HIGH & FACES OF DIVERSITY PARTNER AT ANTI-BULLYING SUMMIT

Ignite Summit To Develop Ways In Which Students Can Combat Bullying

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – (SEPTEMBER 10, 2013) – Faces of Diversity, an international art enterprise that breaks down stereotypes using art, today announced it will work with Statesville High School, 474 N Center St, Statesville, NC 28677, at the upcoming anti-bullying Ignite Summit on September 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. The summit, created by Statesville High freshman Jennifer McLain, will include keynote speeches from Faces of Diversity Co-Creator & Artist – Edwin Gil, WSOC Channel 9 Anchor – Natalie Pasquarella, Positive Direction for Youth and Families – Glenn Usry, Facing Forward – Charlene Pell, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg School – John Concelman. Time Out Youth and the Lighthouse Team from East Iredell Middle School will lead breakout sessions along with Student Assistance Program (SAP) Coordinators.

 

“Through the summit, we want to encourage students to be the spark that ignites a wildfire of change,” says student leader Jennifer McLain. “Our goal is to have meaningful conversations about the affects of bullying, which will positively impact the climate and cultures of our schools. Edwin Gil’s Faces of Diversity and the Ignite Summit will demonstrate how we can all work together to build each other up, respect our differences, and celebrate diversity.”

 

“We are proud to partner with Faces of Diversity and the group of student leaders who will undoubtedly have a positive influence on their peers,” says Iredell-Statesville Schools’ Superintendent Brady Johnson. “The contributions of our students, parents, teachers, administrators, and community at the Ignite Summit demonstrate that bullying will not be tolerated in our schools, but even more important, shows the power of teamwork in addressing one of the most important issues facing our young people today. Through its art component, Faces of Diversity brings stories of triumph, courage, and strength to life.”

 

“Faces of Diversity helps provide a voice to students who may not have an outlet to express their feelings,” says Faces of Diversity co-creator and artist, Edwin Gil. “Working with school districts like Iredell-Statesville, communities and student groups across the U.S. can see how art can be used as non-invasive ‘safe’ communications tool to address the issue of bullying head-on.”

 

Artist Edwin Gil will collect more than 1,000 Statesville High School student thumbprints to create the sixth Faces of Diversity from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. September 16,17, 18, and 19 at Statesville High School. Great Photo Op!

 

Most recently, the Faces of Diversity team led by Brian Cockman, president of Rooster Communications and project co-creator, visited Medellin, Colombia to work with pre-school children and their families. Other past participants include NC school districts: Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and Union County Public Schools.

 

For more information on Faces of Diversity, visit www.EdwinGil.com/facesofdiversity, find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/facesofdiversity or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/facesdiversity.

 

About Faces of Diversity: Faces of Diversity helps promote diversity and multicultural awareness through hands on art activities and thoughtful conversation. It reaffirms a sense of unity and connection among diverse groups by demonstrating how our differences should be respected and celebrated. Contemporary, conceptual artist, Edwin Gil, shares his personal story of triumph over tragedy, leads workshops, and creates a large 8’ X 8’ piece of artwork using participant thumbprints. The ‘face of diversity’ is gifted to each participating organization and serves as a reminder that our collective strength comes from our individual talents and unique personalities.

 

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It is our honor to report that Statesville High School will become the sixth Faces of Diversity initiative. Highlighting the anti-bullying work of Statesville High student, Jennifer McLain, the Faces of Diversity team will work with students in what Statesville-Iredell Schools is calling Faces of Diversity Month!

 

On September 19, Faces of Diversity co-creators Edwin Gil and Brian Cockman will work with students, administration, and staff to bring this latest “face” to life through workshops and art at the school’s Engage Summit. For more details, contact Edwin Gil.

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At four years old, Juan David may still be little. His dreams, however, are anything but. “I want to be a painter. I want to paint the whole world,” he declares, matter-of-factly. A lofty goal, no doubt. Just a quick look around his comuna (neighborhood) in Medellín, Colombia, however, paints a less-than-lofty reality.

For children in Colombia, and Latin America in general, poverty is the one constant, dream-crushing companion. According to a 2010 joint study conducted by UNICEF and CEPAL(in English, ECLAC — The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean), nearly 81 million children in Latin America and the Caribbean live under moderate to severe deprivation factors such as malnutrition, lack of access to drinking water and sanitation services, lack of adequate schooling and lack of access to information and modern technology.

Edwin Gil, a Colombian artist residing in Charlotte, NC, is more than a tad familiar with this narrative. Like Juan David, Gil also nursed artistic ambitions as a child — ambitions that seemed to be doomed forever due to his family’s socioeconomic status and the country’s shaky political situation in the ’80s. “My childhood was filled with bitter moments: poverty, hunger and abuse, which clouded my hopes of ever having a better future,” recalls Gil.

Having personally lived through these conditions was a determining factor for Gil’s decision to bring his Faces of Diversity program to Medellín. In his native city, the Faces of Diversity project — whose first installment took place in Charlotte, NC in partnership with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools — took on a new focus: socio-economic issues. After Gil and Faces of Diversity Director Brian Cockman took a tour of Buen Comienzo pre-schools this past May, both knew it was a perfect match. So for the next couple of months, they worked to engage private, civic and public U.S. and Latin American entities like ToolWell, AirTight, Clamasan and Sos Paisa to bring volunteer manpower, monetary, clothing and goods donations to help the government-funded program.

The project’s art centerpiece, depicting one of the children from the program, required over one thousand children’s fingerprints and is now part of one of the centers’ structural history — and the kids’ memories. “What better way to recognize these kids’ important imprint on the program than to have their actual fingerprints on this piece of art that will be here forever?” says Adriana María González Cuervo, Buen Comienzo’s Regional Director.

Final Story Collage

The Buen Comienzo program, developed by the Office of the Mayor of Medellín, Colombia, has 14 preschool centers and plans on adding many more across the region. It serves children and their families during their first five years of life, providing much needed early childhood education, family counsel and integral development for these children. Its longest-lasting contribution to their lives, though, is not the daily nourishment, the professional care or even the educational structure it provides, but rather the stable, loving shield from the often-hostile environment they witness in the communities from which they hail. “Our aim is for the kids who attend the center to get more than care. We want them to be happy,” says González Cuervo.

Which is how Gil and Cockman would define budding artist Juan David, one of the thousands of children the program benefits across the city. Seeing the impact of these type of programs first-hand has inspired Gil and Cockman’s to make Faces of Diversity a global project. “Our goal is to complete 111 “Faces” art pieces, and to engage ambassadors in major metropolitan areas and communities around the world over the next three years. The Faces of Diversity art pieces will serve as the platform to launch discussion around the topics of health and wellness, education and human rights,” says Cockman.

Their hope is that the program continues to be a “bridge” bringing together the arts, business, nonprofits, Latinos and Latino supporters with cultures — and hey, maybe even inspire future artists like Juan David — around the world. “I’m grateful to be able plant these art seeds everywhere, to help people across the world dream of and build a better life for themselves,” concludes Gil.

To contribute to the Buen Comienzo program in Medellín, visit their philanthropic arm, The Ximena Rico Llano Foundation.

Collage 1: 1080 children from the Buen Comienzo program added their fingerprints to the art piece.

Collage 2 (left to right): 1) Buen Comienzo participant and aspiring artist Juan David. 2) Mr. Gil and kids at work on the art piece. 3) Over 1000 fingerprints went into creating the final art piece for the project. 4) Buen Comienzo’s Regional Director Adriana María González Cuervo. 5) The final art piece. 6) Volunteers of the Faces of Diversity Medellín project and some Buen Comienzo program kids (left to right): Brian Cockman, Edwin Gil, Elianne Ramos, Charlene Valdez.

DISCLAIMER: Elianne Ramos is the Social/Cultural Advisor for Faces of Diversity.

 

Follow Elianne Ramos on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@ergeekgoddess