Jennifer McLain | EdwinGil.com
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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

Jennifer McLain

The Faces of Diversity is such an amazing project that gets everyone involved. Without this component of the project, people wouldn’t be as involved or as excited about our new bullying initiative. I am so glad that Edwin Gil took the time to craft our face of diversity! I think the face has brought a lot to the table here at Statesville High. It has already had a positive impact on our school culture and classroom climates! Mr. Gil has done an awesome job and has put forth so much time and effort! Thank you Mr.Gil for your hard work! Also, our principal, Mr. Rose has been such a help by providing a space for Edwin, being so hospitable and helping out in any way he can! I know he is excited about what has been sparked by the Ignite Summit and Statesville High! He loves his Greyhounds!

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.”

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.