Lower and Middle School Art teacher Edwin Gil and PD student Kate Carlson (class of ‘21) have partnered with ArtWorks 945 to create a mural for the Urban Ministry Center which will be unveiled on Saturday, March 2. When Gil first arrived in Charlotte from South America, Urban Ministry Center and ArtWorks 945 helped him get back on his feet. In appreciation for this assistance, Gil has partnered with these organizations to produce a mural that he hopes will be an inspiration to others.
Part of Gil’s larger ongoing community-wide art project called Faces of Diversity, this Urban Ministry Center mural will be the 44th in Gil's series. The Faces of Diversity project combines hands-on activities with a dialogue about race, culture, and socioeconomic status to help participants understand how we are all connected. “My goal is to create 111 murals of Faces of Diversity," said Gil. "The idea to do one for the Urban Ministry Center came about from my help with the ArtWorks 945 program. With this art program, I meet a lot of the homeless in Charlotte and see how this program is opening up opportunities for this community. I explain my time at the Urban Ministry Center to show them we will break many times but we always have the choice to take those broken parts and create a masterpiece.”
For this 44th mural, Urban Ministry Center community members left thumbprints on little pieces of glass that have been used in the larger art piece. This process is one Gil has taught in his classes at Providence Day and in PD summer programs. He uses a technique called “upcycling,” or re-using discarded pieces of glass or other materials such as cardboard to turn them into art.
Gil is excited to have the assistance of a PD student, who he is mentoring, in the creation of this mural. Gil says, “I saw the potential she has not just as an artist, but also in her heart for others. I saw a great opportunity to teach her the technique of upcycling with glass and help an amazing cause.”
“I have learned so much from this project, on a both technical and meaningful level," said Carlson. "Through all of this, I have grown to be more confident with trying new ways of thinking in art, and not sticking to one way of doing things. I’m so grateful to Mr. Gil for giving me the opportunity to grow through his own project, as he pushed me kindly and wisely to be less hesitant overall with art.”
For more information on the mural unveiling, click here.