From August 2016-April 2017, I was commissioned to create a Welcoming Diversity Mural for the foyer of the Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, IL, USA. I hand-delivered the artwork from where I was living, working, and creating, in Thailand. The piece travelled over 8,000 miles, and was created with the help of individuals from over 9 countries. Two marginalized communities in Chiang Mai added to the collage figures: Burmese migrant students of college-going age at BEAM (Bridging Educational Access to Migrants) and local youth awaiting their sentences in the Juvenile Detention Center ( The collage figures represent whole ethnic communities that the hospital serves, and above each of them is the respective translation of the word "Welcome" in their languages: Gujarati, Polish, Spanish, Tagalog, English, and Lao. 
April 10th, 2017: At the opening, I publicly acknowledged and thanked the individuals from 9 countries who contributed to the creation of the artwork. 
Students at BEAM helped diversify the collaged figures in the mural. These students are all Burmese migrants, who have moved to Chiang Mai for the chance to purse a college degree. BEAM supports these students in achieving their GRE certification and applications for financial sponsorship. Consider funding their brave efforts against the socio-political situations in Myanmar and Thailand and donate here:

More help came from: local youth in the Juvenile Detention Center, awaiting their prison sentences; international volunteers (Germany, Singapore, the USA) supporting Art Relief International's art relief workshops; and expatriates based in Chiang Mai from Brazil, England, Italy, the USA, and Zimbabwe. 
Here are the contributing BEAM students, after our art relief workshop (art therapy + art education), working towards the mural's completion. 
This mother submitted photos of she and her daughter in their traditional Indian regalia. I surprised them as a thank you for their contribution to the project by including them as the Gujarati-speaking figures in the mural. 
Similarly, the coordinator of this whole community development opportunity had submitted vacation pictures from her family's trip to see relatives in Colombia and Guatemala. Being Colombian-American, I felt compelled to use the boy's likeness to represent the Spanish-speaking nations. I didn't know that this boy was the coordinator's son--so we were both surprised when I included him in the final piece. 
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