Edwin Gil has a spirit that is much like the artwork he creates; bright, happy and cheerful.
But the 42 year old artist wasn't always this way. A turbulent situation in his native Colombia left Edwin feeling helpless and robbed him of his home.
"In December 19, 1998 the guerilla tried to kidnap us, my partner and myself," said Edwin.
He fled his country after his partner was shot and killed. Edwin then turned his tragedy into a blessing.
"The only way to communicate my pain and what I was passing through was through the arts so art saved my life," said Edwin.
His paintings are a hot item, garnering both international and local attention for highlighting social issues.
His latest project hangs at the Imaginon. The Flag of Hope promotes the state's diverse communities, created out of 10 thousand hand prints from different cities in North Carolina.