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Born This Way: Marconi Calindas

Write to Empower launches BORN THIS WAY, a celebration of equality through a series of inspiring articles about the failures and triumphs of LGBT individuals with fervent hopes of delivering encouragement to other members of the LGBT community. According to a 2011 Williams Institute review of Census 2000 data, about 3.8 percent of American adults — approximately 9 million — identify themselves being in the LGBT community. Born This Way is a celebration of gender identity, of sexuality, of equality, and of pride.


Painting about the struggles exclusive to members of the LGBT community is close to Marconi Calindas’ heart not because it makes out for a sound advocacy but because he knows how it feels like to go through those difficulties. His art delivers a strong message that bullying should never be tolerated, but more importantly, it speaks about the dauntless celebration of one’s sexuality.

The boldness of Marconi’s visual vocabulary holds the viewers’ attention and continues to attract a widening audience. He complements his irrefutable talent with passion about his subjects, making his artwork — particularly those about the triumphs of human spirit — both commercially accepted and critically acclaimed.

He was recently honored by the San Francisco’s Office of the Supervisors for adding pride to the city’s art scene and for advocating equality and understanding for the troubled members of the community. He co-wrote and illustrated the children’s book “Of Petals and Hope: Sunny Sunflower Triumphs Over Bullying”.

A grand prize winner for the New Era Introducing Global Creative Project North America 2012 competition, Marconi’s winning piece tackled a sensitive subject about teen bullying and suicide. It was showcased in five key art cities in the US: New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and Miami and in Toronto, Canada from October to November 2012.

His recent achievement is his douse of Art Direction for the recently released short film 'Prinsesa (2014)' where he won Outstanding Art Direction for his creation for the film during the Scary Cow Short Film Festival held in San Francisco, CA. The movie, about a father’s response to his child's gender-identity questions, was inspired by the Philippines’ Singkil dance and has been in the film festival circuit across the globe.

Formerly a full-time journalist in the Northern Mariana Islands, Marconi started drifting away from writing and in to painting when his partner suggested that they print his artwork on shirts. It didn't take long before the largest duty-free store in the Pacific — DFS Galleria — took notice and started exclusively selling his destination shirts.

A resident artist in San Francisco, he has been invited to display his work in public art projects ranging from San Francisco City Hall, Children's Creative Museum, SoMARTS Gallery SF, Hotel Triton Mezzanine Gallery, Magnet SF and Menlo College to exhibits at A-Forest Gallery NYC, Intermedia Arts Gallery Minneapolis, Artists Alley SF, Bayfair Mall (San Leandro, CA), Newpark Mall (Newark, CA) and Aspect Gallery in San Francisco among many others.

Marconi also has been selected out of 6,500 submissions from around the globe for the 2014 Embracing Our Differences Outdoor Exhibit in Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida. His painting has been enlarged to over 10-foot billboard panel for the annual exhibition. Furthermore, his works have also been featured as cover images in publications for the Organization of Refuge, Asylum and Migration International in 2012 and 2013 publications.

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