Current Exhibitions

Gil Family Art Shoes in Virtual Currents

Jose Gil and the Gil Family

Salinas, CA

Gil Family Art Shoes

Jose Gil knows a thing or two about motivating teams — even the one under his own roof.

The Alisal High School boys basketball coach and athletic director refused to let the virus send his three kids into a world of video games and isolation. So the former art major handed them paint brushes and unleashed their creativity — onto athletic shoes.

What began as a fun way to create quality family time during the pandemic morphed into an art movement that went viral itself.

Despite being a department chair and advanced art teacher, Gil never got the chance to teach art to his own kids.

So during the pandemic he sat them down for a project that began with a unique platform — basketball shoes. More than 10 years ago, Gil and his wife Eva Silva co-founded Gil Basketball Academy, empowering local youth by developing their athletic skills, leadership, work ethic, world view and commitment to the community.

The basketball-crazy family had plenty of old shoes to practice on. Gil taught them how to prep and mask the shoes and sketch out their designs, along with techniques to paint on contoured surfaces

“Everything inspires us,” Gil said. “What games do we like, what times of seasons do we look forward to? Maybe it’s Day of the Dead, a beautiful day in our culture. Or a mom who does everything for us.”

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Photos courtesy of Jose Gil.