PLAINFIELD, NJ - The Peace Islands Institute held an awards reception in October at its headquarters in Hasbrouck Heights to recognize the winners of its 2018 Art & Essay Contest.  Jonathan Campos Pinheiro, a Plainfield High School senior, received Honorable Mention with his painting “Unity.” 

“The theme of diversity, 'Celebrating Diversity Together,' was very interesting to me because I could work on a theme that represents a mix of cultures, religions, ethnicities, and sexual orientations,” Pinheiro said.  “I wanted to create a work of art that not only celebrates these differences, but also made those who view my artwork be proud of who they are and where they come from.”

Pinheiro was one of the students from 200 schools invited to participate. His former art teacher, Ana Cordero, submitted his artwork to the competition.

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Cordero said Pinheiro is very dedicated to his artwork and to his studies, stopping in her studio most mornings before heading to his own classes, even though he has no art classes this semester. “Jonathan shows a desire to succeed in the arts, he is creative and self-motivated.”

Cordero was present at the awards ceremony to receive Pinheiro’s prize on his behalf.

Winners of the competition included Sky Kim from Bergen County Technical School, first-place winner; Jacqueline Queli from Boonton High School, second-place winner; and Isabella Ermita from Red Bank Catholic High School, third-place winner.

Over 200 pieces of art from 200 high schools were submitted in this year's competition.  The pieces will be on exhibit at the Peace Islands Institute headquarters site.

On his honorable mention, Pinheiro said, “I feel proud of it.  Even if I didn’t get first place, or second place, as long as I got an honorable mention, it lets me know as an artist that I am heading in the right direction. I’m very proud of my work.”

Pinheiro would like to be an animator, and would like to acquire a bachelor of fine arts, saying he wants to create as much work as possible.

“I want to inspire others, that’s what I am passionate about.”


About Peace Islands Institute

Peace Islands Institute is a non-profit organization that envisions a world becoming an island of peace in the ocean of our universe; a community in which people from all walks of life interact with each other and cooperate to serve their communities, thereby strengthening civil society and promoting education and the development of human values. –


For more information, call 908-731-4333 or email