SAN DIEGO, CA.-
One of the first things someone may notice about a bottle of Nika Water
is the colorful, vibrant image of a young childs face on the label. These touching faces are children that iconic portrait artist Stephen Bennett has met over the last 20 years of his career, traveling the world, experiencing culture, meeting people and painting their likeness with colors that evoke personality, movement and above all life. What also makes Nika special is that the company donates 100% of its profits to clean water, education and sanitation projects in developing countries to help end poverty through partnerships around the world. It is also one of the most environmentally friendly bottled waters on the market.
My goal through my art is to empower other people other cultures and sometimes the chance to see themselves in vibrant color is the perfect catalyst, explains Bennett. I instantly felt a connection for what Nikas mission of donating its profits to worldwide water projects and immediately offered my work to use on the bottles. I enjoy using positive faces that instill pride and happiness and I think those are the attributes that Nika shares with the world.
Bennett met Nika Water founder, Jeff Church, in 2002, years before Nika Water was a founded company. The legend goes that the two entrepreneurs met while hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro a few years before Nika Water was a reality; but as it turns out, Church passed through one of Bennetts exhibitions in Arusha, Tanzania on his journey to the peak of the worlds tallest free-standing mountain (though both meeting at the peak of the mountain remains a great tall-tale in the Nika offices!).
After Church returned to the States, he contacted Bennett, still moved by the portraits he saw in the gallery. Upon speaking with Church, and hearing his idea for a socially-conscious water company, Bennett automatically felt compelled to be involved with the company and offered his work as the faces for the bottles - at no cost. After living with many of the cultures and communities that Nika had a mission of helping, Bennett inherently understood and supported Nikas mission of providing safe, sanitary water to developing countries.
Bennetts art work is what makes Nikas product jump off the shelves and pop in refrigerator displays across the nation. His artwork is a way of speaking although he cant take all the credit, as these kids all made a big impact on the artist himself. Their positivity and inner light shines through, even as printed renderings on Nikas 100% recyclable bottles.
Nika Purified Water is a San Diego-based, premium bottled water company that is socially cause-driven, eco-responsible, and currently sold in thousands of nationwide retailers.
Nika Water donates 100% of its profits to clean water, education and sanitation projects in developing countries to help end poverty through partnerships around the world. It is also one of the most environmentally friendly bottled waters on the market. Through reforestation, Nika offsets their carbon footprint fully, leaving no lasting negative impression on the planet.
Stephen Bennett is an American portrait painter who over the last 20 years has traveled to over 30 countries. He seeks out indigenous people to capture their soulful faces and ritual adornments through colorful paintings on a grand scale, many being 7x5 feet. Bennett's mission is preserve and celebrate the world's diversity through a unique style of realism using interpretive color-with paints that he has hand-mixed from pure pigments. The focus of his paintings is on the eyes that invite us to enter and experience our common humanity. For he truly believes we are all one people.
Bennett's vision is promote tolerance through art education and cultural exchange on a global scale. He is driven by a desire to complete an international exhibition of 1000 World Portraits. This enormous project is ambitious, but needed at a time when the world is particularly conflicted. The focus of his paintings is on the eyes that invite us to enter and experience our common humanity... for he truly believes that we are all one people.
Bennett is founder of Faces of the World, a non-profit corporation with a mission of increasing cultural pride and affirming the importance of indigenous cultures who have been the true guardians of planet earth. Faces of the World is funded from the sale of his paintings, commissions, donations and sponsorship.