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    Pulse Memorial to Be Unveiled at the SF LGBT Center on December 7

    The SF LGBT Center and AGUILAS will unveil a new sculpture, Aegis, created to memorialize the 49 victims murdered in a mass shooting at the Orlando, Florida, gay nightclub Pulse; the massacre occurred on June 12, 2016. The memorial unveiling will take place at the SF LGBT Center on Wednesday, December 7, 2022.

    The memorial project was spearheaded by AGUILAS after San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors initially set aside $10,000 for a memorial to be produced back in 2017. After planning and developing the project over the last five years, gay, immigrant, Latinx, Brazilian, and SF-based artist Wilson Ferreira’s design proposal was selected.

    “We’re honored to lead the creation of this memorial for community members we lost at Pulse, as intended by the survivors,” said San Francisco Bay Times columnist Dr. Eduardo Morales, who is the Executive Director of AGUILAS. “This was a significant moment for our community, as most of the people murdered during the shooting were Latinx. It felt important for AGUILAS to take a leadership role in commemorating community members we lost while instilling hope and pride in who we are through Aegis.”

    Aegis also serves as a cultural milestone for Ferreira, who is the first gay Brazilian artist to create a public memorial in San Francisco. “I’m beyond grateful for this opportunity to pay my respects and homage to our fallen Pulse siblings,” said Ferreira. “I believe that art breaks barriers and can convey powerful community messages. So, it’s with great pride that, as a gay and Brazilian artist, I can offer Aegis to our beautiful LGBTQ+ community with a message of protection and resilience for our people against the daily prejudice we continue to grapple with all over the world.”

    Aegis‘ design consists of a V-shaped shield engraved with the victims’ names. The 49 markings embedded in the metal shield that dissipates on its two sides also represent the victims murdered at Pulse. According to Ferreira, “They are integrated, creating a distinct web on two sides for complete protection. They symbolize our inner pulse radiating with love and solidarity.”

    He developed the sculpture’s title as an iconographic response of protection in the spirit of AGUILAS’ mission. He shared that “Aegis also symbolizes how much we must protect ourselves. Symbolically, the shield cannot be destroyed because it protects you against all evil. It gives us the protection to move forward despite resistance, challenges, and battles.”

    The sculpture will be housed in the Center’s second-floor lobby area and will be permanently installed within the bright purple building for years to come.

    “We’re incredibly proud of our longstanding partnership with AGUILAS and their dedication to the community members we lost amid the Pulse tragedy,” said Rebecca Rolfe, the Executive Director at the SF LGBT Center.”For 20 years, the Center has served as a home for impactful and meaningful art created by and for LGBTQ+ artists. We’re humbled to have Aegis at a sanctuary dedicated to celebrating, commemorating, and honoring our community.”

    Published on December 1, 2022