Rosalia Torres-Weiner, Charlotte, NC Member Since January 2012 Artist Statement I am compelled by stories, and I like most to tell stories with my art. Bright and vibrant colors are staples of my Mexican culture and they are also an essential part of my work. Art is a channel of expression, and through that expression, I manifest positive change in the world. I am currently facilitating kite-building workshops for children who have lost a parent to deportation, with the objective of exhibiting the kites we create. In this project, I am able help these children deal with the emotional trauma caused by the separation. My primary focus is providing a fun and comfortable environment where they can express those emotions through their individual creative skills (painting, drawing, and collage.) The concept of the art installation is to simulate the kites in flight conveying that by attaching their emotions to the kites, they are released, and the children can begin to heal within my community. Another current project involves a series of portraits of Hispanic Masters of the Arts, including Picasso, Dali, Rivera, Kahlo and Miro. Each piece is representative of the artistic styles of the subject, yet is also a unique work of my own. The objective of this series is to raise the awareness of the contributions of Hispanics to the arts. Through both of these projects, I am able to use my creativity to express myself, to educate the community I live in, and to work as a part of a broader solution to the issues that my community is facing.