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Greater Gift brings clinical trial awareness through Hero’s Journey art project

Monday, November 6, 2017

Winston-Salem, North Carolina, will be one of only three cities across the nation to host a Hero’s Journey Art sculpture when it is unveiled next month at the Benton Convention Center. Greater Gift, a Winston-Salem non-profit with a mission to highlight the impact of clinical trial research, has partnered with Eli Lilly to honor clinical trial participants through the commissioning of three art pieces, by artist John Magnan, which will be displayed in Winston-Salem, Austin, Texas and Indianapolis, Indiana.

The city of Winston-Salem, together with Greater Gift and Lilly, will co-host a free community-wide event to unveil the Hero’s Journey Art sculpture on November 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Benton Convention Center.

The Hero’s Journey sculpture includes personalized wooden bricks from those involved in clinical research, including trial participants, patients, family and friends, medical teams and caregivers. More than 70 individuals from Winston-Salem and the surrounding region have contributed to the artistry of this symbolic sculpture. Each brick is an individual’s artistic representation of what clinical trial participation means to them. The sculpture, named Return, is over 8 feet tall, weighs 1,300 pounds and has 320 bricks installed.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring this magnificent piece of art to the community and further tell the important story of clinical research,” said Jennifer Byrne, founder of Greater Gift. “Medical therapies and treatments could not advance without clinical research and it is vitally important to bring awareness to it.”

The sculpture will be displayed in the Benton Convention Center for nine months before moving to the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to all those who participate in clinical trials as they help improve the health of our families and communities,” said Innovation Quarter president Eric Tomlinson. “The Hero’s Journey project is a fitting tribute to those people, and the sculpture’s intersection of art and innovation makes Winston-Salem the perfect home for this installation.”

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