Encouraging the attention of young people in the Ringling Museum of Art’s photographic exhibition
“Faces of Foster Care,” an exhibit featuring some of Sarasota’s best-known photographers, is currently on display at the Johnson Blalock Education Center at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art through November.
The collection was assembled in association with the Heart Gallery of Sarasota and includes works by Peter Acker, Barbara Banks, Wendy Dewhurst, Nicole Houser, Michael Fults and Daniel Peralis. The non-profit organization uses photo exhibits that help potential foster parents and help young people in foster care to defend themselves.
Many of the children presented are at risk of dropping out of the foster care system or are part of a large group of siblings which makes them more difficult to place. Of the 54 children hosted in Heart Gallery exhibits last year, 24 found families inspired by the spirit and character captured by their photographs.
The exhibition is the Heart Gallery’s first since the COVID outbreak. The organization’s semi-permanent facilities at libraries, malls and retail locations in Sarasota and Bradenton have been phased out due to COVID-related health requirements and declining staff.
While the pandemic has delayed scheduling full-day photo ops, scenic backdrops include Sarasota’s Audubon Nature Center and Bradenton’s River Walk.
The Heart Gallery, established in 2005, engages over 50 professional photographers who capture a child’s character and spirit to grab the attention of future eternal families. The success of the program is measured in successful adoptions. For information, visit heartgallerysarasota.org.
Ringling’s commitment to art and cultural education inspires children through free programs, including ROAR, a free storytime program that connects art with early literacy and Thursdays in the world. home school. Hundreds of families have been served through the Museums for All program where families with EBT cards can visit for free.
The Johnson-Blalock Education Center, 5401 Bay Shore Road, houses the extensive art library and provides classroom space for programs for adults and children. For more information visit Ringling.org.
Submitted by Allison Dayan-Juceam