Ringling Museum of Art photography exhibit focuses on foster youth – Sarasota Herald-Tribune

“Faces of Foster Care,” an exhibit featuring some of Sarasota’s best-known photographers, is currently on display at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art’s Johnson Blalock Education Center through November.
The collection was assembled in association with the Heart Gallery of Sarasota and includes work by Peter Acker, Barbara Banks, Wendy Dewhurst, Nicole Houser, Michael Fults and Daniel Peralis. The not-for-profit organization uses photographic exhibits that assist potential foster parents and help foster youth to advocate for themselves.
Many of the children featured are at risk of aging out of the foster care system or are part of a large sibling group that makes them harder to place. Of 54 children hosted on Heart Gallery exhibits last year, 24 found families who were inspired by the spirit and character captured by their photographs.
The exhibit is the first by the Heart Gallery since the COVID outbreak. The organization’s semi-permanent installations in Sarasota and Bradenton libraries, malls and retail venues were taken down because of COVID sanitation requirements and decline in staff.
Although the pandemic delayed scheduling full-day photo shoots, scenic backdrops include Sarasota’s Audubon Nature Center and Bradenton’s River Walk.
The Heart Gallery, established in 2005, engages more than 50 professional photographers who capture a child’s character and spirit to attract the attention of prospective forever families. The success of the program is measured in successful adoptions. For information, visit heartgallerysarasota.org.
The 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 Homeschool Thursdays. Hundreds of families have been served via the Museums for All program through which families with EBT cards can visit free of charge.
The Johnson-Blalock Education Center, 5401 Bay Shore Road, houses the extensive Art Library and provides classroom space for adult and children’s programming. For more information, visit Ringling.org.
Submitted by Allison Dayan-Juceam

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