Exhibit tugs at the heartstrings | PostIndependent.com

Exhibit tugs at the heartstrings

April E. Clark
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. ” With short fingernails painted red and sparkling green eyes, Angelina is an energetic 7-year-old who loves to play dress-up.

Christian, 11, is a break-dancing explorer described as bold, exciting and cheerful.

At 8 years old, Jolene is a social butterfly who loves school and could one day be a personal shopper ” just watch her.

What these three children have in common is their need for a loving home.

Someone to give them a chance.

A shot at a better life.

Angelina, Christian and Jolene are all children in Garfield County waiting to be adopted or welcomed into a foster home. They are three of 50 faces featured in the Heart Gallery Colorado photography exhibit at the Glenwood Springs Mall.

“It’s a way to promote awareness, a nice way to educate the community and people about Colorado’s need,” said Valerie Jenkins, of Heart Gallery Colorado. “The community has the opportunity to own it.”

Professional photographers donated their time to take portraits of the children doing what they love to do ” play in the park, climb trees, pet a horse, or enjoy the fragrance of summer flowers.

“We welcomed photographers from anywhere, all over the state or out of the state,” Jenkins said. “We wanted someone who could capture the child’s essence in the short time they were with them. We didn’t want to do studio shots.”

In both black-and-white and color photography, the Heart Gallery portrays personalities of kids throughout Colorado, mostly older, who want to be part of a family. The exhibit runs through July 31 and is the only Heart Gallery in the state. The photos will move on to the Denver International Airport on Aug. 1.

“We really focus on kids 8 and up because they are harder to place,” Jenkins said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Luis Guzman, of Glenwood Springs, took some time to look at the photos and pick up a few brochures on foster care and adoption. He was moved by the touching photos and descriptions of the children.

“It just gets me to see kids showed in an art exhibit looking for a mom and dad,” he said. “These photos, they really show that they need love. They need guidance.”

Guzman and his wife don’t have children, but have four dogs they rescued from shelters. The couple ” married for about eight years ” have discussed adoption if they’re unable to bear children of their own.

Mention of the children’s difficulties brought tears to his eyes.

“It’s good they’re doing this,” and good for society to promote families getting together, he said.

“We can help these kids and provide educations for them,” he added.

Amidst the images of Angelina, Christian and Jolene and others, one photo caught Guzman’s eye. The subject was a smiling, church-going, choir-singing boy named Darryl posing with stuffed animal dogs.

Maybe he’s an animal lover, too.

Contact April Clark: 945-8515, ext. 16601


Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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