Faces of Foster Care, an exhibit featuring some of Sarasota’s well-known photographers, is currently on display at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art’s Johnson Blalock Education Center through November 2021. The collection includes works by Peter Acker, Barbara Banks, Wendy Dewhurst, Nicole Houser, Michael Fults, Daniel Peralis and Harry Sayer, who volunteer for the Heart Gallery, the not-for-profit whose photographic exhibits and website recruit foster parents and help foster youth advocate for themselves.
Many of the children featured in the Ringling exhibit 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 the 54 children hosted on Heart Gallery exhibits last year, 24 found families who were inspired by the photographs. Although the pandemic delayed scheduling full day shoots by the photographers, scenic backdrops at Sarasota’s Audubon Nature Center and Bradenton’s River Walk offered a safe setting after some restrictions lifted. The exhibit marks the first by the Heart Gallery since the Covid outbreak.