'Heart Gallery' spotlights children needing homes

Special to The State Journal Published:

In keeping with the adage that "a picture is worth a thousand words," American Founders Bank, Franklin County Family Court and Community Based Services are hosting The 2006 Heart Gallery.

This unique, awareness-raising art opening will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm on Thursday, March 23, 2006 at the American Founders Bank Gallery, 201 Limestone Drive, Frankfort KY 40601. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

Diane Granito, a social services worker in New Mexico, created the Heart Gallery project in 2001. Photographers have donated their time and talent to create one-of-a-kind portraits of some of the many children in the custody of the Cabinets for Family and Children, who are dreaming of finding stable, loving homes.

We have looked in to the hearts of these remarkable children, and have shared what we captured there with our own hearts. That is art, said Barbara Van Cleve, 2004 Heart Gallery photographer.

The project was created to increase adoption awareness and inspire families to open their homes to children longing to be part of a permanent family environment. The portraits are accompanied by short biographies that include each child's interests, hobbies, personality traits, favorite subjects, and special characteristics.

The Heart Gallery has grown immensely since its inception. The national project has been featured on Dateline NBC, Parade Magazine, National Public Radio, and The New York Times. Thanks to the media attention, other states and cities have been inspired to host their own Heart Galleries.

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