Heart Gallery

By: Denise Alex
By: Denise Alex

Mission West Virginia is launching a traveling photography exhibit that features portraits of West Virginia’s foster children who are eligible for adoption. In the exhibit, audio of the children’s voices and information about them will accompany each photograph.

The exhibit, named “The Heart Gallery of West Virginia – Portraits of Hope” seeks to bring a face and give a voice to children who need and deserve the love of a family. By sharing their stories, the Heart Gallery hopes to touch hearts and find families for the children ready for adoption. Recognizing the need to accomplish this goal, photographers volunteered their time and talent to create intimately compelling portraits of some of West Virginia’s waiting children.

The children featured in the Heart Gallery are typically considered the "hardest to place," those who are older, teens, minorities, and/or in sibling groups. Many of the children featured have waited years for a family to give them a permanent home.

Twelve of the one hundred children awaiting adoption in West Virginia will be a part of the gallery.

The goals of the Heart Gallery of West Virginia are to spotlight children available for adoption, recruit families for children featured in the Heart Gallery, and recruit additional foster and adoptive families for West Virginia’s children.

West Virginia photographers, Dewayne and Ginnie Lowther from Parkersburg and John Fluharty from Charleston, have volunteered their time, talent, and services to photograph the children featured in the Heart Gallery. Funding for this project was provided by Wendy’s International, Inc. and Sisters of Saint Joseph.

The Heart Gallery of West Virginia will be traveling throughout the state until mid 2006 and will be featured in the Grand Central Mall in the Parkersburg area from March 14 to April 10, 2006.

Many children are still awaiting adoption. If you would like to find out more information on how you can adopt or how to assist Mission West Virginia’s Heart Gallery or any of the adoption education/recruitment programs, please contact Mission West Virginia at 1-866-CALLMWV or visit their Web site at www.missionwv.org.

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