August 3, 2007

Art and adoption intersect at Sacramento State exhibit

Desiree and Deja Desiree and Deja are just two of the children hoping to find parents through the “Heart Gallery” exhibition at Sacramento State. (Image courtesy the Heart Gallery/ Catalina Rivas)

The upcoming “Heart Gallery” exhibit in Sacramento State’s Library Gallery is more than just a collection of photographs. The children and teenagers pictured in the collection are hoping their images will be the magic key it takes to finally be welcomed into a family.

Each of the more than 30 photographs is of a child or youth who needs a permanent home through adoption. Older children, sibling groups and children with disabilities were specifically chosen for the exhibit. The photos highlight each child’s unique personality and qualities and are accompanied by the child’s name and a brief biography. Packets are available for adults interested in adopting children.

The “Heart Gallery” will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, Aug. 28 through Sept. 22. It is a collaboration of the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services, Sierra Adoption Services, Lilliput Children’s Services and Sacramento Court Appointed Special Advocates. Several Sacramento State instructors sit on the organization’s board of directors.

About 1,500 children in Sacramento County need adoptive homes, according to Karen Seeback, a social worker and exhibit co-chair. “This kind of exhibit is working outside the box, trying something new to get people to see adoption in a fresh light,” she says.

The local Heart Gallery program was launched by Rosemary Papa, former director of Sacramento State’s Center for Teaching and Learning, and is part of a nation-wide operation. Heart Galleries are up and running in more than 40 states.

While exact dates have not been set yet, parents who have adopted children will talk about their experiences during various times of the exhibit’s run. “It keeps the experience very personal and very real,” Seeback says. Heart Gallery board members will be on hand to answer questions from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 6.

For more information on the “Heart Gallery,” call Seeback at (916) 837-1107 or visit the Heart Gallery website at For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.

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