Berridge Nurseries kicked off a photography exhibit organized in collaboration with nonprofit organization Kids in Focus on March 18. The free exhibit ran for 10 days, ending on March 28.
Set in the open-air spaces of the nursery, the Hope in the Garden exhibit is a collection of 50 images by 50 current and graduated program participants. These vulnerable children spent nine weeks with their volunteer mentors exploring nature, building trusting relationships and gaining valuable life skills along the way.
The photos on display feature beautiful botanicals and outdoor scenes and represent the culmination of their journey of self-discovery. The photos will be available for purchase at the nursery, with all proceeds benefitting Kids in Focus. The image can be ordered on canvas or metal and will be mailed to the buyer within two weeks of the purchase.
“Kids in Focus is a tremendous organization, and we are looking forward to showcasing the talent and creativity of these young photographers,” says Christine Fortman, co-owner of Berridge.
Kids in Focus uses the restorative power of photography and the guidance of dedicated mentors to help youth open their eyes to their own potential as they build the resilience they need to overcome challenges. Images have been exhibited at venues such at the Arizona Science Center, Children’s Museum of Phoenix, Sky Harbor Airport and the Arizona State Capitol. Children are paired with a mentor that can help them not only with their photography, but support them in any other issues they may be facing.
“Coming from an abusive home growing up, I experienced the need for outside support, and knew I wanted to help kids that were going through the same things I did,” says Karen Shell, executive director of Kids in Focus. “We are grateful to Berridge Nurseries for allowing us to showcase photos at their nursery, it is such a beautiful location, and will be a really special experience for our kids.”
During the opening celebration, Gerald Wissink, CEO of BHHS Legacy Foundation, presented a gift of $84,500. The funds will be used to support a mentoring project.