Scottsdale Public Art’s newest exhibition, “Kids in Focus,” running July 11 to Sept. 24 at Scottsdale Civic Center Library, features images produced by participants in the Kids in Focus after-school program.
Kids in Focus’s nine-week, evidence-based programs — for 10- to 14-year-olds who have experienced poverty, homelessness, neglect, or abuse — alter the course of troubled lives, providing these kids with a new perspective on themselves and the world around them, according to a press release.
Wendy Raisanen, curator of collections and exhibitions for Scottsdale Public Art, believes the “Kids in Focus” exhibition is a perfect example to show how making art is such a valuable tool for young people.
“This exhibition has become a great way for these young people to understand their place in the world and to know that they have a voice,” Raisanen said in a prepared statement. “I’m so happy to include work by one of the photographer mentors, Buzzy Sullivan, in the show, too.”
Sullivan, a Phoenix photographer, was a volunteer mentor who worked with the young artists to produce the images shown in “Kids in Focus.”
“The experience of being a Kids in Focus mentor is truly one of the most enriching parts of my life,” Sullivan said. “I often feel that, as a mentor, I’m learning more about my community than I could ever teach about photography. Photography is just the entry point into a meaningful and mutually beneficial connection.”
Sullivan has his own photography featured in the exhibition. The image comes from his current project called “The Static,” which is the second installation in a three-part project that explores Sullivan’s lifelong struggle of managing PTSD through being in the wilderness.
“I balance my roles of being a full-time professor of photography with also being a practicing professional photographer,” Sullivan said. “There is no lack of photography in my life, but I am always more than excited to go work with Kids in Focus.”
“Kids in Focus” will run from July 11 through Sept. 24 at the Civic Center Public Gallery, inside Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3948 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale.
For information, visit ScottsdalePublicArt.org/exhibitions.