A photographic art exhibit near downtown Phoenix features works by at-risk children

A Phoenix-area nonprofit is hosting an art exhibit to showcase artwork by children considered at-risk.

The exhibition presents different photographic works produced by these children with Kids in Focus. For children, the exhibit is more than just pictures hung for all to see. The works in the exhibition were a way out for many of them.

“When children experience trauma, they disconnect from what’s going on in their environment and ultimately from themselves. They shut down,” said Karen Shell, who founded Kids in Focus. “There’s something sure about a camera that allows them to reconnect with the world.”

Kids in Focus is dedicated to giving at-risk youth who may be homeless or who have experienced abuse or trauma the chance to see themselves in a new light. Through photography, they learn skills that apply to their daily lives.

“Even the most resilient child will begin to connect with their surroundings, looking up from the ground, looking people in the eye again,” Shell said.

The children worked with mentors for nine weeks to create the artworks that are now on display.

“To have the opportunity for them to feel proud and shine, that alone is life-changing,” Shell said.

Kids in Focus Art Exhibition


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