NewsCovering Colorado


Kids Crossing opens art exhibition to highlight pain and healing in foster care

Posted at 8:52 AM, May 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-10 10:59:31-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — "This is him as the pen and this is a mugshot and this is all the negative stuff people are seeing him but in reality, he's just gone through some hardships and pain," said Allyson Hadley, a Kids Crossing clinical therapist, as she explains a power piece of artwork from a former patient being put up in Library 21c.

In recognition of Foster Care Awareness Month in May, Kids Crossing, a child placement agency that focuses on providing a safe and caring home to every child entrusted to them, is hosting “Through Our Eyes,” art from the front lines of the foster care system.

Art is a universal language in Allyson's sessions with her patients.

"A lot of kids with trauma, they don't really understand, and they can't verbalize what's going on with them, and so artwork can be a form of expression for them to get that out and then show their story. I don't want to say it's forever gone because it never is, but to move past it, they need to process it," said Hadley.

According to El Paso County Department of Human Services, on any given day from January through March of 2023, an average of 558 El Paso County children were in out-of-home placements (mostly foster care placements, but also includes kin placements). On average, 10 children and youth enter foster care each day in Colorado.

16-year-old Enzo has been using art as a way to heal. He entered the system at age 10. “Sometimes it feels like you have no control over life whatsoever,” said Enzo, “It’s really hard to be separated from your biological family, and there’s a lot of feelings to deal with.”

Jamie fosters Enzo and his two siblings. She recently took Enzo to visit his dream college, Savannah College of Art and Design. Jamie also encourages painting, drawing, and music as a way for Enzo to stay connected to his Mexican heritage. He has a piece in the exhibit called "Breath of Life" that will be on display.

"It's just about how you breathing life into a person from birth is just so important. I think it's really cool that someone who's been through what Enzo's been through is able to still have such a joyful appreciation of life," said Jamie.

Work on the exhibit comes from Kids Crossing foster youth, foster families, foster parents, caseworkers, therapists, and home coordinators.

“Through Our Eyes” Foster Care Art Show
May 3 - 31, 2023
Pikes Peak Library District, Library 21c,
1175 Chapel Hills Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80920.

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