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Cazenovia: Shutterbugs raise adoption awareness

Imagine a place where artwork and humanity creates families. There is such a place in the hearts and eyes of the Professional Photographers' Society of CNY. Partnering with NYS Office of Children and Family Services the photographers have created the Heart Gallery Exhibit. To celebrate National Adoption Awareness Month, the exhibit portrays kids in need of families in the best photographic light.

Cazenovia photographer Gene Gissin has been involved with Heart Gallery for a couple of years.

"The photographers really go out of their way to get the word out," Gissin said. "We spend some time with the kids, get to know them."

The opening and reception at the Community Folk Art Center, 805 East Genesee St. in Syracuse, is from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday Nov. 4, with host Jackie Robinson, WSTM, NBC 3 News Anchor.

"We want people to come to the show and raise awareness about adoption," Gissin said.

Forty photographers across the state have photographed 52 children in foster care who are hoping to become part of a family through adoption. This is the second CNY Heart Gallery Exhibit to display creative portraits that show the children as unique individuals. The exhibit will continue until Nov. 30.

"It's all about the kids," said Gissin.

During the month there will be other Heart Gallery events at the Community Folk Art Center. From noon to 3 p.m. Saturday Nov. 11 there is a session called: Learn how you can become a foster/adoptive parent. From noon to 2 p.m. Saturday Nov. 18 there is a panel discussion with the portrait artists. From noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday Nov. 18 you can speak with a foster/adoptive parent. And every Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m. the Onondaga County Homefinding Staff will be in the gallery.

Heart Gallery Exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

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