Some things are, quite literally, as easy as 1, 2, 3. Consider, for example, the Minneapolis-based Foster Art Company and its giving initiative. 1. Foster collects and curates art created by kids. 2. You buy the art. 3. Foster donates its profits to an advisory fund with the Minneapolis Foundation, which, in turn, makes gifts to local and national organizations that support foster children. May being National Foster Care Month, Foster Art is expanding its mission with a pop-up event at West Elm, in Edina, on Saturday, May 21, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Before you shrug your shoulders, or envision Jackson Pollock-style drips or squiggles, take a look. Foster Art’s gallery includes rich, colorful abstract prints; Picasso-worthy expressions; heart-warming representational portraits; whimsical animals; intriguing black-and-white patterned prints; and illuminating landscapes. Some of the most notable works are by kids age 4 and age 16.
Foster Art was founded by Susan Robinson, who lost two husbands to cancer while parenting her daughter. The necessity of stability, safety and love in traumatic times is essential to a child’s ability to thrive, as Robinson well knows. So she created Foster Art to transmit her values, which include compassion and nurturing self-worth, to others. In addition to selling the art she collects, Robinson creates opportunities for children to make art and donate art to help their peers.
Foster Art also collaborates with public and private schools, art and community centers, and art institutions. The company increases awareness of foster children and their needs, as well, by hosting workshops and events, and selling or displaying artwork locally at businesses, offices, and galleries. According to the company’s website, “Our mission is to support the children in the foster care system by filling homes, offices and public spaces with beautiful and meaning children’s artwork.”
By Camille LeFevre